Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls – step right up.
See a voluntary freak show.
Examine sculptures that stare right back at you.
Ride a merry-go-round in which the consumer is the merchandise.
Walk through a museum of human death.
All these and more await at Humanorium, from July 20 to 25, from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., beside Spinnakers Landing in Summerside.
The event is completely free, but donations are welcomed.
Humanorium is presented by public art company Exmuro and was founded in Quebec three years ago. It is being hosted in Summerside by Spinnakers Landing and Culture Summerside.
Vincent Roy, co-curator of Humanorium, said the idea of the art show was conceived as the antithesis of modern carnivals, which tend to be driven more towards rides and maximum profits, rather than their roots as travelling purveyors of experiences and showers of oddities.
“It’s adrenaline – but it’s lost a bit of its spirit,” said Roy.
The Humanorium goes back to those roots by featuring humanity in all its wonder and weirdness, mostly using interactive or experiential art pieces.
For example, the carnival is built around an art piece called “Le Carrousel,” by Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguére and Nicolas Laverdiére. It’s a functional merry-go-round that visitors can ride and which is built of shopping carts, chains and medal traffic dividers.
Humanorium is purposefully unusual, so visitors often have strong reactions to the experience, said Eve Cadieux, co-curator.
“It’s emotive,” she chuckled.
The idea is to start a conversation about the what it is to be human. If something in the experience forces the audience to consider that lofty question, then Humanorium will have done its job.
Find out more about Humanorium on its website: www.humanorium.com.