Thursday, December 10, 2009


Untitled (Carnival)
A Statement written by Michael Thomas

Splayed on its back, a defenseless clown. Its guts facing the sky for all to see, this is, Untitled (Carnival). Duguid and Olson's latest in an ongoing collaboration exploring the edifice of comedy through prop, and antics. Pilfering methods handed down from Keaton, through Ball, then on to Burnett, there is this notion that comedy lives inside its bits and pieces. Duguid and Olson dig in, removing those lusty signifiers; the grease paint, and the shaving cream pies. Only to reassemble the remaining pieces-parts as a wonderfully original portmanteau, complete with verve and panache.

Here, they embrace space not as a constant but as a network of loosely tethered events and objects that demand immediacy. Making Untitled (Carnival), more of a meal with many colors than a practical guide to art as determinism. Our entree being, simultaneity served with suspension of action therein. They invite us to a tapas serving punchlines, zingers, and spoonerisms that encourage flights of reason and speculation without succumbing to the allure of their profundity as decadent nibbles.

This work, like its predecessors, the gag, the skit, and the routine, are all cobbled from ruthless calculations flirting with the banal. This certainly isn't the addled ravings of Johnny Cum Surrealist. Nor is it a dream landscape of hyper-sexual longing. Its also not self gratification served to you in a pint-sized mug for two bits, and a kick in the ass. Sure, Duguid and Olson revel in their rapport of coercion and sedition like gleaming twins beneath blue bonnets. But they're only re-imagining their copious reservoir of experiences, assembling the tools necessary to convey the brevity of something poignant and shared. In short, the tools of comedy appropriated for the purpose of aesthetic revelation, quantum insight, and RED HIGH HEELS.

Pronunciation: \pȯrt-ˈman-(ˌ)tō\
1 : a large suitcase
2 : a word or morpheme whose form and meaning are derived from a blending of two or more distinct forms (as smog from smoke and fog)

Pronunciation: \di-ˈtər-mə-ˌni-zəm, dē-\
a theory or doctrine that acts of the will, occurrences in nature, or social or psychological phenomena are causally determined by preceding events or natural laws

Pronunciation: \ˈspü-nə-ˌri-zəm\
Etymology: William A. Spooner †1930 English clergyman & educator
a transposition of usually initial sounds of two or more words (as in tons of soil for sons of toil)

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