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The Fair

The Fair

The fair

Research centre

Art and Design Research Centre


2m 47s

Fairs as we know them today emerged from the need to have an organised system for the trading and bartering of surplus material, a defining pattern of modern civilisation. With these trading fairs came a cross-fertilising of different cultures, and an imperative for joy and festivity. The pleasure fair became integral to the trading fair, a time of both importance and social release.

As trading in the market and festival driven fashion declined, with the advent of department stores, the associated joy and festivity, the sense of detachment and dreaming of the pleasure fair survived as a social need. Showmen had adapted to the situation and in many ways shaped their own destiny by cleverly creating a blueprint for thrills and the transformation of time and space.

The Fairground Archive - The University of Sheffield

Filmed from the quiet edges of a city centre car park The Fair documents the rotating arm of fairground ride appearing and then disappearing behind old industrial buildings and the John Lewis department store, as the arm rotates we hear the people on the ride screaming.

The Fair is touring as part of the One Minutes Volume 7 curated by Kerry Baldry.

Researchers involved

Rose Butler - Senior Lecturer in Fine Art

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