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Don't tell me how to rock, I'm from here!
The Beginning of the Affair by Jen Rybolt
Maintain Full Speed
Shining some light on the collection
Double Feature
The Living Hokusai
NKOTB
Confusing the confusion with a party
Trouble Tonight
Something in the Water
Raad at Reed
Jen Rybolt on Meow Meow at TBA

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Friday 09.30.05

Don't tell me how to rock, I'm from here!

The party has officially started here at the affair, the rain has stopped and we are feeling all of the pleasure and none of the guilt. If you come right now you can catch me breakdancing.

10 year old front man of the unlawful guardians started it off, followed by a strange but exciting solo performer who wowed the audience with his floor moves and unbridled passion. The affair is in full swing. Did you rock this hard when you were 10? This kid will never ever be called a nerd.

I'd love to write more but I think I've gotta check out the what all the screaming is about.... DSC02927.jpg

Posted by Isaac Peterson on September 30, 2005 at 23:08 | Comments (0)

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The Beginning of the Affair by Jen Rybolt

Not even driving rain could keep the patrons from enjoying the evening.

goldmadonna

White Column Gallery from New York City was my first stop. The first piece to grab my attention was "Gold Madonna" by Scott King. I was also intrigued by "Self Help Video," a found poster that was... shall we say "amended" by the artist Simon Bidwell. "Make Art Not War," a poster by Bob and Roberta Smith, was hung over the room's bed, which made it not only a play on the slogan "make love not war" but also reminded me of Ono and Lennon's bedded anti-war statement. Another highlight of personal interest were archival photographs by of early punk icons Lux Interior, Poison Ivy, Exene Cervenka, Lydia Lunch and a surprising photo of a Negative Trend member....

Posted by Guest on September 30, 2005 at 18:22 | Comments (0)

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Maintain Full Speed

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Tudor Mitroi, Staff 5 & Staff 7

The Affair is less than 24 hours away, which means that September has sadly passed and we are launching into yet another overactive month in October. Before we let September slip away entirely, a quick revisit of one of September's standout shows, Inertia 2005 at Gallery 500, an exhibition of 13 artists from across the United States, juried by PORT's very own hyperactive curator, Jeff Jahn.

The premises of the exhibition was to dig up new talent from across the nation, and as a result work runs the gamut, from conceptually-oriented work to pieces driven primarily by good design. Thankfully, the pool of over 100 artists who submitted work for the show was narrowed down to a mere 13 artists, avoiding the mistake of other group shows I've seen at Gallery 500, where an exuberance for the maximal tends to result in cramped installations.

There is no mystery as to why Tudor Mitroi's staffs, painted panels cut into long, thin shapes, appeal to Jahn, who makes medium sized painted panels cut into irregular lightning bolt shapes. Mitrol's works are large, yet have a sense of delicacy difficult to achieve at such a large scale. His two staffs show painted details of maps that outline different courses, one that seems to be a walking route of some sort, the other a driving route that the artist used daily to travel between home and work. One side of each panel is cut to follow the route. The shapes look awkwardly thin, yet threatening, like jagged weapons. They also serve as documentation of the artist's journeys, adding a performative aspect that recalls work by artists like Richard Long...

Posted by Katherine Bovee on September 30, 2005 at 8:27 | Comments (3)

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Wednesday 09.28.05

Shining some light on the collection

Light is the first of painters. There is no object so foul that intense light will not make it beautiful. -Ralph Waldo Emerson

The new Center for Modern and Contemporary art has a very interesting subtext... light. It sounds banal but I'm certain everyone understands how light is the core of visual perception. For those in Portland this focus will make the collection very engaging during the dark months from November to April. Three works in the museum's practically secret contemporary collection certainly shine some light on the subject:

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Dan Flavin
Untitled (To Donna) II
1971.
Fluorescent light. Portland Art Museum, Museum Purchase: National Endowment for the Arts Purchase Plan Grant matched by the Contemporary Art Council. © 2005 Estate of Dan Flavin / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

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André Kertész
Martinque
1972.
Gelatin silver print. Portland Art Museum, Gift of the Collections Committee and Friends in memory of Elizabeth Swindells. ©Courtesy of the Estate of Andre Kertész, 2005.

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Matthew McCaslin
Alaska
1995.
Television sets, clocks, light bulbs, VCR, electrical hardware, rolling cart. Portland Art Museum, Museum Purchase, Robert Hale Ellis Jr. Fund for the Blanche Elouise Day Ellis and Robert Hale Ellis Memorial Collection. © Matthew McCaslin.

 

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 28, 2005 at 23:35 | Comments (0)

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Tuesday 09.27.05

Double Feature

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Critter, Vanessa Renwick's experimental documentary about the reintroduction of grey wolves into the West, has been several years in the making and, well, you'll just have to wait a little bit longer. But luckily, you can help speed along the creative process by attending a special benefit screening on Wednesday, where Renwick and partner in crime/art/life Bill Daniel will be on hand to present two new documentries based on their shared and ongoing obsessions with trains, American folkloric mythology and graffiti.Who is Bozo Texino? is described as the "culmination of Daniel's twenty-plus year investigation into the century-old folkloric practice of boxcar graffiti." Renwick will premiere a film that documents the man behind Portland's Lovejoy Columns, Greek immigrant and rail worker Tom Stefopoulos. Renwick will also debut a new short, Cascadia Terminal, with a score by Tara Jane O'Neil.

