URBAN BEAR RESEARCH CENTRE
Extract from Carny Town (Portman Gallery, 10-19 July 2008) - Tamarin Norwood
Pinned to the fabric wall of Charlie Fox's Urban Bear Sanctuary is a snapshot of two dogs asleep on a pavement. They're lying on their sides, facing one another, legs in suspended running position as if they're dreaming of bounding through meadows. The next photo along plays out the same scene but in the imaginary: a saggy lion lies limp on a pavement spilling out of a pile of dressing-up clothes and costume rags, legs set out for running as though it's a mock-up for the real thing. The two photographs are in cahoots. Their similarities work as reciprocal alibis for one another, suggesting a relationship of cause and effect while refusing to divulge which came first and which followed. This purposeful deliberation between hierarchies of representation is a central concern of Carny Town exhibition, in which the gap between experiencing events, experiencing non-events, and experiencing documents of events is playfully displaced.