12 May

The PRELL (2014)

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P-R-E-L-L Shampoo – a view of life and the cosmos based upon product advertising

I have this clear childhood memory of a Prell Shampoo ad on television and in magazines. What I remember more than the actual product; thick, clear and a rich emerald green, was the tube. The clear plastic tube was divided into a series of globes, one for each letter of the name, and each globe held enough shampoo for one time use only. The tube became a symbol of reality for me and I always came back to it in times of difficult life passages. I would envision my interior reality as a space inside of one of those globes and they were no longer clear but dark environments. In that reality, I could wander around, floating freely, enjoying my existence for an extended period of time. But each time that I felt my back was against the wall, with no solution, I would envision myself forced up against the passageway into the next globe. In order to continue, I had to find and pass through that small opening separating the globes. As soon as I was able to accomplish this task, I was free and able to get on with my life.

That mental reality began somewhere in the 1960’s and I kept it to myself. A few years ago I started looking at vintage advertisements and found a lot of images for Prell shampoo; the Tallulah Bankhead tube controversy, the unbreakable plastic tube – but never the five globes tube. It seems that this was a reality of my own.

– Valerie LeBlanc February 20, 2014

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About Valerie LeBlanc

Originally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, pluri-­disciplinary artist and writer Valerie LeBlanc has worked in Canada, the United States, Europe, and Australia. Her creations travel between poetry, performance, visual and written theory. Valerie LeBlanc has been creating video poetry since the mid 1980’s, and is the creator of the MediaPackBoard (MPB), portable screening / performance device. In the fall of 2012, she published her play The Raft, through Basic Bruegel Editions.

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