Wednesday, September 28 • 7:30p
Presented by Cinema Project • Hollywood Theatre • 4122 NE Sandy Blvd.
Sliding scale $6-$25

Posted by Katherine Bovee on September 27, 2005 at 9:12 | Comments (0)

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The Living Hokusai

Friday at PNCA the Adachi Institute of Woodcut Print in association with the Japan Foundation gave a crowd of spectators a startling insight into the process of a master.

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The Adachi Institute continues the Ukiyo-e hand made print tradition. The mass production and circulation of woodblock prints underlay the blossoming of Japanese popular culture that occurred during the Edo era (1600 - 1867).

The Adachi Institute makes exact replicas of famous prints from the Edo era. Friday's lunchtime demonstration was a step by step walk- through of the printing process of one of Hokusai's most famous prints: The Great Wave...

Posted by Isaac Peterson on September 27, 2005 at 1:39 | Comments (0)

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Monday 09.26.05

NKOTB

Ultra scoops the latest in the CEID*.

*Central Eastside Industrial District

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on September 26, 2005 at 0:03 | Comments (0)

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Sunday 09.25.05

Confusing the confusion with a party

It's been a week but Portland artist Scott Wayne Indiana has some nice dada ball pictures on his site of people he knows and doesn't know. PICA's dada ball is Portland's ultimate art party, although calling it a "surreal" experience of course isn't quite historically correct. Although dada and surrealism were related, they weren't the same and dada was in many ways the more serious and radical movement, whereas surrealism was more about public scandal (which in many ways seems less radical to us after watching Michael Jackson's life unfold). The later surrealists included Andre Breton and Jean Arp (who was also a dadaist just to make things more confusing and therefore more interesting) etc.

Next big art party is the opening of the Affair @ the Jupiter hotel art fair this Friday and then the opening of the Portland Art Museum on Saturday the 1st of October. Pfeeewwwww it's a busy fun time in Portland. For our readers from far away, we now have Jet Blue in Portland... get on it if you want to have a fun art weekend totally unlike LA and New York. Different is good.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 25, 2005 at 21:06 | Comments (1)

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Saturday 09.24.05

Trouble Tonight

broadcast.jpg Ellen George's Broadcast

Tonight PORT's own Jeff Jahn opens his latest curatorial endeavor, Fresh Trouble. Much coverage has already been given to this biennial-style exhibtion, including write-ups in the Oregonian and Ultra. You would be foolish to miss this independent exhibition which features a slew of talented (mostly younger) artists from around the globe. FT occupies a 10,000 square foot warehouse for 2 weeks to "highlight artists who bravely seek to change or redefine the world they live in even if it is similar to the effects of butterfly wings kicking up storms farther away. Some are primarily ironists who point out areas that lack of change but require it; others are visionaries who make objects that lift one above the everyday experience and effect change one viewer at a time." The exciting roster includes China's Cao Fei with her West Coast debut of cosplayers, Jack Daws (Seattle), Matthew Picton (PDX), Ellen George (PDX), Chandra Bocci (PDX), Laura Fritz (PDX), Matt McCormick (PDX), Sean Healy (PDX), PORT's Katherine Bovee with husband Philippe Blanc (PDX) and so many more.

Opening Reception • tonight! • 5 to 9p
4246 SE Belmont • Through October 10th
Hours: Saturday & Sunday, noon to 5p • Special Hours: Sept 30, 6 to 9p

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on September 24, 2005 at 10:57 | Comments (0)

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Friday 09.23.05

Something in the Water

Something seems to have sparked a trend and suddenly, everything's popping up galleries. Perhaps it's the dense concentration of artists begging for exposure, or the tepid Portland economy that makes it more enticing to create your own job than work for someone else, or maybe it's just something in the water. Whatever the cause, the result is four new galleries (two traditional, two hybrids) opening in two weeks.

Paul Middendorf has defected from Disjecta and, for the moment at least, moved his Manifest Artistry projects to the back burner to team up with artist Paige Saez as co-director of Gallery Homeland. Infiltrating the less commercial Southeast quadrant of the city, Homeland has taken up quarters on the corner of 34th & Belmont, a stone's throw from coffee, cocktails and bourgeois groceries. Exhibiting young local favorites and importing trans-nationals, Homeland aims to "encourage emerging and challenging concepts in visual and performing arts." Their first show opens next Friday (competing with the Affair and the new CMCA wing) with three Portlanders, Zak Margolis, Charles Moss and Amy Steele. There will be live music with the artists and directors in attendance.
Opening Reception • September 29th • 7p
Gallery Homeland • 926 SE 34th Ave • Tel. 503.819.9656

Around the corner from Homeland is the Missing Link, delivering all things Japanese/toy/collectible to the East side of the river. Occupying the former Spoink! space, ML houses art shows in the back quarter and opened to a packed house last week with an exhibition by S.F. yeti-loving graff artist Bigfoot. Shows will rotate bi-monthly, at least in the beginning, with a line-up of skate/graff/design leaning artists. Expect some young fresh fellows to roll through this informal space, with price tags built for the creative class.
Missing Link • 3314 SE Belmont • Tel. 503.235.0032

As we reported last week, Laurel Gitlen is gearing up for the launch of her new space, small A projects and now has a website. She has also added a screening of Heavy Metal Parking Lot to her housewarming on October 7th. Rat your hair, rip off your sleeves and grab a nice cold MGD for a night of all things Rockin'.
Gallery opens September 30th • Reception October 7th
small A projects • 1430 SE Third • Tel. 503.234.7993

