Local Story: Pamela Joseph's Sideshow of the Absurd

Enter Pamela Joseph's "Sideshow of the Absurd," an interactive amusement-themed exhibit like nothing you've ever seen!  

Joseph manages to project a playful atmosphere while tackling societal preconceptions through her larger than life interactive exhbit. 

She first accomplishes this through the interactive nature of her work. By requiring guests to pull levers, turn knobs and push buttons, Joseph cultivates a curious and youthful spirit. Museums are traditionally places of quiet appreciation and are still generally thought of as such. Yet, in “Sideshow of the Absurd,” guests are encouraged to touch and interact with the displays. This departure from tradition attracts a new audience such as families, but also enables experienced art admirers to see a different side of the culture they love.
She also challenges societal preconceptions by cloaking important gender and societal narratives under creative and humorous facades. While on the surface her work appears fun and humorous, Joseph’s “Sideshow” poses poignant questions about womanhood and the societal issues that affect women. Joseph illustrates the identity struggle many women face to embody the tradition homemaker while maintaining her sexuality and also being a career professional among other roles. In her alter ego named Pussy Marshmallow, Joseph channels her own strength along with her compassion, two traits not typically associated with women simultaneously. 

Watch the full Arts District episode featuring this segment here

To learn more about Pamela Joseph click here

Watch Arts District every Thursday at 7:30pm on Rocky Mountain PBS. Arts District is a collaboration of Rocky Mountain PBS, KUNC and KUVO. 

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