Cecilia De Paolo is a 1’st Year BA Photography student who is exploring the concept of a Human Doll.
The Human Doll is project started in my first year at AUB and it is still in the making. This is a series of self portraits focused on the idea of performance in photography. ”It feels like I became becoming a real doll after dressing up, adding some red lipstick and wrapping myself up in plastic, like a new doll that has to be opened by the owner; being self-portraits also allowed me to really work on my own and embrace the character I was creating ”. I initially didn’t want to fall in the sexual area, I felt like it would been too complicated and maybe too controversial. But it was kind of inevitable. And in the first shoot the location made it happen really, a doll in a hotel, that can be used by the guests is going to be inevitably connected to sexual acts. But I am honestly enjoying the research as it is something I knew nothing about. I was very inspired by movies such as ‘Ex-Machina’, ‘Her’ and the tv series ‘Humans’. Sex dolls are still a taboo but I felt I could explore this topic my way and create amongst a fake documentary about the idea that in a dystopian future we will be able to buy dolls looking exactly like humans at it will be a norm in society, not exclusively for sexual use but as an everyday partner. I was inspired by the CEO of Real Doll company, Matt McMullen , where he explains how most of his consumers buy his dolls as a substitute to real women or men, to share everyday life with, some actually married them. In my images I aimed to recreate some sceneries of what the dolls would be used as such as found in hotels as part of the room, in wardrobes, suitcases, out of boxes and getting cleaned at the laundry. I am focusing on the idea that us, as humans, we always try to recreate what already exists; maybe to make a ‘better copy’ of what nature gave us or maybe to give a choice to those who can’t get what they desire, in this case a real woman. This isn’t a finished project, I just keep visualising situations more images I want to create and while travelling this summer I will have more opportunities to shoot in different scenarios.
Find more of Cecilias work here –