Next we traverse Burnside to the other side of the river where we find what may or may not qualify as a gallery. Housed in one of Portland's sexiest buildings, where Wieden + Kennedy and Bluehour rub elbows, B Street Gallery is actually a facade for the showroom of the under-construction Civic condos. The gallery will last two years, until the condos are up and the showroom is closed. According to the website, they will feature work by "local and emerging artists celebrating everything about Burnside"?! Yes, indeed, those are their words. Have these people driven on Burnside recently? I am interested to see what about Burnside these artists will be exalting... the homeless sleeping on the sidewalk, the prostitutes, the crack heads, the traffic, that Volvo dealership, the fact that you can't ever make a left turn? Any old how, there's currently new artwork hanging by some of the Zeitgeist fellas: Paul Fujita, Keith Rosson and Mike McGovern. Hopefully they had some better ideas than I did.
Open to the public October 1st
B Street Gallery • 202 NW 13th Ave • Tel. 503.241.1926

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on September 23, 2005 at 0:37 | Comments (0)

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Raad at Reed

atlasgroup_03a.jpg

Tonight, Walid Raad, who is showing in Mapping Sitting at the Cooley Gallery, gives a public talk on his ongoing project, The Atlas Group Archives. The talk, The Loudest Muttering is Over: Documents from the Atlas Group Archives, delves into his fictional non-profit collective which works towards a re(creation) of Lebanon's history through notebooks, films, video and photographs. Calling into question assumptions of history, memory, agency and representation, Raad's work toys with these provocative ideas by rooting them in the real-world context of a politically troubled and heartbroken nation.

Raad is an internationally acclaimed artist whom we are fortunate to have in our fair city. He is Assistant Professor of Art at Cooper Union in New York City. His works include textual analysis, video, and photography. He has performed in the 2003 Venice Biennale; the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; the House of World Cultures, Berlin; and the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London. The Atlas Group was included in the 2002 Whitney Biennial, and Documenta 11 in Kassel, Germany.

Friday, September 23 • 7p
Kaul Auditorium • Reed College
Free and open to the public
The gallery will hold special hours from 5 to 10 to accomodate the talk

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on September 23, 2005 at 0:11 | Comments (0)

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Thursday 09.22.05

Jen Rybolt on Meow Meow at TBA

meowcig2.jpg

From the moment she fluttered onto the stage-dressing gown clutched around her, her short dark flyaway bob bracketing crimson lips-- Meow Meow held us captivated. Was it her childlike giddiness? Her manic starlet hysteria? Her worldly, womanly curves? Or that in her query, "What is Love," she seemed to be asking another question entirely...

Posted by Guest on September 22, 2005 at 1:26 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 09.21.05

Required Reading

Required reading: Jerry Saltz's latest Babylon article is out.

A few things stood out.

1) He's right New York is kinda bland when it comes to young artists. I've noticed that two rather expensive cities, New York and San Francisco are producing a lot of trying hard to be cheap look'n but crafty art. Like all the trust funder MFA grads (who can afford those places) got the 2002 Whitney Biennial memmo and copped the style as an ironic comment on their situation. I've said it before, Rachel Feinstein did the neo-Victoriana princess thing better back in 1999 and Marcel Dzama draws sullen people mixing with bears, cats and bunnies better than anyone in the United States. Canada won this round back in 2000 folks. This whole unicorn, 80's heavy metal band trend makes me sleepy and Rachel Harrison did amazing clumpy awkward material art better in 2002. Yes Larry Rinder's 2002 Whitney biennial looks to have been incredibly influential but has spawned a hoard of lame wannabe non-chalant-savants who paint a rainbow anytime they cant figure out how to resolve a composition. Greater New York... unimpressive.

2) Matthew Higgs claims he wants to "change New York art world in 24 months."... ummm OK change it by making it less money driven, good luck. Most of us in Portland have met Matthew and he's smart guy but not that radical. He seems to curate people he knows and follows very arid versions of trends that suit him, he has focus.

He's very good at that focused curatorial role, but as a revolutionary he seems miscast (he's too organized to allow radical lack of control dictate the outcome)... still I like the balls it takes to say something like this. I bet some smart ass is going to try and change Matthew Higgs in 24 months. The fact remains artists set the agenda not curators and New York is choking on non chalant careerism and a dearth of new ideas. As long as artists buy into the way things are now nothing will change.

The last time I spied Higgs it was at Greater New York and he seemed as thoroughly unimpressed as everyone else was. Higgs will be in Portland September 30th for the Affair at the Jupiter Hotel. I suggest everyone ask him what the hell he meant or find out what he's been smoking. It's good he's coming to Portland though, we are different and that means something. Port officially extends a welcome to either the bravest or the drunkest new-ish curator in New York.

3) This version of Babylon restates much of the last one (it was Super Babylon) and that odd sense of fuzzy stasis in the essay says something about the New York art world.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 21, 2005 at 23:55 | Comments (0)

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Bi*m*rphic

george.jpg

I've heard rumors that it's really big. And, for Ellen George, the PDX artist who makes accumulations of small, delicate polymer clay objects resembling fungus and colorful biological phenomena, that's a really good thing. The show's title is a glyph - * - a clue to the formal geometry that gives structure to the approximately 8,000 pieces that make up the installation and a reference to the number 8 (look down, silly), which the press release explains is "a constant number in the personal life of the artist" as well as a sideways infinity symbol. Portlanders, you'll have to trek up north to see this one - it's across the Columbia in Vancouver, where George resides.

