It’s 7 p.m. You’re out for a night on the town. You grow a little wary when you reach your destination — a waterfront warehouse that you enter along with 19 other guests through an old rusted door. Your hosts guide you to an uncomfortably small, harshly-lit room where impersonal Muzak is playing.
You make awkward conversation — and wait.
Suddenly, your hosts dramatically lift the ceiling and push down one of the walls of the stifling room, and in front of you is a welcoming clearing replete with grass, trees, stumps and several picnic baskets.
This was the opening installment of the performance art piece “Inside, Outside, Above, Below,” presented by Portland artist Aaron T. Stephan and his partner Lauren Fensterstock.
It is indicative of Stephan’s desire to not only create art, but art that is immersive and transcends traditional confines, creating dialogues and starting conversations.