The Marcus Kelli Collection & Museum
Stories of an Outsider in Nature
Shown at Basement Gallery 2012, Bedford Gallery 2012, Faultline Studios 2013, Aggregate Space 2014, Worth Ryder Gallery at UC Berkeley 2015, Boy's Fort PDX 2016
Stories of an Outsider in Nature was conceived as a portable museum space where guest to the Museum could immerse themselves into the life of Marcus Kelli, exploring at their own depth and pace. "Danielle’s approach to her work is itself a performance piece. Her creations come from not from her, but from the collection of an imagined 19th century collector, Marcus Kelli. Through this space she is able to remain on the fringes of her creations and let their stories stand on their own." - M. Kauffman, Faultine Studios.
Below: Video Tour from Stories of an Outsider in Nature -Basement Gallery 2012
O'er The Gilded Shore
FM Oakland CA 2014
Marcus had gained a small reputation for his drawings and studies documenting new species of field mice in the eastern United States. Mentions of his successes had gained notice of William Richardson, a wealthy Californian, who called upon Marcus to survey the new lands he was hoping to acquire. Marcus boarded a merchant vessel and set sail to. The journey took nearly a year to sail around the tip of South American and up the coast until at last reaching the California Coast.
"... From here I could see any passing ships or messengers who may come ashore to give me news from my patron. I was expecting the fellow in the coming week, and I was giddy at the thought of having some small interaction with another human. Being so overtaken with the expectant arrival of the messenger, I had taken to spending my dawns and twilights to looking out onto the shore. One evening I saw a cat like creature quickly running through the sands back to the cliff face. I thought I must have dreamt this for I could have sworn the feline took a look up at me with uncommonly large gleaming eyes... Shaken I hurriedly back-steped away from the overlook and huddled next to my fire. Not sure if I had seen an illusion, ghost or perhaps lost my senses due to the isolation I had been engulfed in... I have felt alone and vulnerable many times before, but I had yet in my life to experience such estrangement and helpless wonder in the same moment.” –Marcus Kelli 1838 California Expedition
A Life Abroad - Vignettes
Peephole Gallery, Alter Space 2013
In his youth, Marcus Kelli was a driven man but without purpose. He enjoyed exploring in nature and drawing, but thought himself little use to his society. His peers were obsessed with progress and machines as the rise of the industrial age was taking hold. Marcus felt lost within the smoke of the cities; his ambitions choked by the frantic nature of the new age.
Feeling the need to gain clarity in changing times Marcus planned a long term cave expedition, something he had never done- and he would do it alone. With no close family to object to his cause he descended into darkness. After successfully living alone and Marcus had a horrifying encounter with a strange creature that left him terrified and isolated in the cold black caverns. Beside himself with fear, Marcus fled his camp. No documentation of the cave’s location has yet to be found, keeping its mysteries intact.
What Marcus saw shook him to his core. After his encounter he rented a small room in a merchant town on the eastern coast, feeling confused and defeated. With so many questions in his mind regarding the strange creature he had seen in the cave, his ambitions naturally turned to a feverous self-study in the natural arts.
In 1838 he boarded a merchant vessel and set sail. The journey took nearly a year to sail around the tip of South American and up the coast until at last reaching California- welcoming Marcus with boundless rolling mountains and opportunity abound.