Will You Step Into My Parlour? | Nicole Hollander’s Living Room: Oct 20 – Nov 17
Will You Step Into My Parlour? | Nicole Hollander's Living Room
In June 2012, I was invited to meet Nicole Hollander in her Chicago home. This would be the first of many visits over the following year and a half in which Lillstreet and the artist worked together to select the items that comprise Will You Step Into My Parlour? Nicole Hollander's Living Room. The exhibition transports visitors into a curious physical space that allows for an intensely personal look at the objects, themes, people, and aesthetics that influence her life and work.
The title of the show, of course, comes from the 19th century fable and its illustrious opening line, "Will you step into my parlour? said the Spider to the Fly. In the poem, a cunning spider attempts to lure its prey into its web under false pretense. Nicole came up with the idea and I immediately loved it - it was dark, whimsical, and had a strong hint of the satire and wit that her signature character, Sylvia, is known for.
The appeal of bringing this project to Lillstreet, however, was not only the opportunity to celebrate the artist's best-known work, but to reveal and perhaps surprise the audience with the diversity of her talents. Many people are familiar with Nicole's nationally syndicated comic strip, but beyond creating cartoons, she collects and assembles a variety of two- and three-dimensional artwork, has a passion for performance, and is the author of numerous books and a blog which explores topics ranging from feminism to aging and politics to popular culture.
Lillstreet's exhibition program aims to inspire and educate or visitors, and with Will You Step... we have entered into exciting new territory. An unconventional retrospective, the site-specific installation dedicated to a Chicago treasure, is the first of what I hope will be many such exhibits that push the boundaries of our humble space.