Opening Reception • Wednesday, September 21 • 4 to 7p
Show runs through October 23
Archer Gallery at Clark College • 1800 E McLoughlin Blvd, Vancouver, WA • Tel. 360.992.2246

Posted by Katherine Bovee on September 21, 2005 at 7:50 | Comments (0)

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Tracy + the Plastics

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Wynne Greenwood took the stage at the Works last Tuesday performing in her cyborg/ multiple selves/ lo-fi band Tracy + the Plastics.

She came on in ugly white pants and sheepskin boots and spent a few moments adjusting her gold headband before turning on the microphone and the single synthesizer. She asks that the lights be dimmed and starts arranging the audience:

"Can't we make a less hierarchal space in here? Why don't you guys sit down?"

Wynne plays Tracy...

Posted by Isaac Peterson on September 21, 2005 at 1:45 | Comments (4)

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Sunday 09.18.05

Treasure Hunting at Bay Area Bazaar

bazaar.jpg

Walking into the salon-style exhibition of Bay area artists at Pulliam Deffenbaugh, I thought perhaps The Affair had landed one month too early, on the wrong side of the river. For their last show on 12th Avenue before unveiling an impressive space on what is developing as the Pearl District's new hotspot, Pulliam Deffenbaugh invited artist Laurie Reid to curate a show of over 50 Bay Area artists. Reid, known for airy, delicate watercolors, selected work based on her own network of friends, colleagues and influences in the Bay Area. Since the show lacks an underlying concept, the work is all over the map, many very likable, some rather unremarkable. While it didn't provide more than a somewhat haphazard survey of San Francisco's art scene, there were plenty of rewards to be found among the overwhelming volume of work on display.

Charles Beronio's Color Extraction (after Betsy Ross), an American flag pieced together by all-white fabric, is at once a formal study, a reflection on the political weightiness of this symbol and a jab at appropriation art, citing the seamstress that sewed the first flag and ignoring more expected precedents like Jasper Johns' White Flag. I was dismayed to learn later that Seattle artist Jack Daws had created a nearly identical piece in 2001, since Beronio created a rich contextualization for the piece, bringing much more to the table than just an obvious set of political overtones.

There was plenty of proof that the kinds of small, often clumsily executed crafty work that Jerry Saltz once deemed "termite art" is alive and well, including Dustin Fosnot's diminutive landscape created with cliffs of styrofoam graced by a pink cocktail umbrella. Other such work included ariel sculptures that looked like satellites and moved along a thin rope strung across one end of the gallery; a two inch high striped lawn chair; a small felt hill by Emily Sevier that reminded me of Amanda Wojik's fantastical terrains (though much less sophisticated); and a small assemblage held together with bungee cords and embellished with garish pink feathers...

Posted by Katherine Bovee on September 18, 2005 at 23:15 | Comments (0)

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Fresh Trouble

The website for my Fresh Trouble warehouse show has been updated. Things are looking very good indeed with a combination of international caliber art, and some frankly thrilling Dia/Marfa meets Superflat presentations of art that go beyond just minimal industrial fetishing and expands into strong art as an inhabitant. Special focus will be placed on how artist's activities (creating trouble and making the world fresher) effect the cities they live in.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 18, 2005 at 22:56 | Comments (0)

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Tough as nails

steelfloor.jpg
Pulliam Deffenbaugh Gallery is installing their kick ass metal floor now. They have suffered through years of (ugghh) carpeting and now it is cold hard steel. Ive been in shops with a steel floor but never a gallery. Will it set the bar higher for their artists in terms of toughness? I consider it a good thing as Portland's gallery boom isn't just an increase in #'s... there is also a deepening in toughness and scope too.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 18, 2005 at 0:00 | Comments (0)

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Thursday 09.15.05

Getting the MOST out of Portland

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Things are really humming in Portland these days so here is a little checkup of interesting local art writing on the net; still it's just the tip of the iceberg.

Portland Public Sculpture takes on the single worst sited and clumsily executed public sculpture in PDX. You know that atrocity on the traffic triangle by Powell's books. Although, I think the interactive element is OK-ish enough for silly public sculpture the base is so clunky it must go. Sweet hell, I hate it.

In fact, I should to have a spiritualist summon the ghost of noted stainless steel sculptor David Smith and suggest he haunt the sculptor. This belongs in mall in Clackamas… or better yet as a manmade reef somewhere off the Florida coast. I wonder, can anybody defend this thing?

In the Oregonian DK Row (a.k.a. Death Row) took on The MOST at the T.B.A. festival. I find the trend for participatory art that incorporates officious bureaucracy like The MOST or Allison Smith's "The Muster" a bit disturbing. It's similar to Kafka's The Trial (Orson Welles' film version is one of my favorites). Maybe someone will eventually create a project called "The Man" and the artist will keep everyone but the richest and whitest folk down…

Also at the Oregonian, Harvest Henderson had a nice piece on Mark Smith at Elizabeth Leach and some blowhard jerk curator's show.

John Motley at The Mercury penned a nice review of Walid Raad's show at Reed College. Read PORT's review here.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 15, 2005 at 23:47 | Comments (0)

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Jen Rybolt on DJ Spooky at Newmark Theatre

The tenure of DJ Spooky (aka Paul Miller) as "that subliminal kid" has spanned a time period perhaps best defined by the accelerated way in which we have come to rely on computers and technology to relate to each other and the world around us. In his video-sound collage "ReBirth of a Nation," Spooky asks us to take a critical view of past events and attitudes, to consider history through many lenses, while hoping that in doing so we might escape Santayana's conviction that "those who do not understand the past are doomed to repeat it."

