REVIEW: Out There: A Performance by art duo Princess

There is a distinct difference between natural weirdness and the sort that is manufactured. Entitling an album “Out There” is far too self-realizing a move to truly belong to the former distinction. Things can be disastrous in cases like these, and unfortunately Princess’ performance veered quite drastically into the side of inorganic. This is not to say that there was no value in their work; quite the opposite, the intentional obscurity of meaning, though cringeworthy, was useful in forcing me to figure my own ideas about what I was seeing and hearing.

A concept album seems perhaps the wrong medium for what these two are doing. There is simply a lot going on, and their work suffers as a result.  They have a good sense of rhythm and tune (especially the flow of the rapping sections), but whatever their flat choreography was supposed to be doing was not being accomplished. The lyrics were often impossible to glean much meaning from. Most notably, the “party-party-party” song, most of whose words were about as inspired as you might imagine. I could speculate on what the song’s purpose is, perhaps some link to the procedural, routine nature of party culture, and the poisons that hide within its mindlessly indulgent atmosphere–the sexual harassment and assault, the brainwashing of men to be hunters who deserve prey, of women to bat their eyelashes and be a thing to desire. But to expect an audience to leap this far to make any conclusion of meaning is a bit much.

A bit too dark to see, but they are currently on the ground in anatomical position.

The space travel motif’s linkage to the album’s purpose was unclear. And though it was often visually striking, I found it relied too heavily on a single type of color scheme (red/blue combination and the vibrant, neon flat coloring of random objects). Also, the repetitive, jerky movements of the characters and objects in the video got old about halfway through the act. However, it still must be noted that the complex layering technique of visual artist Jennifer Meridian was impressive, if at times monotonous. Her work might perhaps be more suited for shorter videos and advertisements that demand the sense of excitement her design provides so well.

Mostly what I find fault with in the performance was its over-the-top brashness. I find it distracts from an audience’s ability to gather meaning from what they are experiencing. It’s more closely related to modern art than an exploration of misogyny in society. In all its spectacular glory I feel they are unable to develop their ideas into anything beyond the surface level. This is a shame, because the two clearly have an enormous creative capacity. I feel that, if they used their potential differently, they could have great success in creating thoughtful, deep, provocative art. While I and others in the audience can certainly derive our own meaning from the performance, the chasm over which we must stretch to get there is too wide. Perhaps this is the result of too many strongly creative people collaborating on a single project–in the process it became too much of a conglomeration than a precise piece of art.

If you’d like to check out the album for yourself, it’s currently available for preorder at their website There you can witness one of their songs under the “videos” tab, and find other information about the band, including tour dates and background on the duo’s origins.


Emma Pinchak

I'm just a lonely cowboy displaced in the city. I don't feel the same under these dim stars.

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