AMY SWARTELE

ARTIST STATEMENT
The series is based around a group of characters – imaginary friends and alter egos -who are sideshow performers. The sideshow turns the world upside down - as it suspends or reverses common values and accepted rules of behaviour. The Lord of Misrule is in charge. High and low jostle together in this transgressive space; the foundation of 'the normal' is on shaky ground. Freaks abound.

All become part of the spectacle, audience and performer alike; the 'fourth wall' dissolves. The family of sideshow performers themselves grow odd as they meld species, genders, animate and inanimate; they become hybrid organisms, wild amalgams. The old dichotomies and hierarchies hold no sway.

The absurdity and playfulness embodied in the sideshow feed free interaction and expression, where ‘carnivalistic misalliances’ commingle what had been perceived as separate or opposite. Here we breach boundaries and mock assumptions. A carnivalesque attitude plays with the constructed nature of value systems; it even plays with itself.

Before the 1800’s, ‘freak’ meant a capricious or whimsical notion. This work is one of my caprices.

www.amyswartele.com

CV