Suzannah Griffith and Eva Salmerón talk about their experiences in 'Human Rabbits' – a public street action presented by Spanish collective mmmm..., where fifty human rabbits take over Melbourne CBD.
Human Rabbits by Spanish collective mmmm… took place in Melbourne CBD on Friday 28 July 2017. The fifty volunteers included many from RMIT's Master of Arts (Art in Public Space).
The action was presented by mmmm… in partnership with RMIT Gallery, and with support from the Embassy of Spain in Australia, as part of the RMIT Gallery exhibition mmmm… (21 July to 9 September 2017).
[Additional information] Soft abstract music plays throughout. Video shows fifty volunteers wearing cardboard rabbit masks crossing roads, riding trams, shopping and eating in Melbourne CBD.
Duration: 3:00 mins
Postgraduate art students take over Melbourne with the Spanish art collective, mmmm…
Suzannah Griffith, Student, Master of Arts (Art in Public Space): I think if you're an artist, it's all about context and understanding the big picture and where you sit in your own city, where you sit in your own country and where that country sits in the world, and what else is going on artistically around the world. RMIT has provided me with specific learning experiences that I don't think I would have got anywhere else.
The human rabbit project is an exciting project. 50 human rabbits invading Melbourne CBD, so, I'm so excited to be a part of it.
Eva Salmerón, Artist, mmmm… Collective: We thought it could be interesting to make a human rabbit invasion in downtown Melbourne. For us, in a way, it's like a thought-provoking action about immigration, identity, groups.
Suzannah G.: As the mmmm… collective have pointed out, in 1859, 12 rabbits were brought over here by a colonist for hunting and, of course, since then within fifty years, 10 million rabbits and then that led to extermination through what we know is myxomatosis. They even brought in foxes, rabbit-proof fence. I guess that imagery is incredibly loaded.
Eva Salmerón: They have very specific instructions, what they can do, what they cannot do. We don't want them to play any role. They are not rabbits. They have to behave as humans.
Suzannah G.: The mask is wonderful. It's sort of transformative in that you become someone else, but you're present in the experience.
Eva Salmerón: For the ones that are going to be wearing the rabbit cardboard head, that's going to be a big experience as well. Just watching how people react and – what do they say? What do you answer?
Suzannah G.: You'll have people who don't even blink an eyelid. Then you'll have people who just love it and want to come up and chat. Lots of people seem to want to have a selfie.
If you want to improve your own art practice, it is about challenging yourself and pushing yourself. It sparks a little inspiration in me that, yeh, what else could I do in other countries, and how could I interpret different situations?
Eva Salmerón: It's going to be something they will never forget. That's for sure.
Presented by mmmm…
in partnership with RMIT Gallery
and support from the Embassy of Spain
RMIT University logo
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