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Sunday 10.09.05

« First Friday | Main | 2 things »

Cranky, ascerbic radio time

Just a note, Ill be on Eva Lake's Art Star Radio on Monday the tenth at 5:00 PM. For those outside Portland you can access it on the web here.

OK, I officially hate to discuss myself (and PORT is about Portland Art, not my mood) but here Eva seems to think Im some sort of ultimate optimist which is hilarious since generally the only thing I care about is high caliber art, criticism and an involvement with the challenges of the day. All of which is rare and the exception rather than the rule. I'm cranky and not very forgiving and I can be counted on to bitchslap the people who need it. If necessary, I'll draw blood critically. So I really don't know what she's talking about other than my belief that really high caliber art does change the world in a small, obstinate but important way by bringing a tacit form of visual poetry into being. Still, it's only for that tiny audience that still cares about the details... remember those things that can't be turned into a soundbyte?

Maybe it's because the Pacific Northwest has a bad habit of fetishing a kind of self-imposed irrelevance that simply isn't my gig (although Portland has really changed its attitude in comparison to Seattle). I am a tactical, very discriminating optimist, it's a weapon and it only means something if you keep it sharp. I like to see talent develop to its fullest expression... nothing less.

Maybe it is because she senses that I don't really feel disenfranchised? Well, it's because I'm not and I do believe part of it is because I'm an overeducated white male, 200lbs, 6'2", happy childhood and a generally charmed life who makes a point of backing things up with action, hard work etc. It is weird but Ive really noticed how much the art world seems to respect/tolerate cranky hypercritical men (like myself... and curator Bruce Guenther or legends like my role model Alfred Stieglitz, Dave Hickey, Robert Hughes, Jerry Saltz, Greenberg, Clyfford Still, Richard Serra) and has a problem with most women who try that shtick. Yet most of my favorite art world denizens are women, like the recently departed Linda Farris, Jane Bradley (RIP), Lynne Cooke, Karin Davie, Justine Kurland or Portland gallerists/collectors like Sylvia Engelman, Liz Leach, Jane Beebe or MaryAnn Deffenbaugh. These individuals all seem to be interested in getting the job done and are supportive without lots of posturing.

Oh yes and my critique of the Portland Art museum's new Jubitz Center for Modern and Contemporary Art will be here tomorrow.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on October 09, 2005 at 23:40 | Comments (4)


Since you mentioned it, and it has been on my mind, I'm going to get on a soap box for a few minutes regarding the Portland Art Museum.

I think it really needs to institute a free (or sliding scale) day... even if it were only once a quarter. I can't believe that doing such would really cannibalize the ticket revenues that much (especially when considering the extra revenue from added people visiting the gift shop and cafe).

Part of its stated mission is to provide access to art and education to a diverse audience. The entrance fee as it is works against that mission.

The other day I got a telemarketing call trying to get me to renew my PAM membership... it was an odd call because the telemarketer kept trying to sell me on supporting the museum with a membership and I kept trying to sell him on the idea I won't until there is a sliding scale day.

Anyway, the Contemporary Wing is free to visit for its first two weeks, which is great and shows the right attitude... I just would like to see that attitude of reaching out to continue.

Posted by: SimEnzo [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 10, 2005 09:23 AM

Given the nature of this last post, it seems as though Jahn's announcement that he "officially" hates to discuss himself, means very little.

Posted by: jerseyjoe [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 10, 2005 01:01 PM

Jersey, you are assuming I enjoyed or found the subject matter engaging. It is commonly misconstrued and the subject is boring, dull and a bit like a visit to the dentist for me.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 10, 2005 02:18 PM

About sliding scale at the art museum. Where do you think you're living? A Communist outpost above the 60th latitude? Get a job and become a grown up.

Posted by: cicolini [TypeKey Profile Page] at November 19, 2005 03:50 PM

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