So while it gives participants a sense of control, Rain Room is controlling the speed at which they walk. It’s forcing them to make decisions about how they move through it. So control’s going both ways.
Patrons react to it in a different way based on their experience.
“And that’s the beauty of this,” she says. “is when people get wet their automatic reaction is ‘I want to go faster.’ And yet, that’s exactly what they shouldn’t do.”
Jackalope’s general manager of sales and marketing, Josh Olgilvie, says Rain Room exemplifies how the Jackalope Hotel group uses art in a pivotal role in the guest experience.
“And each Jackalope property has a very specific narrative that all of the art and design elements tie into it,” Ogilvie says.
Jackalope founder Louis Li first experienced Rain Room in Los Angeles a couple of years ago when it was showing at LACMA and has been trying to bring it to Australia since then.
“He was looking for a monumental artwork to bring to Australia that would form the centrepiece of the second [Jackalope] hotel in Flinders Lane, scheduled to open in 2022,” Ogilvie says.
Li describes Rain Room is the group’s most ambitious curation to date.
“The work represents the spirit of our hotels – an interplay between imagination, mystery and science,” Li says.
Rain Room has previously exhibited at The Barbican, London (2012); the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2013); the YUZ Foundation, Shanghai (2015); the LACMA, Los Angeles (2017); and at the Sharjah Art Foundation (2017). In Australia, it’s being presented with the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI).
Rain Room is housed within the Jackalope Pavilion on the corner of Acland and Jackson Street, St Kilda. Tickets, which are sold in 20-minute blocks, can only be purchased online. They’re on sale via jackalopehotels.com/art/rainroom. Due to rapid sales, the installation has announced a limited second release of tickets, to go on sale for Friday, August 16, at 10am.
Rain Room is open seven days a week, Sunday to Wednesday from 10am-6pm and Thursday to Saturday from 10am-9pm.