* I made a few revisions to my collection based on our discussion in class.
It’s great to see scans of some of the smaller b/w images that got a little lost amid the larger color shots when we were standing over them. These scans show them in their full glory.
The mix of the colorful 60’s psych image amid the circus sideshow banner art could be the start of an interesting visual conversation if there were more more of each image type in the mix. I’m happy to see the first alignment. I suspect that comparisons between psych rock poster art of the 1960s and sideshow banner paintings could yield some interesting parallels. I’ve never seen the two exhibited together. Seeing huge banners mixed with silkscreened posters might be a little jarring in a physical space, but comparing jpegs or photos might flatten things out enough to compare the imagery, usage of color, ideas about physical and psychological distortion and other factors these things might share.
I agree with Marc that the scanning and resizing of the images really helps this collection (as I recall from looking at most of these on the floor). Aside from basic presentation enhancement certain collections don’t gain from the “found” serendipity of associative text and images scattered on the page. On the other hand, other collections used that exact point as central to their theme (I’m thinking of Nick Wylie’s “turn me over” collection of jarring front and back magazine page image pairs as shown in the great space last week). Your circus images work on their own, because they are interesting and in some cases unusual. To me the contrast of psychedelic/neo-kitschy and black and white historical/almost burlesque stand out more than the focus on the color photos themselves (and I wish those were scattered throughout). A local joint that explores the circus and circus sideshow visual theme is Earwax Cafe:
in Wicker Park. I haven’t been there in a while but recall that most of the artwork is original (that is, created by contemporary artists) in the style of old circus stuff.
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