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After a hypnotic storm of drum and bass combined with a blink-of-the-eye-quick reel of changing international flags and symbols (interspersed with question marks) on three large screens, the film dipped into the opening cards from DW Griffith's 1915 film The Birth of a Nation. For those unfamiliar with this work, it was the first feature-length silent film, and pioneered the "rules of grammar" film continues to follow today. "The Birth of a Nation" was also used as a Ku Klux Klan recruitment film through the 1960's and takes a Confederate view of events...

Posted by Guest on September 15, 2005 at 7:28 | Comments (1)

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Wednesday 09.14.05

Straight Trippin'

Tonight, V-Gun opens their latest exhibition, Trippin' Balls: A Mycological Exploration. I imagine there will be some, uh, inspired work by over 20 local and national artists (including Jesse Hayward, Tom Cramer, Wesley Younie, Carolyn Zick and Michael Oman Regan). Works range from painting, drawing, sculpture and fabric arts to other curiosities, all in homage to the 'shroom.

Opening Reception • September 14 • 5 to 7p• Through November 5
V-Gun (inside Veganopolis) • 412 SW 4th Ave • Tel. 503.226.3400

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on September 14, 2005 at 13:33 | Comments (0)

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Tuesday 09.13.05

Told you so...

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Just because I've told you so before and I like to rub it in.... Oregon's hottest up and coming artist, Matthew Picton, continues to garner critical raves from Miami to Christopher Knight at the L.A. Times. Now the San Francisco Chronicle adds to the critical din.

Picton's work takes Smithson's nonsite or Richard Long's walks and brilliantly manages to invert the inevitability of wear and tear for a time. The end product is an engrossing negation of negation and an interesting avenue out of minimalism and into succinct complexity. His best works provide a location while being completely lost and out of context.

Finally, earthworks have been removed from the dirt that many confuse as some kind of eco-minimalism. It's philosophical and elemental not moralistic and didactic folks. Admittedly, he's in the big international warehouse show I'm curating and he's debuting his newest body of work... I'm expecting a lot from him. Until then you can find him in San Francisco here.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 13, 2005 at 22:52 | Comments (0)

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Chalk up another for the New Guard

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Laurel Gitlen announces the opening of her new gallery space, Small A Projects. Laurel previously resided as gallery director of Savage Art Resources and will take over the Savage space under the Hawthorne bridge with her new endeavor. "Adopting a strategy that combines the best attributes of commercial galleries with the experimental attitude of alternative exhibition spaces, Small A Projects will present exhibitions and projects with emerging and underrecognized artists as well as more established artists." Gitlen will be offering rotating gallery exhibitions, one-night events, edition releases, video screenings and more in a push to educate and entice a diverse audience. She begins her programming on September 30th with ALL I WANT IS EVERYTHING, a group show celebrating the transcendental, transformative and humorous aspects of heavy metal and rock and roll featuring the work of Michael Bise (Houston), Barb Choit (Vancouver/NY), Zoe Crosher (LA), Craig Doty (New Haven), Erik Hanson and Josh Mannis (Chicago). Foregoing regionalism in favor of strong emerging nationals, Gitlen holds great promise for broadening and sharpening Portland's visual arts by importing influential and experimental up-and-comers. Expect a website and additional information within the next couple of weeks.

Small A Projects • 1430 SE 3rd Ave
Housewarming Party • First Friday, October 7th • 6 to 8p

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on September 13, 2005 at 17:42 | Comments (0)

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Stefanie Schneider at Alysia Duckler Gallery

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Berlin based artist Stefanie Schneider enlarges expired Polaroid stock into burned-out C-prints. The lossy images almost completely dissolve into lurid color abstractions. The shiny pink of a sex kitten's glittery body suit becomes an electrified, free-floating color field. The vivid, flame-orange hair of a 70's sexploitation film star vibrates against the dusty gray of the sky above an LA desert. Skin tones and facial details in the figures are completely lost. They are refugees from Faster Pussycat...

Posted by Isaac Peterson on September 13, 2005 at 1:56 | Comments (0)

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Monday 09.12.05

Bruce McClure's Crib and Sift at tba:05

In an article published in artforum last summer, artist Anthony McCall recalled a question he was often asked in regards to his work: "Are you making sculpture or are you making films?" Last Saturday, Bruce McClure's performance of his four part series, Crib and Sift, elicited just this question. Using four projectors, modified for each 14 minute section of the performance by using a combination of plates and focal points, McClure layered four identical, simultaneously projected films to create densely textured fields of light and shadow. The imagery itself was not created with a camera, but, as McClure describes, by using "an original ink sneeze printed four times on a technological substrate (16 mm. film) and developed into an importune register of film events." All but one film were accompanied by droning soundtracks created with similar regard for nonlinear composition.

McClure's work had more to do with transcendental installations like LaMonte Young and Marion Zazeela's light and sound environment, Dreamhouse, than with most experimental films I've seen, which tend to rely on heavy editing and obscure imagery to create filmic density. McClure's films, like the Dreamhouse, act more as a meditative environment (perhaps with a nod to the psychedelic) defying the linearity of film. His second film used each projector to create one of four light filled borders, leaving a rectangular black void with softly defined edges, using the two dimensional to imply the infinite, recalling the use of the seemingly infinite voids in Anish Kapoor's sculptures...

Posted by Katherine Bovee on September 12, 2005 at 9:07 | Comments (0)

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TBA Kickoff

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TBA (Portland's Time Based Art festival) kicked off at Pioneer Square on Thursday night with a free performance by Streb and an emotional send off celebration for Kristy Edmunds, whom the tribute video repeatedly called a "Pied Piper". Kristy, PICA's beloved founder leaves PICA and Portland for Melbourne Australia to peddle her particular brand of rabble rousing for their performing arts festival. So raise a glass to the toast of the town this week. -I.P.

