Jaime Carrera goes abstract at Public Functionary


Performance artist Jaime Carrera is taking a new direction for his latest show, Neither. Stepping away from his “Terrible” series, and subsequent provocative in-your-face-type performance, Carrera is moving toward abstraction.

While the work that has dance in it, he wouldn’t call it dance. Carrera is calling the show a performance-art concert in order to distinguish what he’s doing from the Twin Cities modern-dance scene, which often gets interpreted as performance art. “I kind of wanted to make a distinction,” he says.

Carrera has created the sound score for the evening-length piece, as well as the costumes, so all of the different elements are informing each other.

“Instead of writing a complete score and then making a piece around that, I decided to start building everything at the same time and going back and forth between that,” he says. “It’s all very symbiotic.”

For Neither, Carrera is stepping out of the comfort zone of familiarity. He's a performer who is known for his provocation. The second part of his “Terrible” series, titled Cheesus, featured a Christ figure and a ton of ketchup and mustard spewed all over the SOO local gallery, while his more recent work at Patrick's Cabaret's Culture Wars Cabaret started a bit of a firestorm over his use of black makeup (see the venue’s statement about it here, and Carrera’s response here).

Carrera is moving away from making work that’s so politically charged. “That’s becoming boring to me,” he says. “I want to make a piece that is made up fantasy.”


Unlike his previous work, which usually has had some kind of message, Neither is more intangible. “I’m not preaching and I’m not getting on a soapbox,” he says. “I was more interested in the rival experience, where I’m thinking about sound and the visuals and ambiance as opposed to telling a story or or giving a clear-cut message.”

Drawing on aspects of his personal life, Carrera says he’s giving himself permission to create something not so easily explainable. “Normally, I would have an issue with that, but I feel like I’m opening up a new chapter. I’m giving myself more freedom. I’m letting myself be unclear if I want to be unclear.”

In other words, “I’m allowed to think in abstract ways and be okay with it,” he says.

Neither will be performed on the last night of Nerve Burner: A Three-Day Multidisciplinary Experience, an event that PBR is sponsoring at Public Functionary. After opening last night with interactive art by Rogue Citizen, the festival continues tonight with a party featuring music by Bloodnstuff and What Tyrants, interspersed with visuals by Matt Visionquest. Carrera’s performance closes out the weekend, with a performance piece featuring Bobbi Gass, Akiko Ostlund, and Jacob Schlichting.



8 p.m. Saturday, August 22 (doors at 7 p.m.)


Public Functionary

1400 12th Ave. NE, Minneapolis