March 12 until April 10 2022

Installation and text performance by Karen Froede 
Exhibition at Thomassen Galleri, Götabergsgatan 32 i Göteborg
Curators: Carolina Falkholt and Nora Söder


These worn sex dolls were given to me by a friend.
Hen had found them, barely covered with other plastic-material, in the basement waste room. 
I was very grateful. What an extraordinary donation.

At a first glance you might feel alienated…disgusted. Forked feelings.
Yes- that happened to me as well.
They have obviously been used- all dreggy and done. 
Their virginity popped- no one knows by what.

But-please take a closer look.
Breathe in the three holes.
The faint scent of PVC-plastic might bring you back to your childhood- as you were about to open a package with a new bathing ball.
The scent of cum and sperm will possibly evoke experiences of sex- good or bad.

You might react with arousal. Don’t worry it ́s okey.
You might react with shame or disgust- it ́s okey too.

Can we conclude that whatever it is, there is just something about these second-hand dolls that strikes our innermost core and keeps us in an ambiguous limbo.
This helpless inanimate reproduction of a human body produced for infinite pleasure and loyalty.

After some minutes you might admit that they get your fantasy going.
You wonder: Who the fuck has actually penetrated these creatures? 
Your mind starts generating flickering perceptions you cannot escape.
At this stage you might want to walk away.

But wait!
What if I would tell you that ,in a way, you are also fucking sex-dolls… 
We all are…

In the beginning of the 20th century people, in general, bought only what they needed. Producers aimed to make objects that would last over time – over generations. During world war 1 Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theories started being used to manipulate the mind of the masses to buy things, not only of necessity, but of pure desire. Consumerism was born. One of the most influential characters behind this paradigm shift was Freud’s nephew, Edward Bernays.

Psychoanalytical theories emphasize the strong empowerment of the subconscious filters and experiences. Our subconscious mind incorporates primal nessecities for suvival such as sex, food, shelter and belonging. Man’s seemingly rational choices are mainly driven by the subconscious. 

By connecting the subconscious cravings for freedom and power, Bernays was able to make women start smoking. This by hiring influential women to smoke while marching in the media coveraged Easter Sunday Parade in March 1929. Bernays called the campaign, paid for by the tobacco industry: “Torches of freedom”.  

Subconsciously or not it is hard, not to say impossible, to withdraw from the system and beliefs imprinted in contemporary society. Many of us feel instinctively that we are deluded into buying things we do not need but we cannot help ourselves.

When it comes to the used sex dolls the connection between desire and quick-fix indulgement becomes too obvoius.
So obvious that it sets you off.
But- please do not judge too harshly.
Your own consumption and your seemingly free decisions are based on far more primitive 
instincts than you think.
What if I would tell you that, in a way, you are also screwing sex-dolls… 
We all are…