Kenneth Tam: Cold Open

The Minneapolis Institute of Art quietly unveiled these three video works on the Saturday before Christmas. In “The compression is not subservient to the explosion; it gives it increased force” (2011), the New York artist orchestrates a relationship between himself and a man he met online — except the man is inside a cardboard box, with holes carved for his arms. The viewer never sees him. Together they negotiate boundaries and consent, two types of conversations we don’t usually see played out between men (sexual or otherwise). In “sump” (2015), Tam and his father play with created rituals, from painting circles on each other’s bellies to blowing up balloons. Their shared physicality reveals more about their relationship than dialogue could. “Breakfast in Bed” (2016), a 32-minute video that only screens on Thursday and Sundays, explores the group and performative dynamics of masculinity as a social construct. Tam will visit the museum for a talk at 6:30 p.m. Jan. 18 with curator Gabriel Ritter. (10 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Wed. & Sat.-Sun., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Thu.-Fri. Ends April 8. 2400 3rd Av. S., Mpls. new.artsmia.org or 1-888-642-2787.)

ALICIA ELER