technique: stop-motion animation
doll: STARPERY Dolls
production date: 2022
produced by: Le Fresnoy – Studio national
With their uncanny resemblance to the living human body and simultaneous stillness, erotic dolls are suggestive of a liminal state between life and death or, in their verisimilitude, of the transitional space between life and death.
The intensity of a love doll is additionally built up by its erotic significance that blends with traces of death.
At first glance, an uncanny silicone love doll is repulsive: it represents a female body as an object, a commodity. A thing made to be looked at, touched, manipulated. An “it” designed to be animated by the imagination of its owner into a “she”. A Love Doll is a thing on which a feminine presence is projected on. It is made to meet needs: the need to have power over the other; the need to avoid solitude; and the need to be loved and to love.
Viewed from this last angle, a Love Doll proves to embody something more than simply the violence of objectification.
The sexual prop is animated in stop-motion, which suspends the body in between life and perfect stillness. Like through sculpturing, animation requires repetitive touching the object, “sculpting” it into movement with precise gestures. From this repetitive, meticulous process, a body in motion emerges.
The work adapts animation as both, a moving image technique and as an act of bringing an object to life. The animation aims to probe what deeply underlies the production and use of erotic simulacra: the feeling of loneliness, the expectation and imagining love.