With the Walker Cinema closed for renovation all of January, it appears the Out There Festival really is one of the few reasons to love living in Minneapolis during our tundra months. Out There opens with Young Jean Lee’s latest, Untitled Feminist Show (formerly Untitled Feminist Multimedia Technology Show), which workshopped at the New Museum last December and generated so much controversy that Young Jean Lee’s Theater Company has a word doc exceeding 100 pages with all the comments they received. The completed work has its world premiere here January 5-7, 2012, and it’s likely its reception will be just as effusive.
Even at the Walker, where nudity in live performance often finds a home (Naked and Choreographers’ Evening come to mind) Young Jean Lee’s new work caused a minor discussion in regards to marketing here: it was decided the best disclaimer is “this performance contains (a lot of) nudity,” but we just as easily could have said “this performance contains only nudity.” Eschewing text for choreography and music alone, Untitled Feminist Show is a different direction from Young Jean Lee’s previous work which has always maintained a script of some sort.
From workshop footage I’ve seen let’s say this piece takes the opposite approach to a Laura Mulvey-type organization (sublation) of visual pleasure and opts instead for a disorienting hypergaze of explosive spectacle. The completely naked provocation will probably be especially shocking as we arrive to the theater donned in our excessive layers of winter gear.
Besides the show, there is an also an opportunity to take a writing workshop with Young Jean Lee on Saturday January 7. As editor of the anthology New Downtown Now: An Anthology of Theater from Downtown New York and master class-teacher at NYU/Tisch and the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, this Inside Out There workshop will be a chance to generate some surprising new material under the guidance of of an avant-theater iconoclast.