“We’re not mere spectators, or a cosmic accident, or some sideshow, or the Greek chorus to the main event. The human experience IS the main event.” Terence McKenna

The Sideshow is the much anticipated new series from The International Collaboration Project duo Deb Young (New Zealand) and Francisco Diaz (USA), designed to usher the viewer to a fictitious seaside carnival, where the notion of the sideshow acts as a metaphor for the human condition. We view ourselves bathed in the amusement park experience where consumption, excitation, fun and desire are the driving motivations, all as storm clouds surround and threaten the ongoing festivities. Focused on their involvement in the amusement park experience, the participants either ignore or pay no mind to the approaching storm.

The Sideshow series places the viewer squarely in the action and offers the photographic form some interesting new ideas. Experimenting with cinematic/literary devices such as flashback and flashforward, Diaz and Young transfer those methods to the world of photography, prompting further engagement with the viewer.

This forward-thinking use of such techniques as flashback and flashforward by the duo in the medium of photography, posits that the images in these groupings can work either as separate, minor subplots or as chunks that can be shifted to create different narrative interpretations.

Their play with time relationships can also present images as happening at the same time but from different viewpoints. Because of this independent modularity, time, in The Sideshow, is shown to be flexible, not simply sequential – much like memory recall of an exciting experience.

Diaz and Young’s The Sideshow series suggests that life may be an illusion, created by our conditioning to buffer the dualities of pleasure and pain we encounter.  “… what we call reality is in fact nothing more than a culturally sanctioned and linguistically reinforced hallucination.” Terence McKenna

About the authors:

Deb Young was born in 1963. She lives and works in New Zealand as a photographer. Young’s passion for photography came to life when she was given the opportunity to work behind the scenes on the publication of New Zealand Photography Magazine.

Francisco Diaz was born in the U.S. of Cuban-Spanish heritage in 1962. His zeal for fine art digital photography started about 10 years ago when his close friend Raymond Helfrich persuaded him to explore the world through a digital camera.

The duo, also known as The International Collaboration Project, has been published by Hi-Fructose, Musee Magazine, Feature Shoot, PH Magazine, F-Stop Magazine, the Eye of Photography, Creative Boom, Lenswork, amongst many more, along with prestigious books such as “Fossils of Light + Time”.

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