After the fireworks of July 4, St Patricks’ day is probably the noisiest holiday in Minneapolis, full of college kids loudly partying their brains—and stomachs—out. The Yes!Lets Collective is trying something different at photographer Wing Young Huie’s Third Place gallery in a performance/show called “Light/Dark.”
The whole show is built around isolating the senses, and in so doing, figuring out how to process the show with and without your fellow audience members. For 15 minutes, the audience will be asked to explore in silence works of art from four local artists affiliated with the collective. If you think you’d be weirded out by the thought of being stuck in a room with many other people, and not able to interact with them verbally, that’s the point, said collective member Ashley Hanson.
“We want to encourage that uncomfortableness,” she said. “I hope it will raise some valuable questions: If you didn’t like it, why, or did it make you uncomfortable?”
“Maybe it will even open up bigger social questions about whey we feel the need to be constantly looking at our phones,” she added.
After 15 minutes, the audience will be taken to the gallery’s blacked-out lower floor in two shifts, to experience a 20-minute acoustic piece composed by Yes!Lets members. Again, said collective member Brian Laidlaw, the idea is to focus your attention all on one sensation.
“We’re trying to get people to interact with our music differently. All of our songwriters are very lyric-intensive and their music is very word-driven,” he said. “I don’t usually give myself the chills, but our rehearsals have been amazing to hear.”
Individual voices and instruments suddenly materialize out of the blackness, he said, creating interesting surprises, and emphasizing different elements of the music depending on where in the room you stand. Without being able to see others' reactions, you're left to react to the music on your own.
The performance will be followed by a question-and-answer session with the artists, and a ping-pong and karaoke-filled party.
“As we get older, we don’t get opportunities to really try new stuff. No-one forces you get on a zip line like they did at summer camp,” Laidlaw said.
“We hope this interactive piece will inspire other people to create,” added Hanson. “Art isn’t this big scary thing that you can’t take part in. Hopefully, the deprivation could spark something.”
Light/Dark begins promptly at 7 p.m.