It’s been two years since the fiercely committed, high-impact Seattle performance artists Implied Violence have presented here in town, and they’ve returned with a splash. Catch them Saturday (Oct. 9) as they inaugurate “Yes and More and Yes and Yes and Why” — curator Robin Held’s inspired exhibition of their disquieting stagecraft and methodology — with a five-hour performance of sound and motion and kinetic sculpture in the echoey chamber of the Frye Art Museum’s reflecting pool.
Japanese Butoh-style stillness and repetition, spinning and falling from Shaker rituals, and the cool, obsessive feel of mad laboratory science come together to indescribable effect when Implied Violence perform. Their upward trajectory (Robert Wilson’s Watermill colony in 2008, the donaufestival in 2010) continues with a planned trip to New York’s Guggenheim Museum next spring.
Be forewarned: This is a troupe that also uses powerful manipulations — body blows, ether, extreme exertion, sleep deprivation, leeches, bloodletting — to faciliate ecstatic states of ritual and expand dramatic time. This methodology is captured in photographs, video, and installations of torture devices displayed inside the gallery exhibits (which run Oct. 9 through Jan. 2).
The otherworldliness and carnality of Implied Violence blend exquisitely with the museum’s other debut opening, “Séance: Albert von Keller and the Occult.” The first U.S. solo exhibition of works by Keller (1844–1920), a founding member of the Munich Secession (1892), these dark, probing paintings capture women in states of trance, catalepsy, stigmata and crucifixion.
Check the Frye’s website for a slew of talks and special events related to these two exhibits.
If you go: “Yes and More and Yes and Yes and Why,” 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 9), Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., Seattle, (206) 622-9250. Admission to all Frye exhibits is free.