Review:

The Streb performance was physically elemental and each set tended to focus on formal concerns like; spinning, squirming, gravity, slipping and sliding, cramped quarters, being tied together etc. Some of these were...

Posted by Isaac Peterson on September 12, 2005 at 1:41 | Comments (0)

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Saturday 09.10.05

If TBA Doesn't Float Your Boat...

rathbun.jpg Mike Rathbun

For those of you looking for something to do, The Art Gym opens their 25th season with two great installations, Mike Rathbun with N45º23.871’ W122º38.864’ and Diane Jacobs with Cross Hairs. Rathbun's installation consists of three interrelated structures: a wave floor, a suspended 20-foot boat, and ceiling-high matrix of 2,800 linear feet of two-by-twos that the artist hand-cut and split from logs(!). Jacobs presents a collection of sculptures made from human hair, which she incorporates with cultural linguistics for an innovative and heady (get it?) body of work. Both Rathbun and Jacobs developed and executed their projects for approximately two years with funding from Artist Project Grants from RACC.

Opening Reception • Sunday, September 11 • 3 to 5p
Show runs through October 23
The Art Gym at Marylhurst University • 17600 Pacific Highway (Hwy 43), Marylhurst • Tel. 503.636.8141

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on September 10, 2005 at 18:14 | Comments (0)

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Friday 09.09.05

Professor Spooky to You

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tba:05 has begun.

And, this afternoon, in the Wieden + Kennedy lobby, the tba institute kicked off with a lecture by Paul D. Miller, known to many as DJ Spooky that Subliminal Kid, who set the stage for his performances later tonight and tomorrow of Rebirth of a Nation, which takes D.W. Griffith's shamelessly racist 1915 film, Birth of a Nation as its starting point.

Miller is a DJ, artists and writer equally fluent in the vocabulary of electronic music, philosophy, art history, cultural studies, 20th century composition and hip-hop. In his recently published book, Rhythm Science, Miller states that he began DJing as conceptual art. Miller is certainly one of the most articulate DJs around and his work fits as comfortably in a warehouse as in a museum (in fact Rebirth of a Nation was performed last year at Paula Cooper Gallery in NYC).

DJ culture embodies a postmodern aesthetic and none of its potential as a medium for cultural commentary is lost on Miller. During the lecture, he parsed the way in which he conceptualizes DJ culture as art. For Miller, it's more than just sonic play, it's a form of sculpture. The DJ as sculptor borrows freely from a media-saturated culture of sound and image, what Miller refers to as "information ecology," implying the ways in which data gives way to meta data. The DJ is a sculptor of memory, and when constructing mixes for an audience, the DJ is playing with context as much (or perhaps more) than content. DJ culture lays bare the fluidity and unfixed nature of meaning, a demonstration of how meaning functions in a Structuralist sense.

Miller's lecture was as fluid as his prose, freely folding in sound and image, explanation and demonstration. Complimenting his explanation of sampling as a sculpture of memory, audience members walked away with CDs, each with a slightly different mix burned straight from Miller's Powerbook, bringing in everything from 20th century composition (Monk, Glass, Reich) to traditional Gamelan to work by other contemporary DJs. Miller's work is as much about deconstructing as reconstructing and Rebirth of a Nation promises to confront these issues head-on, but of course, not without style or humor.

See the performance of Rebirth of a Nation tonight and tomorrow. You can also catch him spinning around midnight at The Works late night tonight and tomorrow at PNCA for Saturday's noontime chat.

Visit the tba website for details.

Posted by Katherine Bovee on September 09, 2005 at 20:06 | Comments (0)

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Thursday 09.08.05

Portland Influence

It's no surprise that Portland is influencing other less "fringe" places, this is a city that allows innovative ventures without 150 million in the bank. Now, Ultra PDX, (our city's best fashion blog) points out another instance of Portland's (aka PDX) influence over fashion centers. It's not like there aren't trend spotter all over the city (occasionally with video cameras).

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 08, 2005 at 19:02 | Comments (2)

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New Digs

Wow, the new Mark Wooley Gallery is incredible and hosts a formidable group show of national artists.

I can't think of a more ideal space for exhibitions: giant movable walls, a beautiful wood floor, lots and lots of space. This is a beautiful coup for portland, and the send off show delivers on the promise of this space.

I had time to pop in at the opening just long enough to take some pix, so I thought I would share them so you can take a look at the luxurious space for yourself.

By the way, as I'm writing it's only nine, so there's still time to catch the all night dance party!

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more photos....

Posted by Isaac Peterson on September 08, 2005 at 1:04 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 09.07.05

Twinkle Twinkle

Tonight marks the opening of Mark Woolley's second gallery, "Mark Woolley at the Wonder Ballroom" with Form and Emptiness: Works of Contemplative Paradox. Of course, there will be lots of Buddhist-inspired artwork in this inaugural group show but this is also the ideal opportunity to get a first glimpse of the new gallery space. For those in the dark, the Wonder Ballroom is something of a Northeast cultural mecca with the upstairs ballroom hosting musical and performance events while downstairs houses the Woolley space, Marilyn Murdoch's forthcoming Guestroom Gallery and a fine dining restaurant.
Opening Reception • 6 to 9p
Wonder Ballroom • 128 NE Russell St. • Tel. 503.224.5475

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on September 07, 2005 at 11:05 | Comments (0)

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Tuesday 09.06.05

Our 4th month

Well folks, PORT continues to thrive with the supposedly slow month of August being our third straight month of readership growth. Also, you'll notice all sorts of new sponsors.

