Jennifer Rubell

Nutcrackers
September 24 - December 4, 2011

 
In the Dallas Contemporary’s largest gallery space, Nutcrackers consists of 18 life-size interactive sculptures of women surrounding 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, then pushing down the upper leg to crack open the nut so they may eat it in the gallery. Inspired by nutcrackers depicting female figures - and in particular one found on the internet of Hillary Clinton - 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.
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Photos by Andrew Ryan Shephard