Erotic Doll a Modern Fetish
Since the 19th century, dolls have served as commodities but also as objects of possession and obsession, love and lust. That century witnessed the emergence of the term "heterosexual" as well as distinctly modern conceptions of fetishism, perversity and animism. Their convergence, and the demands of a growing consumer society resulted in a proliferation of waxworks, shop-window dummies, and customized love dolls, which also began to appear in art. Oskar Kokoschka commissioned a life-sized doll of his former lover Alma Mahler; Hans Bellmer crafted poupees; and Marcel Duchamp fabricated a nude figure in his environmental tableau Etant donnes. The Erotic Doll is the first book to explore men's complex relationships with such inanimate forms from historical, theoretical and phenomenological perspectives. Challenging our commonsense grasp of the relations between persons and things, Marquard Smith examines these erotically charged human figures by interweaving art history, visual culture, gender and sexuality studies with the medical humanities, offering startling insights into heterosexual masculinity and its discontents.
'Ladies and gents, welcome to the museum of the erotic doll. Step right up and feast your eyes on modern man's curious contraptions. If the saucy blow-up doll makes you squeamish, brace yourself for the Dutch Wife (a sailor's delight!), lubricating robot ladies, surrealist brides stripped bare, state-of-the-art RealDolls, and the iDollators who love them. Marquard Smith is the curator of this collection of men's dolls, rendered in a lavishly illustrated volume.' -- Times Higher Education, 14 March, 2014
Marquard Smith is director, Institute for Modern and Contemporary Culture, University of Westminster, and editor-in-chief of Journal of Visual Culture.