From now until June 11th, art installation Intrude is bringing massive, glowing inflatable rabbits into the heart of downtown LA. The sight is beautifully surreal. But hidden in plain sight is a dire message.
An Unexpected Visitor
Art installation Intrude is the newest in a ripe season of great Los Angeles art openings. Imagine moving amongst the skyscrapers and marble plazas of downtown LA. What could be more shocking than seeing a 20-foot-tall rabbit just around the corner? By day, they stand fantastically in the midst of LA’s busy foot traffic. By night, their glow outshines the skyscraper lights that surround them. On my visit, Intrude drew crowds of visitors, and turned the heads of shocked joggers. In spite of their size, the inflatable bunnies are adorably sculpted. One cleans its ears at the glass entrance to the Bank of America Building. Several feet away, another reclines on its stomach. Behind the building, a third hibernates with its ears down. It’s a perfect example of the increasing popularity of accessible, public art installations penetrating into urban spaces.
Where to View It
From 12pm to 9am, from June 5th to 11th, these mysterious invaders will mystify DTLA residents with their enormous and luminous presence. Art installation Intrude, by Australian artist Amanda Parer, has come to Los Angeles as part of a four city tour that started in April in New York. These massive bunnies are located in three locations around downtown:
- Bank of America Plaza (333 South Hope Street),
- Wells Fargo Center (330 South Hope Street), and
- FIGat7th (735 South Figueroa Street).
While the piece’s visual experience is captivating enough, its meaning is even more fascinating. Most of the world perceives rabbits as innocent, playful, and cute creatures. But that isn’t the case in Parer’s native Australia. There, to call rabbits an ecological disaster is an understatement. Introduced in 1788 by white settlers, bunnies have proved incredibly destructive to the country’s native species. They’ve survived numerous attempts at eradication. And this continues even to the present day.
And so the meaning of the title becomes clear on all levels. As an art installation Intrude calls attention to this unwanted animal intruder and its impact. Beneath the fur and fluff lies a destructive and persistent by-product of globalization and colonialism. The fact that the Australian view of bunnies contrasts so much with their ‘cuteness’ lends Intrude its power. This is an expression of the ways that ecological disaster is masked by cultural perceptions. Hence, to misunderstand the installation (as most visitors will!) is to reflect the necessity of its message.
For more information and a list of tour dates, visit the Facebook page.