A special performance involving the intersection of film and music is coming to the Wexner Center for the Arts as musical duo Princess will perform “Out There,” a sci-fi feminist rock opera presenting live music and a film projection, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday.
Princess, composed of Alexis Gideon and Michael O’Neill, is a multidisciplinary art collaboration that explores misogyny of modern-day life when applied to the future.
“They are both on stage playing electronic instruments and singing while at the same time, there’s a film going on in the background,” David Filipi, director of film and video at the Wexner Center, said. “It’s funny, and given the subject matter, there’s quite a bit of social commentary that a person can take away after they’re done seeing it.”
Gideon said the performance is about Princess leaving Earth in search of a new world where toxic misogyny doesn’t exist.
“The narrative follows this fictitious version of Princess in the future and they, full of hubris, go out trying to solve the problem of misogyny in our culture,” Gideon said. “They have a lot of missteps, and what’s revealed is that they really need to be passive and supportive allies, as opposed to thinking they can solve this issue.”
Filipi said the performance is a view of culture through the lens of repressive misogyny and how women deal with “this kind of toxic atmosphere” on a day-to-day basis.
“In a very indirect, playful way, it’s kind of examining men’s role in all of that and if there are any ways that they can counter that,” Filipi said.
The piece was inspired by the #MeToo movement and the 2017 Women’s March, which Gideon and O’Neill attended in D.C.
“About three-quarters of the way done with making the music for ‘Out There,’ we realized it felt like a narrative and that it was really being informed by everything that was going on politically,” Gideon said. “We realized the narrative was this examination of masculinity in this intense moment of a reckoning of how misogynistic our culture is.”
Gideon said that the performance is open-ended for a purpose — he hopes viewers can interpret their own understanding. Gideon said it is an immersive experience that is different for every person, and that it is important for all art to be open for anyone to bring their own experience to the works.
“I think this piece looks inward at how we treat each other, especially how women are treated in our culture with things as subtle and basic as women get interrupted far more often than men get interrupted,” Gideon said. “Even something small like that as a takeaway to examine how we behave in our own communities and to people around us.”
Admission is $8 for the general public and $6 for members, students and seniors.