2019 was the year of death. We waved goodbye to the beloved characters of film franchises like Star Wars and Marvel, mourned the loss of real life heroes, and said farewell to the 2010s. But now is the time to be reborn with iron clad resolutions for the new year, and what better resolution than to seek out the freshest art of the decade?
At Seattle Art Museum there's Into Existence, an exhibit all about giving new life to the items America discards and using them to express the stories America tells. Witness security gates, afro wigs, and car parts weave together and form into the ideas and dreams of artist Aaron Fowler in the shape of cultural icons and personal figures. If you're left craving a different mix of history and creativity, check out author Isabel Allende and dive into her book A Long Petal of the Sea at Town Hall Seattle. Using the story of two refugees fleeing a fascist Spain in the 1930s to explore motifs of oppression, exile, and hope, this event is sure to please any fans of historical fiction. If you're still looking for that perfect mixture of education and entertainment, then Jaha Koo: Cuckoo at On the Boards might be what you're looking for. It analyses the rocky history of Korea over the past 20 years and the isolationism that currently grips the population through the commentary of a South Korean artist and his three rice cookers.
Or maybe you’re seeking out historical art featuring a different part of Eurasia. Look no further than ArtsWest’s The Revolutionists, a play about a quartet of fierce women during the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror. Another work of art smothered in historical conflict is Babylon, showing at Northwest Film Forum. Telling the story of a black musician struggling against racial tension in South London, it premiered in France in 1980, but was so explosive it went unreleased in the US. If you're searching for more tales of black empowerment in art this season, also check out Showing Out: Contemporary Black Choreographers presented by the Central District Forum for Arts and Ideas. Curated by Dani Tirrell, this show has a whole host of black choreographers eager to express black excellence through the medium of dance. And finally, if you’re looking for a more sobering piece of art via one of the most talented authors to date, consider checking out Carmen Maria Machado at Seattle Arts and Lectures. With her new book In The Dream House she explores powerful topics of abuse and psychology, and her insight is not something you want to miss. Is your New Year’s resolution to see more dance? Check out XPRESS at Whim W’Him, featuring the work of three critically acclaimed choreographers.
Is your 2020 going miserably already, and you just want some art to commiserate? We feel you. Which is why we’re checking out A Sequence of Wretched Events at Jet City Improv, a full length production told in the style of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events.
So ditch the glasses and contacts, because we finally have 2020 vision!