New York City-based artist Tara Homasi's phantasmagoric vision is a "distanced proximity" she literally carved out from a 1991 hardcover photo book called The Circle of Life: Rituals from the Human Family Album. The Circus required hundreds of sharp blades and months of labor to be scratched out of and into the glossy pages of the source book.
Homasi writes in the introduction: "I started The Circus to cope with an episode of what I call 'the aquarium.' A state of being separated from the world by some transparent and impenetrable substance. A state of being disconnected from everything. Frightened by the distance, in the aquarium, I witness everything quite clearly while being absolutely incapable of making any connection to what I observe from behind the glass, let alone taking any action. The Circus became a way for me to act on that clarity and inscribe it somewhere in the world outside of the aquarium, which also functioned as a way to reconnect...This excavation of images and language is a way of seeing through one layer of the world into another. Language is my second language, imagery is my first. When I combine the two, I connect to the world."
The Circus is co-published by Publication Studio and Pinsapo Press. Pinsapo editor Miriam Atkin writes in her introduction: "This book makes its debut in a world questing to remember what makes us humans different from each other. We no longer live contained in separate geographic domains filled with distinct and bounded regional ways of being. The time and space between us has liquified into a gargantuan pool of hardly differentiated stuff. Is this a universality that we want?"
PRAISE FOR THE CIRCUS
"As a continuous narrative, the text carries the reader from page to page quite quickly. The images flash into the reader’s subconscious like the dreams and memories they pair with. Focus on the images though, and the text fragments into cryptic captions. The book merits both approaches; each of its complex images would hold their own on a gallery wall, and the text is varied but cohesive."