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Continued: Tales from Alec Soth's Camp Awkward

  • Article by: MARY ABBE , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 17, 2013 - 2:23 PM

Show and tell

Like many camps, the SCSAS ended with a variety show and dance, held Saturday night at the Soap Factory, a shabby-chic Minneapolis art venue near the Mississippi River. The place was packed. Several campers admitted to having imbibed a bit (gin-and-tonics were mentioned) to loosen up before stepping into the spotlight to share their week’s work via narrated slide shows.

Spiced with an R&B soundtrack and a little Elvis, the two-hour event carried the crowd through a visual and emotional farrago of riveting stories and weird performances.

They empathized with the financial anxieties that inspired Tara Wray, the Vermont filmmaker-mom, to interview people about possible careers in bank robbery, and were stunned by the raw honesty of Jeff Barnett-Winsby’s ambiguous tale about a rapist grandfather. They were amused by the strange things that Minnesotans told Venezuelan “immigrant” Diana Rangel she should do to fit in here, and entranced by the love stories Elaine Bleakney elicited from strangers.

In musings about time, Brad Farwell started with images of a car, and Adam Forrester tracked down sites seen on old postcards. Shy-girl Warner had everyone chuckling over her clever story about the time-warp sex fantasies of 19th-century painter Édouard Manet.

As the crowd cut loose afterward, a visibly euphoric Soth said, “I felt like the teacher who assigned a 700-page novel Tuesday and they wrapped it up on Thursday. Wow!”

 

Mary Abbe • 612-673-4431



 

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