‘Titillating’ fairground exhibition has a breast bouncy castle (Wired UK)


Bompas


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A bouncy castle made in the shape of giant breasts and a
G-spot-themed mirror maze are among the attractions at a new
exhibition at the Museum of
Sex in New York
.

The exhibits are the brainchild of sensory artists Bompas & Parr,
collaborating with Professor
Vanessa Toulmin
from the National Fairground Archive in the UK.
The show — titled Funland: Pleasures & Perils of the Erotic Fairground
— is themed around the erotic symbolism of carnival attractions.
Five pieces aim to stimulate the senses in a variety of creative
ways.

Wired.co.uk paid a visit to Bompas & Parr HQ in Southwark
before the team went out to install the show. Sam Bompas told us
that the aim was to take tropes that are “low culture” and
“legitimise silly behaviours”. This is a theme that runs through a
lot of their work, whether it’s putting a boating lake made out of
a cocktail on the roof of Selfridges in London or creating
architectural jellies.


FUNLAND
FUNLANDNational Fairground Archive, University of Sheffield Library


“We wanted to apply a
similar theory to eroticised fairground architecture and find a way
to legitimise it,” he explains.

It hadn’t really occurred to Wired.co.uk that fairgrounds were
particularly erotic, but Bompas explains that “within living
memory” if you wanted to “hold hands and have a snog” you had to
find “spaces for transgression” (does the Hammersmith Palais
count?). A combination of thrill rides, sitting in pairs and the
spectacle of super-feminine and super-masculine people created this
exaggerated, fun eroticism. Toulmin provides the historical
context, as well as archive material relating to fairground
eroticism, including a 1920s fairground film advertisement, which
features an amateur porn shoot made by some of the fairground
workers on the end of the reel.

In addition to the breast bouncy castle (Jump for Joy) and the
mirror maze (Tunnel of Love), there is a climbing wall made out of
genitals (laid out by a professional climbing wall route setter); a
mechanical horse racing game which replaces the horses with
penises, and a cinema. The five pieces in the exhibition are
accompanied by a soundscape by Dom James, which Bompas describes as
“haunting and menacing but titillating”. Staff at the museum will
wear capes by fashion designer Tour de Force.

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The show opens at the Museum of Sex today (19 June).

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20 June 2014 | 3:40 pm – Source: wired.co.uk
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