Jennifer Rubell creates participatory artwork that is a hybrid of performance art, installation, and happenings. She makes pieces which are often of a staggering scale and sensually arresting, frequently employing food and drink as media.
Violating the traditional boundaries of art institutions and engaging senses usually forbidden in or absent from museum and gallery contexts, the observers are encouraged to participate in the work.
Padded Cell – 2010
Padded cell is an 8’X16’ freestanding room constructed of basic building materials, with a single door that contains a plexiglass window. Inside, the walls and ceilingare padded with pink cotton candy, and a bare light bulb hangs in the center. The door is opened at 9pm, but the interior is visible through the window throughout the evening. The Red Party’s main dinner is served inside a Russian-themed constructivist set, and Padded Cell acts as an escape from that, an all-American funhouse that is at the same time confining, threatening, claustrophobic. It is an object that addresses the dark side of pleasure, the price of pleasure, the possibility that pleasure is its own punishment. Approximately 1,800 cones of cotton candy are used in its construction.