Zone A Exhibition

Xerioscape, Whitney Block (north east corner of University Avenue and Grosvenor Street)

Meeky: The World's Strangest Little Boy, 2004 - 2008

Roy Kohn - Toronto, Canada

Multimedia Installation

The nature of the outsider, the capriciousness of history and the apparent desire to be deceived will be explored in an extravaganza of sights and sounds recreating the carnival sideshow world of Meeky, a human oddity who vanished in the late 1950s. There is virtually no physical evidence of Meeky's existence. All artifacts created for this project are based on conjecture, anecdotes and the very rare glimpse of a relic or writing in private collections. Digitally assembled photos fabricate moments in Meeky's life and drawings depicted in storybook format reflect the otherworldly aspects of this history. Also included will be mixed-media artifacts; a waxwork figure; sideshow banners; video interviews of the last great showmen and didactic material. The traveling carnival sideshow offers a transitory glimpse at a world of wonder. At night, the lights, the colours, attractions and sounds provoke expectations of alluring delights. The ephemeral nature is made dangerous by the allure of the unknown: the transient stranger; the exotic attractions; the freaks. Once we have paid, the tip is turned and we venture inside. We thrill at the lifting of taboo and we gawk without inhibition. The things, people and animals we see are not like us. They will be gone in the morning.

Parental guidance advised

Thank you to:
D. Hannan, A. W. Stencell, K. Vasyliw, The Ontario Arts Council