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ShanTy

The art shanty exhibit I experienced last Saturday really gave me a look into a whole new world. Not only was I walking on a frozen lake (which is something I don’t really do in the desert in New Mexico over winter break) but also the variety in creativity that I was surrounded by really made me appreciate the time all of these artists put into their work. I found myself walking around in an environment that switched from live theater to dancing bodies all the way to silent and holy confessions.
I absolutely loved the idea of the maps shanty because it showed all of the places of bad break ups (with blue pins people had stuck in the area of broken hearts) because it oppositely decorated the feeling and wholesomeness of true love on Valentines Day. Although there were couples seeming to skip to and from a shanty here to a shanty there, the slightly buzzed people half dancing outside their dance shanty were all pretty excited to see all four of us dressed in Minnesota tennis gear. The closer we walked toward this shanty I began to hear the following comment: “Nothing like the entire Gopher tennis team to get a freakin’ Dance PARTY started up in here!”
Feeling slightly embarrassed by our matching apparel, I decided to take part in the fun they were all having, so I took some pictures inside, hoping to get a few good shots of motion. There were three people in there just having the best time. It was so simple, there wasn’t much up inside of there at all, I loved the idea of appreciating the simplicity of a good time. As long as there is a space that is warm and we can’t slip on, why not throw a dance party up in here and our bodies will be the creativity. LOVED IT
On the other hand, the live performance was also something that I really enjoyed last weekend because of two things: 1. This is what I heard when I stepped inside coming from the performers on stage: “Man I love my whiskey and I love my gin, but the way I love my coke is a goddamn sin…” 2. The seats for the audience in the shanty were such a great addition to the feel I got to the theatre shanty.
After a few moments I realized I was basically sitting on an elderly ladies lap and decided to let her enjoy the rest of the performance while I went to visit the church like shanty next.
The confessions that were stuck on the side of this shanty were so unique, emotional, hilarious, sincere, unusual and honest. It was so interesting to see what it was that people thought of writing in that moment, during their visit at this shanty. There was something quite liberating about telling the rest of the future visitors a little something about yourself that you wouldn’t necessarily tell anyone that you personally knew. I felt connected with so many thoughts, concerns, worries, emotions and mistakes that were scribbled on a scratch piece of paper. It made me realize that I am not the only crazy one in the world. Take that as you please.
But, it also made me realize that it is a lot easier to write a confession out rather than verbally project it. Or is it? Say if you know that the person that is going to know this thought that you are confessing in this very moment will be someone that you will never meet or see, could you possibly record yourself confessing something either on a recording or a video? Makes me think of how personal someone’s voice can be even if you have no idea who they are or have the slightest clue as to what interests them or makes them who they are. I don’t think I could… I liked writing it down in silence.
On the other hand, I also got a sense of who the person was through distinct characteristics in their writing, just seemed as though their confession, in some weird way went with their penmanship or jot style of writing. Some people seemed like they live a stressful and rushed life and had more of a scribble that expressed their troubles, rather than a “clean” and neatly written down thought or concern. Seemed as though the people who wished bad things upon other people had an angry style of writing, and I am happy they finally got what they were feeling in that moment off their mind. I feel as though they are more relaxed about the bothersome idea of whatever it was that they jotted down, only because I know I do.
I could not have spent a better Valentines Day on a frozen lake; connecting with other crazily enraged and stressed people. I feel better about the way my mind works.