Cathy McClure

A creepy little circus, Cathy McClure's strobe-lit Midway may induce seizures. Periodically, however, the stroboscope stops and the gallery lights go up, and you can approach the carousel more safely. (While spinning, there's also a zoetrope shadow cast on the wall.) The poor pachyderm menagerie, when halted, bears closer inspection: These sad little beasts, rendered in metal and cast-off bits of plastic, somewhat resemble the abused daycare center toys of Toy Story 3. They could be failed prototypes from the Mattel factory; there's a mutant quality that can be seen more clearly on a nearby wall display of McClure's other intentionally misshapen creations (or "bots," as she calls them). Kids will want to touch the little Frankenstein playthings, some with battery controllers, but don't let them. Most are headless and vaguely monstrous, as if the cute furry exterior of a toy were shaved off to reveal the hidden plastic workings. Other pieces (under glass) suggest silver-plated mechanized animals, including a chicken with a salt-shaker face. Like the nearby elephants and hippo, McClure's little creatures seem consigned to sad lives of servitude and bondage, free to roam only in the circus ring, and otherwise never let out of their cages. BRIAN MILLER

Fridays, 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Starts: May 26. Continues through Jan. 22, 2011

 
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