On Procession: Exhibition 

Three and a half stars
Indianapolis Museum of Art

On Procession is a two-part project. Part one was a delightful, interactive art parade — a Happening — held April 26 in Indianapolis’ Fountain Square. Part two: an exhibition of contemporary, parade-themed artwork in IMA’s Forefront Galleries. Heavy on video, the museum exhibition is largely documentary footage of processionals, most performed or choreographed by artists, and related costumes and artifacts. Included is documentation of the Fountain Square parade. Amy O’Neill’s “Chain Links” stands alone as a wall-propped sculpture made with brightly colored vinyl parade float pomps and plywood cut into stacked, ring forms that look like heads in a crowd or symbolic emblems. O’Neill uses the history of parade materials to create new dialogues. So how does an actual parade differ from a display about parades? As a spectator of both, my level of participation changed to a passive role within the galleries’ walls. The gallery setting brought a new sense of scale and awareness to Allison Smith’s large-size wooden pull toys, “The Donkey, The Jackass, and the Mule,” which debuted in the Indianapolis art parade. But Paul McCarthy’s video footage of a parade he staged at the Haus der Kunst in Munich, Germany — one camera was mounted on a spinning wagon wheel — made me feel, although dizzy, like I was experiencing the moment and motion of a parade. Through Aug. 10. 923-1331, www.onprocession.org,  www.imamuseum.org.

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