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The Freak Show
Les presses du réel Contemporary art [see all titles]
  The Freak Show
Text by Vincent Pécoil.
Index by Olivier Vadrot.

Graphic design: Claire Moreux & Olivier Huz.

Published with La salle de bains, Lyon.
published in 2007
bilingual edition (English / French)
21,5 x 26,5 cm (softcover)
160 pages (colour ill.)
€25.00
ISBN: 978-2-84066-207-5
EAN: 9782840662075
in stock
 
Catalogue of the exhibition inspired of American "Freak Show", presenting around 50 contortionist, giant, hairy or Siamese works.
The "freaks", those surprising phenomena at fairgrounds, "monstrous" humans long regarded as "abnormal", were popularised by the eponymous film by Tod Browning (1932) and exhibited from the mid 19th to the early 20th century, particularly in the United States, at events called "Freak Shows".
If particular freaks (fakirs, contortionists, sword swallowers…) performed tricks or extraordinary feats most of them - dwarves, giants, Siamese twins, tattooed women or men, bearded ladies… - were merely themselves and confirmed this mainly through static shows where they stayed motionless, just staring straight at the public. The showmen, the entertainers who presented them graced them with imaginary identities and told extraordinary tales of their lives. So if being tall is merely a physical attribute, then being a giant obviously implies much more.
Participating artists: Étienne Bossut, Lilian Bourgeat, Loris Cecchini, Delphine Coindet, Tony Cragg, François Curlet, Franck David, Philippe Decrauzat, Ivan Fayard, Fischli & Weiss, Sylvie Fleury, Mark Handforth, Mona Hatoum, Jeppe Hein, James Hopkins, Rebecca Horn, Henrik Plenge Jakobsen, Véronique Joumard, Martin Kippenberger, Yayoi Kusama, Emmanuelle Lainé, Bertrand Lavier, Le Gentil Garçon, Claude Levêque, Didier Marcel, Christian Marclay, Mathieu Mercier, Wilfried Mille, Mrzyk & Moriceau, Kirsten Mosher, Olaf Nicolai, Tony Oursler, Steven Parrino, Bruno Peinado, Mick Peter, Jaime Pitarch, Guillaume Poulain, Delphine Reist, David Shrigley, Roman Signer, John Tremblay, Gavin Turk, Ida Tursic.

Published for the exhibition at the musée d'Art contemporain de Lyon during Summer 2007 (www.moca-lyon.org), curated by La Salle de Bains art center (Lionel Mazelaygue, Vincent Pécoil and Olivier Vadrot).