‘Freaks’ presents 12 delicate ink on paper drawings of turn of the century side-show performers. The original drawings are in the permanent collection of the Denison Museum, Ohio and take their cue from the 1932 Tod Browning film of the same name and Sir Peter Blake’s ‘Freaks’ series from the mid 1970’s.
By presenting images of those who once existed in the margins of society ‘Freaks’ seeks to create an inverted means to examine how the ‘marginalized’ are used to visually police what counts as normal by tracking how this has changed, from the visible Victorian concept of freaks as carnival performers to (in)visible contemporary ideas of social mis-fits.
Read the essay Normal by Robert Priseman which explores these issues and was published in Garageland Vol 19 (2015). You can also read the essay On Freaks and Freakery by Dr Ewen Speed of the University of Essex which accompanies the series.