Model Killer: Giant Crimes & Tiny Cover-Ups is a morbid comedy centered on a disgruntled dollhouse maker turned investigator. Vivian Nutt builds dioramas of unsolved murders, only for it to be revealed she is the perpetraitor. In Model Killer, I am creating a universe in which the viewer is invited to reconsider female serial killers, the historically feminine craft of miniatures, and murder as entertainment.
Object of Her Affection is a solo puppetry and object performance centered on a woman, who in her search for true love develops intimate relationships with inanimate objects. In this unconventional love story, puppets and performing objects are a primary through-line, as I explore the synesthetic relationship between objects and personalities, and ways that objects can occupy more than one meaning at any given time. Object of Her Affection is a visual narrative about human beings (flesh and blood) developing intimate relationships with inanimate things and the universal development and loss of relationships we encounter on our journey through life.
(In)/Animate Objects is the second half of a diptych on the relational world of De Lellis’s fictional protagonist Andrea Lowe, an “objectum sexual” (a real psychological phenomenon in which a person develops romantic and sexual feelings for inanimate objects). The stand-alone installation for the 2016 C.O.L.A. exhibition offers viewers a window into Andrea’s psychic and relational world through an encounter with the obsessions of her doll-hoarding grandmother. More than a thousand rag dolls in various states of disrepair—each individually handcrafted and distressed by the artist and an extended network of friends and family—testify to the insatiable need for love at the heart of the obsessional life.
Raggedy Ann to Real Doll was a performance-installation I created at Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (LACE). In Raggedy Ann to Real Doll, I examined how we negotiate our idea of personal identity in an ever-shifting landscape of technologies that can drastically alter and re-map the body by dissecting what is just beneath the surface of our collective preoccupation for physical perfection. Transforming the storefront window of LACE into an operating theatre, I performed experimental cosmetic procedures, encouraging viewers to interact with one of America’s most beloved dolls as she went under the knife.
The Feeder is a short solo tabletop puppetry piece that explores the unintended consequences of a complicated relationship. The narrative is centered on the surviving partner of a gainer and feeder couple, who is on the run after accidentally feeding his spouse to death.
In Bride of Wildenstein – The Musical, an aging socialite grows fur and claws to recapture the attention of her philandering game hunter husband. Bride of Wildenstein is a weird and tragic love story that examines the making of a monstrosity through one woman’s personal struggle, and the loss of her sense of self. As her marriage dissolves, she begins to reinvent herself through drastic measures – surgical procedures to become more feline, which only further heighten her sense of estrangement.
Growing Up Linda was an ensemble actor-puppetry performance that looked at the off-kilter world of the daughter of a famous ice cream mogul. During its run at the Edinburgh Fringe, The Scotsman distinguished Growing Up Linda as “colorful, elaborate” and “nightmarish”. Three Weeks (Edinburgh) characterized Growing Up Linda as “kitsch, camp, and often grotesque”, and celebrated it for its “fusion of trashy and glam”.