NOTE: You are on an old site. Find this and all new posts here
Exhibited in The Dallas Contemporary’s largest gallery space, Nutcrackers - an installation by artist Jennifer Rubell, consisted of 18 life-size interactive sculptures of women (aka mannequins) surrounding a pedestal holding one ton of Texas pecans.
Each prefabricated female mannequin was mounted on her side in an odalisque position and had been retooled to function as a nutcracker. Visitors interacted with each sculpture by placing a pecan in the mannequin’s inner thigh, then pushing down the upper leg to crack open the nut so they could eat it in the gallery.
Rubell was inspired by nutcrackers depicting female figures - and in particular one found on the internet of Hillary Clinton, The Hillary Nutcracker, - these interactive sculptures embody the two polar stereotypes of female power: the idealized, sexualized nude female form; and the too-powerful, nut-busting überwoman. The work also serves as a prompt to action, encouraging the viewer to transgress the traditional viewer-artwork boundary and complete the work by participating in it.
More pics of the installation:
Photos by Andrew Ryan Shephard
About the artist:
Jennifer Rubell creates participatory artwork that is a hybrid of performance art, installation, and happenings. The pieces are often staggering in scale and sensually arresting, frequently employing food and drink as media: one ton of ribs with honey dripping on them from the ceiling; 2,000 hard-boiled eggs with a pile of latex gloves nearby to pick them up; 1,521 doughnuts hanging on a free-standing wall; a room-sized cell padded with 1,800 cones of pink cotton candy.
Viewers are encouraged to partake in the work, violating the traditional boundaries of art institutions and engaging senses usually forbidden in or absent from museum and gallery contexts. Rubell’s work explores the intersection of the monumental and the ephemeral, and serves as a counterpoint to the virtual nature of much of contemporary life.
Some of Rubell’s notable previous projects include Old-Fashioned, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The de Pury Diptych at the Saatchi Gallery, London; Icons, at the Brooklyn Museum; Creation, for Performa, the New York performance-art festival; and, since 2001, a yearly breakfast project in the courtyard of the Rubell Family Collection in Miami during Art Basel Miami Beach.
Rubell, 42, received a B.A. from Harvard University in Fine Arts, and subsequently attended the Culinary Institute of America. She wrote about food for over a decade prior to beginning her artistic practice, including columns in the Miami Herald and Domino magazine, and the book Real Life Entertaining (Harper Collins). Rubell lives in New York City.
See more of artist Jennifer Rubell's work here