Object of Her Affection, Automata (workshop)

Photo: Rafael Hernandez

July 18-20, 2014, I presented a workshop of Object of Her Affection at Automata in Los Angeles.

Photo: Rafael Hernandez

Puppetry and performance art combine
in Object of Her Affection, July 18-20

Los Angeles—Part puppetry, part performance art, Marsian De Lellis’ Object of Her Affection is a visual narrative about Object Sexuals – humans who form intimate relationships with inanimate objects. Full-length workshop performances will be co-presented by Automata Friday and Saturday, July 18 and 19 at 8pm and Sunday, July 20 at 3pm at Automata, 504 Chung King Court, Los Angeles, CA 90012, (213) 819-6855. Tickets can be purchased at artful.ly

In childhood, Andrea finds solace in her first love, a baby blanket. Through adolescence, she is attracted to a bad-boy hunting rifle and later becomes infatuated with a controversial wall. In adulthood, Andrea seeks companionship with monumental structures: a high-profile statue, tragic twin skyscrapers, an unfaithful bridge, and a crumbling tenement, which ultimately fails her.

Initially developed during the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center beginning in 2012 under the mentorship of playwright/marionettist, Ronnie Burkett, De Lellis has since presented a full reading of Object of Her Affection at Automata, and staged excerpts as part of REDCAT’s Studio Series and puppet slams at Bootleg Theater. The first weekend in August, an excerpt will be performed at REDCAT’s New Original Works Festival (NOWFest) 2014: Program 2 from Thursday through Sunday, July 30 – August 2 at 8:30pm.

De Lellis has created Object of Her Affection just as artificial relationships are an increasingly popular storyline in mainstream films including Her, featuring Joaquin Phoenix as a man in love with seemingly sentient technology. Inspired initially by such documentaries as Agnieszka Piotrowska’s Married to the Eiffel Tower about women who fall in love with large objects, and Alison de Fren’s Mechanical Bride, which focuses on high-end sex dolls, Object of Her Affection responds to an increasing melding of humans and that which surrounds them.

Photo: Rafael Hernandez

Marsian De Lellis is a visual and interdisciplinary performance artist, who constructs visual narratives centered on seemingly “weird” people that illuminate something essential about contemporary life. De Lellis’ performances have toured throughout the United States, Canada, and Edinburgh. Their installations have been featured in Scar Of Visibility and Women And Performance. As a visiting lecturer, De Lellis has presented an artist-talk Object/Fetish: Staging the Suspension of Disbelief in Everyday Life at the Maryland Institute of the Arts (MICA), Calgary’s Club Sapien, and UNIMA’s Puppetry and Post-Dramatic Performance Conference.

In the current phase of development for Object of Her Affection, De Lellis has collaborated with Michele Spears, a theatre director, choreographer, actress, and arts educator based in Los Angeles. Spears has been an associate artist with the Academy of New Musical Theatre and the L.A. Gay Men’s Chorus, and was a guest artist at the O’Neill Theatre Center’s National Puppetry Conference. Michele is a founding member of Impro Theatre, a Los Angeles based company specializing in narrative improvisational works, as well as a founding partner with Page One Productions.

If you would like to support the development of this performance, please consider contributing to our Hatchfund campaign .

Located in the Chinatown Arts District of Los Angeles, Automata is an arts organization dedicated to the creation, incubation, and presentation of experimental puppet theater, experimental film, and other contemporary art practices centered on ideas of artifice and performing objects.


Object of Her Affection is made possible through generous support from The Jim Henson Foundation, The Automata Residency Program, an ARC grant from the Center for Cultural Innovation, the National Puppetry Conference at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, and funding from The Anna Sosenko Assist Trust with additional support of time and space from Impro Theater and REDCAT.