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Don’t Fear the (Bunny) Reaper

Yes, Nerdist readers, I have interrupted my brief respite from blogging for some non-covert self promotion, but, on the other hand, it’s a fantastic tip on a show opening this week in Los Angeles at Gallery 1988 (home of “Is This Thing On?” a show which featured a portrait of a certain Mr. Hardwick).

Robert Oppenheimer paraphrased the Bhagivad Ghita when he was quoted as saying, “I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds” upon witnessing the first atomic detonation in New Mexico. Kali is the Hindu goddess of death, and one of the many faces of death that permeate every culture and religion worldwide.

However, there is one cultural visage in particular that is the focus of “Inle,” the Greg “Craola” Simkins-curated group show opening this Friday, the 11th of March. To the rabbits of “Watership Down,” Inle was the harbinger and bringer of death; to a young Simkins (profiled in an earlier Nerdist entry), he was a fountain of inspiration. “Watership Down,” for those of you not in the know, is a children’s book that was written in 1967 and later turned into an animated film; it’s a sweeping story of a small band of characters fleeing their homes and facing oppression and peril along the way. The twist: The small band of refugees are anthropomorphized rabbits, and all the supporting characters are a variety of other field animals.

Inle is the grim reaper (for lack of a better term) of the rabbits, and the fountainhead for the show. Simkins brought together over 100 artists from varying disciplines to interpret this peripheral phantom and bring him front and center. It’s an incredible line-up, one that shows the drawing power of not only the impact of the story, but of Mr. Simkins himself. In summation, we’ll use the artist’s words:

“The question is asked over and over, ‘what inspires you and your art?’- well, here is one aspect, and in my attempt to keep this story alive and in honor of Richard Adams’ timeless story, we are proud to present ‘INLE.'”


Matthew Bone

tweet me: @matthewebone

Further info:

Friday March 11th, 2011
Gallery 1988
7020 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA.
public opening 7:00-10:00

Images: Gallery 1988

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  1. Matthew says:

    Sorry about the childrens book label you guys, I read it as a child… So I guess that’s my connotation…and Brandon, I never thought about the Donnie Darko homage- good point. You guys can see all the work at

  2. Brandon says:

    I didn’t realize it until now where the rabbit in Donnie Darko comes from?

  3. Wade says:

    Coolness. Yeah, agree with Mixie there. Hardly a children’s story in the classic sense. Been my favorite book for many years.

    This looks totally cool though.

  4. I cannot possibly express how amazing this sounds and how shitty it is I live a couple large western states away =(.
    I do have to pipe in with some literary geekery here, though, and say that Watership Down is by no means a children’s book, any more than Felix Salten’s Bambi was intended to be.

  5. smartbunny says:

    I approve of this.

  6. The Goog says:

    I was going to argue against calling The Black Rabbit of Inle the rabbit’s Grim Reaper, but I also was unable to come up with a better term without getting spoilery.

    I LOVE this book and it’s sequel (although not quite as much) and I really wish I was able to get to the other coast to see this exhibit.