To our readers and sponsors, your support is overwhelming, thank you... you know who you are.

News from the net:

PICA's Time Based Art festival opens Thursday with the free STREB performance in Portland's living room, Pioneer Courthouse Square... be there.

Modern Art Notes does a good job on arts related Katrina info. Locally, arty Portlanders should email Richard to coordinate Portland efforts for artist victims.

Outside the tragic sphere, John Motley at the Portland Mercury interviewed Merry Scully, the new gallery director at Elizabeth Leach. She seems to have cajones and we are interested how she might affect primary market shows at the gallery. I like adventurous people and Liz (that Portland firecracker) wouldn't have sought out Scully unless she brought that to the table..

Also, my latest Critical i article is out as well.

As for the blogosphere PORT promises we will eventually have a blogroll, but until then we would really like to thank some of those quality art and culture blogs for linking to us:

The OC art blog (thanks for listing us 1st) psst... I grew up in the OC during the dying days of disco... roller disco was a lowpoint for Western Civilization.

Edward Winkleman … a Brooklyn gallerist who has the most consistently content-rich art posts around. He did a good job with Katrina coverage too.

Ultra PDX (Portland's rock'n fashion and culture blog)

From The Floor (a literary critic who often writes about private collections)

… and last but not least the Portland public artwork blog (a masochistic subject if ever there was one… such pain!)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 06, 2005 at 23:00 | Comments (3)

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Monday 09.05.05

I don't know what you're doing, but please don't stop.

PNCA's gallery exchange program with Rio de Janerio, Troca Brasil, came to an ecstatic culmination at First Thursday's opening.

You could hear the steel drum corps all the way from 5th as they circled the block around the school. I was late for the opening, and as I ran towards the huge sound, I noticed a whole contingent of people sprinting along beside me.

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The ecstatic rhythms of the drum corps were expressed by the tall, gorgeous Brazilian dancers, resplendent in magnificent blue feather costumes and headdresses.

The dancers led the steel drum corps into the building and the performance continued for hours, or was it minutes?, transfixing everyone. As the wine flowed freely, the joyful, sensual rhythm became unbearably compelling, and audience members, kids, PNCA faculty and staff joined the costumed dancers.

It was a moment of pure, thrilling, unmitigated joy, and seemed strangely alien. I caught myself thinking "How could this be happening?" It was free, sensual, and ecstatic. I found myself associating the imagery immediately with television...

Posted by Isaac Peterson on September 05, 2005 at 1:21 | Comments (0)

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Sunday 09.04.05

Zombies vs. Robots

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Generally I consider most political art to be a stunted and a bit stillborn. One great artist who happened to be political was the late Leon Golub. His stuff worked because his images of brutality were never too resolved or specific and thus never seem dated. Also, I agree with Mick Jagger that Jimi Hendrix's Star Spangled Banner at Woodstock was the best political performance art piece…ever.

In Portland's recent First Thursday we were treated to the unveiling of Robots vs. Zombies at Couch Gallery in the Everett Station Lofts. It was amusing in a clumsy lo-fi way, and definitely a spoof on the polarized nature of American politics.

I'll assume the brainless, trudging zombies are supposed to be the Republicans and the plodding, mechanically awkward robots are the Democrats acting out some political logic algorithm that spouts out cheap words like, "humans are our friends." There is some truth in these one-dimensional stereotypes, although one could argue that they are interchangeable. Adversaries often are.

Although the costumes were too cheap and cheesy to take seriously it was a serious subject matter. A high point for me was when a zombie bashed a robot over the head with a "Robots are too heavy" sign…. Whatever happened to, "he's not heavy he's my robot!"

Still, it was only partly amusing and half formed… a diversion at best and that seems dangerous. Then again these are dangerous times for nuanced free thinkers who think both the...

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 04, 2005 at 23:22 | Comments (1)

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Friday 09.02.05

Young Fresh Friday

Plenty to do tonight...

nspcardsm.jpg Bootsy Holler at Newspace

Accompanying their Bay Area Bazaar exhibition, Pulliam Deffenbaugh hosts the Red and the Green, a play written by Kevin Killiam and Karla Milosovich satirizing pop culture and politics, with a cast of 30 artists reading from scripts and relying on improvisation. The evening begins with readings from curator Larry Rinder, poet Dodie Bellamy and writer Jocelyn Saidenberg,
Doors at 7pm • $5 • *Limited Seating
Pulliam Deffenbaugh • 522 NW 12th Ave • Tel. 503.228.6665

Newspace continues their consistently good programming with Ruby & Willie by Seattle-based photographer Bootsy Holler. This series documents the details of Willie's Richland, Washington, home after Ruby's death. With a museum documentary style, Holler captures the subtleties of the family abode.
Opening Reception • 7 to 10p
Newspace • 1632 SE 10th Ave. • Tel. 503.963.1935

FIX gallery takes on Dan Ness with Blackboard Drawings. Ness is one of Portland's most prolific young artists popping up everywhere from the Pearl to Chinatown to Alberta to SE. With his classic iconic imagery and well-executed collage style, he maintains a consistency and drive that makes him one to watch.
Opening reception First Friday 7-10pm
FIX • 811 East Burnside, Studio No.113 • Tel. 503.233.3189

