jennifer rubell at dallas contemporary

22 September 2011
'Made in Texas' and 'Nutcrackers'


The Dallas Contemporary is proud to present two exhibits by Jennifer Rubell. One a performance piece about food labor on Thursday, September 22, and the other an interactive exhibit where museum patrons are encouraged crack nuts with nude female mannequin legs.

Made In Texas is intended to "bring behind the scenes elements of domestic production to center stage as local laborers prepare Texas cuisine in a hybrid of performance art, installation, and happening." Performer-laborers include the Mozzarella Company and Moises Silguero, a first-place salsa winner at the Texas State Fair, who's now doing a line of salsa with the Renfro folks.

In Gallery 3, Dallas Contemporary's largest gallery space, Rubell's Nutcrackers consist of 18 life-size interactive sculptures of women alongside a pedestal holding one ton of Texas pecans. Each prefabricated female mannequin is mounted on her side in an odalisque position and has been retooled to function as a nutcracker. Visitors interact with each sculpture, by placing a pecan in the mannequin's inner thigh. The leg is brought down to crack the pecan leaving the nut for the visitor to eat.

Inspired by nutcrackers depicting female figures - and in particular one found on the internet of Hilary Clinton - these interactive sculptures embody the two polar stereotypes of female power; the idealized, sexualized nude female form and the too-powerful, nut-busting uberwoman. The work also serves as a prompt to action, encouraging the viewer to transgress the traditional viewer-to-artwork boundary and complete the work by interacting with it.

Made in Texas
22 September 2011

Nutcrackers
25 September - 4 December 2011