Home | Profile - Edit | Your Page | Your Inbox Browse | Search Games   |   Log In


packaged together with sounds
For all systems. To play, you'll need a TADS 2 Interpreter - visit tads.org for interpreter downloads.
packaged together with sounds
Windows Application (Windows 98 and later)
original competition entry, not packaged with sounds
For all systems. To play, you'll need a TADS 2 Interpreter - visit tads.org for interpreter downloads.
Author's notes
Sound file
Sound file
Sound file
Sound file
Zip file containing scans of the original feelies, including an obituary clipping, invitation to the exhibition, and guide to the references in the paintings.
(Compressed with ZIP. Free Unzip tools are available for most systems at www.info-zip.org.)

Have you played this game?

You can rate this game, record that you've played it, or put it on your wish list after you log in.

Playlists and Wishlists

RSS Feeds

New member reviews
Updates to downloadable files
All updates to this page


by Ian Finley

Slice of life

(based on 22 ratings)
1 member review

About the Story

"The Hartman Gallery extends their invitation to an exhibition of Anatoly Domokov's "American Paintings." Who draws the line between art and life? HTML enhanced." [--blurb from Competition '99]

Game Details

Language: English (en)
Current Version: 2.1
License: Shareware
Development System: TADS 2
Baf's Guide ID: 311
IFIDs:  TADS2-0E7CEA71355019CDD9C9B4D960AE634C
TUID: ruaersctvvr7t6vh


Nominee, Best Writing; Nominee, Best Individual NPC; Nominee, Best Individual PC - 1999 XYZZY Awards

5th Place - 5th Annual Interactive Fiction Competition (1999)

Editorial Reviews

Baf's Guide

Closer to static fiction than a game, but still a masterfully done work, Exhibition tells the story of an artist through four people--his wife, a critic, a boy, and a student--exploring the gallery where his paintings are hanging, shortly after he's committed suicide. You play all of the characters; you can switch back and forth between them whenever you want, and the way you go through the story--whether you view all of the paintings as one character before you go on to the next character, or view one painting as all four characters, or some combination--is likely to affect how you experience the story, since the various takes on the artist have very little in common. The writing is terrific; each of the characters has a distinctive voice, and what they say about the artist illuminates them as much as it does the artist. The major drawback, however, is that the interactivity aspect is minimal; there's very little to do other than look at each painting through each set of eyes, meaning that the story doesn't really have any sort of pace; if the player finds the whole thing somewhat distancing, as some have, that may be why. Still, it's an intriguing experiment. There's background music as well--Mussorgsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition," natch--though some have elected to turn it off, since it does get repetitive after a while.

-- Duncan Stevens

[...] the depth of characterization is highly unusual for IF, and it struck me along the way that I would find it genuinely entrancing if I sensed that understanding the character would somehow lead me to understand something, accomplish something--even within the game. Exhibition, in other words, may be significant more for what it could lead to--development of a particular character in order to move a story--than for the story it actually tells, where the trials and tribulations of the artist are the plot.
-- Duncan Stevens
See the full review

>VERBOSE -- Paul O'Brian's Interactive Fiction Page

Exhibition is a game of absences. It has no plot. It also has no puzzles, at least not in the way we're used to thinking about puzzles. There are no takeable objects whatsoever in the game, and most of the action consists of standing around examining things. What it does not lack, however, is quality. It's a masterwork of storytelling, creating a spellbinding narrative from spaces inbetween. I loved it.
See the full review


- View the most common tags (What's a tag?)
(Log in to add your own tags)

Member Reviews

5 star:
4 star:
3 star:
2 star:
1 star:
Average Rating:
Number of Reviews: 1
Write a review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
A puzzle-less game in the 'shocking confessional' style of fiction, February 3, 2016
This game has no puzzles whatsoever, which is not necessarily a drawback. Games like Galatea and Aisle have shown that such things can be done effectively.

The game consists of an art gallery where four different characters can view 12 different paintings. Each person has a different take on the painting, and often you can discover the 'true meaning' of a painting from one character and not the other.

The game shows how art is partly the author and partly the viewer, and how the viewer creates art as it observes it. In this respect, it reminds me a lot of "Creatures such as we" by Lynnea Glasser.

I didn't enjoy the genre of the tale, though. It has the breathy, shocking, Schadenfreude feeling that's so popular. Books like the Kite Runner or Mudbound or other books where the characters have horrible or depressing secrets and it all comes together to a kind of gritty 'determination to live despite all' don't entice me. The story did not move me, which I found disappointing, considering that I'm a big fan of Ian Finley's work.

If you enjoyed Exhibition...

Related Games

Other members recommend these games for people who like Exhibition, or gave both high ratings:

Ribbons, by J. D. Berry
Average member rating: (6 ratings)

Thanksgiving, by Hannah Powell-Smith
Average member rating: (10 ratings)
You're twenty-one. It's dark in here. Thanksgiving is a story game about being an anxious student with secrets, meeting your boyfriend's folks for the first time. And being Judged. Play in your browser on most devices.

Stone Cell, by Steve Kodat
Average member rating: (6 ratings)

Suggest a game

Recommended Lists

Exhibition appears in the following Recommended Lists:


The following polls include votes for Exhibition:

Once More, With Feelies by Ghalev
I'm polling to learn of modern (post-commercial-era) IF that revels in the tradition of providing additional documentation & related materials which are evocative and deepen your enjoyment of the game. What games have gone that extra...

Artistic Games by WriterBob
I'm interested in games that take the fiction of IF to new levels. These are not straightforward, plot driven games. Think instead of games that play like poetry, or games that focus on a character's revelation.

Autonomic narration by Artran
I'd like to discover more games like Photopia, Rameses or Glass, in which the narration is rather independent on a player, and in which the interaction is somewhat limited because of strong characterisation and lack of real puzzles. In...

See all polls with votes for this game


This is version 8 of this page, edited by Edward Lacey on 19 April 2013 at 6:07pm. - View Update History - Edit This Page - Add a News Item