photos by Etienne Frossard  (2018)

 

 
 

There is a point in late childhood or early teens when you start to become aware that things are made for your consumption. And there are many points in adulthood when you come across some character from your childhood that seems suddenly bizarre or creepy or absurd. How is it that you were ever entertained by a crude animatronic rat fronting a kitschy rock band? Why didn’t it seem questionable that Smurfette was the only girl in town?

 

The objects in this show feel like these Trojan horses of children’s entertainment. The shell of a smiling manatee sneaks in with rounded, lipped holes at every orifice and then some, with a mouth like a camel or a camel toe, and with a nose and a grin like a drunk.

All of the objects in the show seem to invite performance, or in less adult terms, they want to be played with. A small enough body could fit under the manatee entirely and might poke all kinds of things out of those holes. The tall black creature could get squeezed like a bagpipe or get rocked across the floor, clicking along on its plunger handle legs, a closed form except for a little bulbous butthole, practically begging for a finger. The round shell is hung up by a string, plucked from the back of an unknown animal and stored between unknown uses, ready to be a vessel, or a hat, or a belly. The fact that the show is in a tiny, empty Chinatown apartment, through many locked doors, a courtyard, and an illegally narrow hall make it seem all that much more possible that these objects have a life of their own and that by entering you’ve suspended the animation.

 

This is a show that feels like a rambling late-night story improvised as much for the child as for the drunk adults.

This is a show made by the youngest brother in a big family of rowdy brothers.

This is a show made by a new father.

 

-Hannah Walsh (2018)