Hands down, my favorite annual event in Dayton is Sideshow, which is hosted by The Dayton Circus. It’s a two-day, no-holds-barred art, music and cultural festival of sorts. Sideshow 7 was held May 11-May 12 at the Yellowcab Building in Dayton. Here are some pics of my favorite pieces (the titles are my own as I didn’t write them down):
1) Make a Wish. If you’ve been to my blog before, you know one off my primary ambitions in life is to build a Rube Goldberg machine. Someone may have trumped whatever Rube Goldberg machine I come up with in the future with their “Make a Wish” machine at this year’s Sideshow. This piece asked users to pose it a question (one that had a possible answer of yes, no or maybe).
I asked “Will I live to be 100?” I then had to pull a string, which lifted a golf ball to the top of the contraption so gravity could send it down a series of ramps, slides, cannons and drop-offs before giving me an answer. It looked like my golf ball was going to hit the “no” container before veering to the “maybe” slot at the last second. Maybe I will see 2080 AD.
2) Jello Dollars. I’m not sure if this piece was made out of Jello, but I was tempted to stick my hand in and find out. I don’t get the meaning of it, but I think it’s saying something like “Wars are fought for dollars (and they destroy a lot of lives in the process).” The use of toy soldiers, which a lot of us associate with childhood innocence, adds an interesting layer to the piece. Beyond that, it could be edible, which is always cool.
3) The Ascent of Man. I spotted this happy fellow attached to the door of the men’s room. Somehow, his posture replicates the sense of joy you get when you’re finally about to relieve your bladder at a crowded public gathering.
4) George Bush. Boyish charm coupled with a deeply patriotic streak.
5) The Prancing Pony. This piece looks like it could have been an afterthought, but there’s still something frightening about it. The dripping paint can’t help but remind you of blood despite being the color of purity, which often used in American marriage rituals.
6) Poofballs. I love this painting. It’s not trying to make any statements and that might be the loudest statement of all.
7) Manicorn. Who doesn’t dream about having the lower body of a powerful stallion. Harnessing that much strength might give us the arrogance to pose for a photograph with a cig and beer while standing in front of a billboard promoting a children’s game.