Contemporary Museums Metropolitan Museums

Carny Show at C. Springs Fine Art

Pamela Joseph’s Sideshow of the Absurd
Oct. 12, 2013 – Jan. 12, 2014

Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

Drawings and sculptures with that ‘something’s-not-right’ quality that is what always comes to mind when I hear Woody Allen in (movie title) say “Carnies – I’m scared of carnies.”

The drawings are expressive, done in what seems to be a free and easy style, although the imagery as a whole has that disturbing ‘carny’ quality.

The sculptures are human scale, and feel like a cheap and small fun house.


We went to the museum in Colorado Springs called the Fine Arts Center with some friends, so it felt a little like going to the state fair. There was noise in the gallery, which is common nowadays with so much video and often a little annoying if I’m in the meditative mood. This noise seemed normal for a sideshow kind of place but weirdly not human.

ManaquinThe noise was generated by the art, the sideshow-themed art, but was not drowned out by the crowd. My friends just appeared in the show at the other end of one of the sculptures, or very quietly contemplating a drawing.

And now to the content of the work: a feminist statement about how this industry – entertainment – portrays women. It isn’t a sulk about how women are treated, but a statement about the absurdity of the characters women often play (in fiction and reality).