Apocalypse Anxiety, the Musical
Imminent annihilation plausibly threatening contemporary life as we know it, isn’t usually a subject for popular genres like musical theater — at least it hasn’t been since the Cold War. Yet, when facing the possibility of climate change catastrophe, A.I. apocalypse and nuclear incineration, what is more relatable than multidimensional permacrisis?
At the List Visual Arts Center, a museum for contemporary art within the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, the multimedia and internet culture artist Lex Brown clocks the psychic tenor of ambient daily doom with her latest exhibition, “Carnelian.” As a 60-minute musical video unspools on four billboard-size screens in the darkened space of one of the museum’s salons, the show rides the emotional roller coaster of life under constant threat of demise, ruminating on the fraying of society’s collective nerves — through song.
A sci-fi tale told in a prologue and three acts, “Carnelian” follows three characters in a bunker — Orachrysops (Najee Duwon), Necyria (Ciani Barclay) and Bicyclus (Mya Drew Flood)…