Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Reviewed in Brief: CAMPO "Still Standing You" with Walker's 'Out There' Series

Is this the post-modern gladiator?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: the Walker Art Center's annual "Out There" series is primed to make you think.

Take, for example, "Still Standing You," the second piece in this year's series. This show had everything you didn't know you needed. Witty, informal exposition? Check. Contortions and physical tricks? Check. Male nudity? Check. Males playing with each others foreskins? Check and check.

(And yes, you did read that last line right - there was a solid 5 minute sequence which the fully nude players spent crawling and contorting around each other in various positions without ever letting go of each other's *ahem* 'sheaths.' Don't go with your mom.)

Despite the off-putting nature of some of this interaction, I couldn't help but feel that "Still Standing You" was really an exercise in absolute relaxation: what happens when people fully let go of their societal constraints, allowing themselves to use their bodies as toys and with completely open minded exploration?

Viewed from that perspective, this show was a masterpiece in pure creativity. There is a little bit of every emotion to be found here; primal noises, violence, spoofs and humor, love, comfort, safety, and danger. If nothing else, it was a very different portrayal of male sexuality and friendship than I'm used to, and a refreshing one; if this is what social evolution means, I'm all for it.

As always, the Walker's "Out There" series is perfect for anyone who needs a jolt out of their comfortable artistic routine. Find more information about the series (which has several events left) by following this link.