The Sideshow

francisco diaz + deb young

2019 - Ongoing

“We're not mere spectators, or a cosmic accident, or some sideshow, or the Greek chorus to the main event. The human experience IS the main event.” Terence McKenna

The Sideshow is the new series from The International Collaboration Project duo Deb Young (New Zealand) and Francisco Diaz (USA), designed to usher the viewer to a fictitious seaside carnival, where the notion of the sideshow acts as a metaphor for the human condition. We view ourselves bathed in the amusement park experience where consumption, excitation, fun and desire are the driving motivations, all as storm clouds surround and threaten the ongoing festivities. Focused on their involvement in the amusement park experience, the participants ignore the approaching storm.

The series places the viewer squarely in the action and offers the photographic form some interesting new ideas. Experimenting with cinematic/literary devices such as flashback and flashforward, in works like Rat-A-Tat/Flashforward and Rat-A-Tat as well as the Jump group (not included), Diaz and Young transfer those methods to the world of photography, prompting further engagement with the viewer. This forward- thinking use of such techniques as flashback and flashforward by the duo in the medium of photography, posits that the images in these groupings can work either as separate, minor subplots or as chunks that can be shifted to create different narrative interpretations. Time, in The Sideshow, is shown to be flexible, not simply sequential - much like memory recall of an exciting experience.

Diaz and Young’s The Sideshow series suggests that life may be an illusion, created by our conditioning to buffer the dualities of pleasure and pain we encounter.

“... what we call reality is in fact nothing more than a culturally sanctioned and linguistically reinforced hallucination.” Terence McKenna

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  • Welcome to the Sideshow

  • Corn Dogs

  • Light Bite

  • Rat-A-Tat

  • Scattered

  • Danish Delight

  • Jump

  • Shadow & Light

  • Rat-A-Tat / Flashforward

  • Wonder Bar

  • Trash

  • The Gaze

  • Schnitzel

  • Mirrors

  • The Wait