Hubert's Lure by Ellen Zweig

A Dime museum, an old-time freak show, and all of the elements that lure you in--the banners, the bearded lady, the backwards feet of the elastic man. "Hubert's Lure" is a tribute to the original Hubert's, which graced 42nd Street from 1925 to the 1960s. Using traditional elements (painted banners and the 18th century magician's illusion, Pepper's Ghost), as well as video projections and miniatures, "

Hubert's Lure" evokes a place where human deviance is valuable.

"Zweig says she was drawn to the freak show subject because she wanted to explore the notion of a 'very narrow band of normality' that she says nobody fits into. 'If the truth be known, we're all freaks together.'

"Her project involves a video image of an actress (Zweig) decked out as a bearded lady, which is projected into an actual doll house set. The image was choreographed to appear as if it is actually using elements of the set." ("Naughty, Bawdy, Guady Was Never Like This," Tagami, New York Newsday.)

"The Dime museum, probably invented by Barnum in 1841, was a museum of oddities. Modern social scientists and reformers, appalled at what they considered the degradation of human beings in the freak shows, saw these "strange" people as stigmatized, rejected and devalued. They medicalized deformity causing "freaks" to be locked up in the hospitals or special schools." (Ellen Zweig in original installation proposal.)

Artists' Biography

Ellen Zweig works in video, installation and performance, She has shown her work in Europe, Australia and the U.S., most recently at PS 1, Art in General and the New Mexico Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe. She has a permanent installation at the Exploratorium in San Francisco and her collaborative piece, "Critical Mass," was at the List Center for the Visual Arts at MIT, Cambridge, in October 1994.

History of the Site