Ellen Donnelly: Call Me Rabbit
December 15- January 19
Opening: December 15, 7-10pm
Drinkable Poetry and Intention Setting Workshop: January 18th, 7- 10pm
Actual Size is pleased to present Call Me Rabbit, an immersive video installation by New York- based artist Ellen Donnelly. The exhibition uses imagery, audio, and rhetoric from wellness culture, online marketing and social media to create an anxious but intriguing landscape to consider our place as individuals and the way we define ourselves as such. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in Los Angeles.
In 2015 The global wellness industry was a $3.7 trillion market. Since then, this system of consumer products and experiences has continued to grow and permeate individuals personal and social worlds. Consumers can mix and match ancient cultural practices for their “self betterment” and buy form flattering yoga pants that can seamlessly transition from ashram to office. Messaging around wellness culture declares that individuals can quell the pains of consumerism by spending the money they make on products and experiences that promise to make them mindful, centered, and whole. Advertisements from companies and “influencers” suggest people can achieve empowerment through declaring their intentions with the clothes they buy and the way they post on social media. Individuals are the consumer, product, and advertiser in one, and it was all there in the terms and conditions they agreed to by default.
Donnelly wrote the script for Call Me Rabbit after participating in a five day silent meditation retreat that she found on Yelp. On the ride there Donnelly wondered about the possibility that she was unwittingly entering a cult. She was amused at the comfort this thought provided her. In a cult inductees would be unburdened with personal choice. She would eat the provided food, wear the provided clothes, and perform the directed chants to connect with whatever god the cult had decided on. Donnelly would no longer need to rely on essential oils and self help books to ease the discomfort of believing that all of her options were wrong. Call Me Rabbit means to draw out potentially empty, appropriative, destructive cultural practices as coping mechanisms, not to excuse them, but to find deeper understanding of the needs they seek to serve.
Ellen Donnelly was born in Washington, D.C. in 1986. She received her BA from Eugene Lang, The New School in 2009 and her MFA in Creative Writing and Poetics from The University of Washington in 2016. Donnelly currently lives in Brooklyn, New York. The production and installation of Call Me Rabbit is 100% funded by Donnelly's income as a sex-worker.
Open Sunday 1:00- 5:00 and by appointment
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