DK Row once said of me that I continue to show artists that nobody's heard of. Although I don't think this was or is true (yes, there is an art savvy world outside of Portland, Oregon that tracks the careers of emerging artists), I now bestow this honor to the Portland Art Center. PAC brings us another exhibition featuring talent I've never heard of. Tonight they open Natura Naturans, an installation and print study by James Jack. Using media appropriated from nature (pigments from the Oregon Coast and inks from Seder bark) Jack brings the outside in with a meditative and existential body of work.
Opening Reception • 7 to 10p
Portland Art Center • 2045 SE Belmont Street • Tel. 503.239.5481

Rake Art Group presents Space Ambulance "A Night with the Thief", a group show featuring photography, paintings, prints, film and music. Featuring 18 participants, this group introduces a number of unknown emerging artists working in various media.
Opening Reception • 6p to midnight
Rake at Voleur Restaurant. • 111 SW Ash St • Tel. 503.227.3764

natura.jpg James Jack at PAC

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on September 02, 2005 at 10:35 | Comments (0)

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Thursday 09.01.05

The Month that Art Ruled

If there ever was a month that art ruled Portland, September would have to be it. The galleries are packed with top-notch exhibitions, independent curators are creating site-specific exhibitions, TBA takes over the 9th through the 18th and the Affair at the Jupiter Hotel kicks off on the 30th. For those who share Seaplane's "vision of fashion as art", there's even the Collections next week offering a heady roster of exclusive studio and runway shows. You almost can't go wrong, no matter where you end up. We recommend the Willamette Week for a comprehensive listing of all gallery exhibitions but here's a few picks for First Thursday:

inertia.jpg Inertia 2005 at Gallery 500

Gallery 500 presents Inertia 2005, an exhibition juried by our own Jeff Jahn featuring 13 of the freshest emerging artists from across the nation. Expect giant chickens, Wal-Mart receipts, vinyl upholstery, and "the dangerous intersection of knitting and power tools". From what I've seen so far, this should be a good 'un.
Opening Reception • 6p to midnight
Gallery 500 • 420 SW Washington, Suite 500 • Tel. 503.223.3951

PNCA presents Troca Brasil. Read Isaac's post from yesterday for an overview of the exhibition with preliminary photos.
Opening Reception • 6 to 9p
PNCA • 1241 NW Johnson St • Tel. 503.226.4391 

Pulliam Deffenbaugh presents Bay Area Bazaar, a massive group show of 50 curated by Laurie Reed. "Reid has assembled a group based on friendship and time spent working together—either as students, colleagues or theatre/writing cohorts." The result is an impressive collection of work from some of SF's finest.
Opening Reception • 5:30 to 8:30p
Pulliam Deffenbaugh • 522 NW 12th Ave. Portland •  Tel. 503.228.6665

irkutsysm.jpg Carson Ellis at Motel

Motel presents Works in Pen and Ink by Carson Ellis. This solo exhibition includes pen and ink drawings on paper featuring Ellis' signature illustrative style. With a new collection of work anchored by two larger, more ambitious pieces, Ellis continues her obsession with uncommon characters and the scenery of Russia and Ireland. A superb showing by one of Portland's finest up-and-comers.
Opening Reception • 6:30 to 9:30p
Motel • On NW Couch Street, between 5th & 6th Aves • Tel. 503.222.6699

Chambers opens their second exhibition with work by two abstract painters, Sidney Rowe and Agnes Field. Sidney Rowe is a painter who also works through performance, often craftings her works live in front of an audience. Tonight she creates a new piece LIVE at 7pm as part of the exhibition. Also showing is painter/curator Agnes Field with a body of work exploring the local topographies around her studio in Astoria, Oregon.
Opening Reception • 5:30 to 8:30p
Chambers • 207 SW Pine, No.102 • Tel. 503.939.2255.

The Alysia Duckler Gallery opens a photography exhibition by Berlin-based artist, Stefanie Schneider. There is something distinctly Deutsch about these portaits with their overexposed lighting, a color palette of tertiaries, and skin-tight vinyl catsuits; a sort of Barbarella meets Thelma and Louise.
Opening Reception • 6 to 8p
Alysia Duckler • 1236 N.W. Hoyt Street • Tel. 503.223.7595

At Froelick, Stephen O’Donnell presents Galeri des Modes and Still, two series of work on portraiture and the male form. The first is a series of acrylic paintings that allude to the quest of ancient Greek sculptors to carve the perfect physique. The second series uses ink and watercolor to explore dress, costume and this history of fashion.
Opening Reception • 5 to 8:30p
Froelick Gallery • 817 SW Second Avenue • Tel. 503.222.1142

outofthefishbowl1.JPG Sidney Rowe at Chambers

Posted by Jennifer Armbrust on September 01, 2005 at 10:06 | Comments (0)

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Blue Skies Imported from Rio



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In Troca Brasil, PNCA exchanges with a gallery in Rio de Janeiro, known as A Gentil Carioca and are putting the final touches on what promises to be an exciting, festive and sensual show opening Thursday. A Gentil Carioca means the kind ones from Rio, and the mission statement of the gallery is kindness. A Gentil Carioca creates a space for showing work that could not possibly exist anywhere else. Their kindness is towards the experimental and daring artist, and in the last minute hustle of final preparations before tomorrow's opening, you can feel that sensual, playful spirit in the gallery like a warm South American breeze. The work is daring, comic, vibrant, warm, like a vigorous embrace from a long lost friend....

Posted by Isaac Peterson on September 01, 2005 at 1:56 | Comments (0)

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