Video production and props by Renato Velarde
For DOLLY / PETER (2018) Hawk Swanson sculpted a replica combining likenesses of two dolphins who lived in captivity in the 1960s and ‘70s—Dolly, who was captive in Floridaland (Sarasota, FL) and Peter, who was captive in the NASA-funded Dolphin House (St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.). Both Dolly and Peter experienced complex sexualized relationships with humans before voluntarily choosing to stop breathing. During the performance, the artist engaged dialogues about animacy and animal intimacy and attempted to contact descendants of Dolly and Peter’s captors. DOLLY / PETER continued Hawk Swanson’s exploration of the troublingly fluid interchange between seduction, captivity, and captivation developed in her previous performances DOTTIE (2015-2017), Doll Closet (2014), Sidore (Mark II) Heather > LOLITA (2013), All That is Left of You / Everything You Are Now (2012), and Amber Doll > TILIKUM (2011).
DOLLY / PETER was created in collaboration with anonymous doll husband “Mahtek,” who became a contributor to Hawk Swanson's previous work through shared involvement in the silicone doll community. Mahtek—who crafts replacement genital cores for fellow doll husbands—created the fiberglass and resin genital mold and core for DOLLY / PETER. As bottlenose dolphins have extensive vaginal folds and complex spirals that can obstruct penetration, they are able to control paternity through subtle bodily shifts and to disallow fertilization during coercive sex. Mahtek’s core and mold reference both human and dolphin anatomy.
Genital Mold & Core