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Bubbles ‘n Boxes ‘n Beyond

 

  • Exhibition

  • February 16 - June 17, 2001
  • MASS MoCA

Bubbles ‘n’ Boxes ‘n’ Beyond, was an exhibition of fourteen comic artists from Switzerland, Canada, and the United States who used comics to shock, delight, amuse, and entertain while providing serious social commentary. This witty walk on the dark side took comic strips beyond their traditional two-dimensional form as the artists created complete installations in three dimensions. The installation, a network of plastic corridors, corrugated channels, and altered partitions through which the audience could weave from one artist’s work to the next, was radically inventive, recalling the “cells” of a comic strip.

The centerpiece of the exhibit was an installation called La Grande Famiglia, created by Thomas Ott and Daniel Affolter. Ott’s scratchboard portraits of sinister family members adorned the walls of an eloquently offensive apartment, inhabited by a fictitious maturing Mafioso named Marcello La Lupara.

Julie Doucet’s intimate portraits, German Lessons, featured women and amputees who sit surreal in everyday settings surrounded by hand-scrawled German text. The funhouse also included Karoline Schreiber’s supine canvas comics, Judith Zaugg’s boxes of light, Richard McGuire’s revolving mobile of panels, and Helge Reumann’s pop-up circus carts, submarines, and police wagons. Carrie Golus draws adolescent narratives awash in a mix of simple and ill thoughts, with titles like She’s Hideously Ugly, while Kevin Pyle’s political cartoons refer to a covert medical program.

Thomas Ott and Daniel Affolter, La Grande Famiglia

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