Christian Jankowski, Puppet Conference, 2003, still from a color video, 26 minutes.


“The Puppet Show”

Honolulu Museum of Art Spalding House
2411 Makiki Heights Drive
September 5–November 23, 2008

ICA - Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
Bergamot Station G1 2525 Michigan Avenue
May 16–August 9, 2008

Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania
University of Pennsylvania 118 South 36th Street
January 18–March 30, 2008

Curated by Carin Kuoni and Ingrid Schaffner

Close on the heels of Team America and Avenue Q, an unlikely puppet-art zeitgeist seemed to be dawning a few years back when marionettes, dolls, and dummies made star turns in works by Christian Jankowski, Philippe Parreno and Rirkrit Tiravanija, and Pierre Huyghe (who cast this writer as a bobblehead manikin). Each of these projects makes a command performance in this show of some forty works made since 1973, alongside contributions by Nathalie Djurberg, Kara Walker, and twenty-one others. Citing Alfred Jarry's 1896 play Ubu Roi as their touchstone, curators Carin Kuoni and Ingrid Schaffner look beyond the use of actual puppets to related artworks exploring themes of the alter ego, miniaturization, and control. Travels to the Santa Monica Museum of Art, CA, May 16–Aug.9; Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, Sept. 5–Nov. 23; and other venues.