Out There Festival

In Performance: Philippe Quesne/Vivarium Studio – La Melancolie des Dragons (Out There Festival)

La Melancolie des Dragons Philippe Quesne/Vivarium Studio Walker Art Center A group of long-haired metalheads sits in a stalled vintage Citroën in a wintery forest. They fiddle with the car radio, share snacks, and chat under cover of blasting music. Then arrives their friend Isabelle, a wise Snow White figure to the metalheads’ seven dwarves. After determining (through inspection and tinkering) that their Citroën won’t be going anywhere tonight, she asks the stranded metalheads to pass the time by demonstrating the attractions of the amusement park they are developing. Here, Philippe Quesne’s penchant for using simple tools to create surreal images shines. The would-be amusement park creators display each attraction for Isabelle, often calling her away from the previous one like a child e...

In Performance: Okwui Okpokwasili – Poor People’s TV Room (Out There Festival)

Poor People’s TV Room Okwui Okpokwasili Walker Art Center (Out There Festival) As in 2014’s Bronx Gothic, Okwui Okpokwasili is in motion before the audience enters the space. In fact, all four performers (Okpokwasili, Thuli Dumakude, Katrina Reid, and Nehemoyia Young) are already present and in motion. A large sheet of plastic stretches across the stage, separating Okpokwasili from the rest of the group, and blurring her image, as if she is a ghost or a spirit. Unseen forces are a recurring theme in this work. Though Okpokwasili names two events from Nigeria’s history as influences (The Women’s War of 1929, and the Bring Back Our Girls movement sparked in response to mass kidnappings), this source material is not addressed directly or literally. The four women seem to spin through ti...

In Performance: Faye Driscoll – Thank You For Coming: Play (Out There Festival)

Thank You For Coming: Play Faye Driscoll Walker Art Center (Out There Festival) “The book of the show is not yet written,” Faye Driscoll intones as she welcomes a small group of audience members onto the stage. The show’s interactive opening sequence has the feel of a ritual: the performers sit chanting in a clean, gallery-esque space, surrounded by neatly-arrayed props and costumes. Audience members are invited to stand around an altar-like table and to contribute a word or two to be used later in the performance. Since this operation, completed in small groups, takes a not insignificant amount of time, spectators can relax into the cycle of chanting and watch the precise, repetitive tableaux created by performers as they move from their separate squares to pose at the front of the stage....