Cover image of the review
Installation view of Gavin Bell, Jarrah de Kuijer and Simon McGlinn (Greatest Hits), *Bird feeder (Chest)*, 2018, fiberglass, paint. Courtesy of Neon Parc.


16 Feb 2019
Neon Parc 1 Feb - 2 Mar 2019

The Facebook event for Carny—a two-part exhibition curated by Neon Parc director Geoff Newton and held at both Neon Parc City and Neon Parc Brunswick—describes it as “a new exhibition of works by established and emerging artists.” While distinctions between emerging and established artists can seem entirely nebulous, in Carny the emerging artists (except Matilda Davis) were all confined to Neon Parc City, which opened a week prior to the Brunswick gallery.

The Russian literary critic Mikhail Bakhtin defined one of his four categories of the carnivalesque (what he termed carnivalistic mésalliances, literally “mismatched marriage”) as that which allows “everything that may normally be separated to reunite”—the young and the old, high- and low-culture—in the riotous festival format of the carnival. At the carnival, unruly mingling of what's normally kept apart upsets the authoritative voice of hegemonic order, at least in theory. At Neon Parc, however, the clear curatorial segregation of artists at different stages in their career (emerging and established) seemed to enforce rather than upset traditional hierarchies. Less carnival, more marketplace, Neon Parc City presented itself as more accessible for early-career artists and Neon Parc Brunswick as more prestigious (the demographics of the different crowds at each opening seemed to attest to this distinction).

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