Because we currently have no plans (there are no dance nights, music shows, cultural events, or trips to anticipate), we feel trapped in a perpetual present. But art is still happening, moving around us. This week the local filmmakers behind the new kung fu comedy The paper tigers (who I visited on set last year) released their first official trailer. The glamor of Cannes is incredible this year, but a preview of the film will be screened at the festival’s “shopper showcase” session.
Although in many ways we have pressed pause during this pandemic, creatives from the Northwest are not standing still. Take local artist Monyee Chau, who, as Crosscut reporter Margo Vansynghel reported this week, is creating posters, stickers, and comics to counter the surge in anti-Asian racism that emerged during COVID-19. Or illustrator of S’Klallam Jeffrey Veregge, whose new (yes, virtual) exhibition at Stonington Gallery reveals a distinctive “Salish geek” style that combines the Coast Salish format with pop culture classics. As Crosscut reporter Agueda Pacheco Flores notes in her artist profile, her new body of work is based on images from the Seattle World’s Fair, a time when, she says, “the minds and imaginations of the public were much happier. ” and hopeful disposition. “Creativity, he says,” had no restrictions. “
And it turns out that radical thinking is still going on in Downtown Seattle. Local rapper last week Raz Simone Host a live show for select fans in the parking lot outside Memorial Stadium. With the Space Needle rising from behind, he acted on joint pay booths for a small crowd watching from their cars. As The Seattle Times reported, there was no external amplification: Linked audiences automatically listened with headphones, on a stage similar to “drive-in dance” shows performed by local company LanDforms. Will this become a pandemic performance standard? (Tom Skerritt, playing the mayor of Seattle in Individual, rejects a proposed Supertrain, explaining: “People love their cars. “) The event was an innovative, although technically not allowed, way of recovering part of the culture we miss during these strange days.
We may not be able to dance in a knot of sweaty bodies, not for long. And we probably can’t use a community water jug anymore. But we can experience music, movement and movies together, albeit a little apart.