Carny is an off-beat 1980 film about a young waitress (Jodie Foster) running away with the circus. Like the film, this show explores the dark underbelly of old-school carnivals, lowbrow spaces populated by misfits, mavericks and weirdos.
In the city, artist Hayley Arjona’s psychedelic punk painting is a two-and-a-half metre cut-out of poor taste and fluorescent glare, depicting a little girl smoking a huge green joint, a three-eyed figure mooning you, and a braying unicorn. It also functions as one of those carnival curios where you pop your head into a gap to put yourself into the image.
Surrounding smaller works by Spencer Lai are cut out of felt, presenting shadow-puppet-like appropriations of other artists’ work: a religious scene, an image of a mental institution, some 16th-century Japanese pornography and a lovely bunch of blue flowers. Nick Mullaly paints in candy colours, his gaudy Push Me showing a row of brightly-coloured legs and heeled boots – a threatening image wrapped up in a rainbow. Hana Earl’s messy black canvas has cat ears and a tail, and purple text that reads “Meow!” in friendly yet forbidding letters.
Carny is at Neon Parc City until March 2 and Neon Parc Brunswick until March 9.