Playing House


This installation focuses on two well-known animal studies from America in the 1960s: the story of Lucy the chimpanzee raised as a daughter by a psychotherapist’s family, and of Peter the dolphin who lived in a flooded apartment with a female research assistant. Frequently sensationalized, these studies captured the imaginations of many, not least because of their radical interspecies family relationships and cross-species sexual encounters. This work explores the optimism of the period, the significance of family and gender, and the importance of domestic space in these stories and the way they are commonly told.

Vintage furniture, lamps, bedding, toilet, bathtub, sink, bathroom cabinet, construction materials, terrarium, aquarium, dollhouse furniture, ferns and other houseplants, plastic bananas, vintage TV sets, mannequins with vintage clothing, household appliances, video, digital prints, collage, and collage books based on 1960's housewares catalogues.
Photos: Mario Gallucci

This installation expands considerably upon an earlier project, also called Playing House, installed at the Sheehan Gallery on the campus of Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington.