Model Killer

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 that she is in fact, a serial killer.

In Model Killer, I invite the viewer to reconsider aggression through the lens of gender, the historically feminine craft of miniatures, and the sensationalism of crime. Can injecting the idealized settings of dollhouses with the macabre, expose the fraud of domestic tranquility? Are Vivian’s attempts to construct a world that fits her model of justice by eliminating problematic people out-of-scale with their transgressions? These are some of the questions I am taking a stab at.

Model Killer, 2017, Photo: Richard Termine
Model Killer, 2017, Photo: Richard Termine

Violence is on the rise in a small town, where nothing is as it seems. At a gala for the Institute of Crime, chief curator, Mavis Blumenthal discovers a mysterious package. A threatening letter triggers a series of flashbacks in which Vivian, a middle aged woman in plastic comfort footwear and a fanny pack, transforms herself from lonely crafter to one of the most notorious killers of our time. (More)

My jumping off point is the work of Frances Glessner Lee, a wealthy grandmother who built intricate miniature crime scenes in the 40’s and 50’s to train detectives in the assessment of visual evidence. I will use the heightened artificial spaces of dollhouses to reexamine romantic notions of innocence and happy endings spoon-fed to us by fairy tales and the mass media. (More)

IMG_8169 Photo: Richard Termine
Photo: Richard Termine


2019 Automata excerpt
Los Angeles


2019 D+R Residency
Automata + LAPP
Los Angeles


2016 Eugene O’Neill Theater Center excerpt


Photos: Richard Termine, Eugene O’Neill Theater Center

Video: Anna Dale

Music: “Killers”, “Ominous Intro”, Kevin MacLeod (, Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0