Yes, PORT will have some pretty hefty content for you on Monday night (Matthew Day Jackson) but
until then here is some weekend fodder to sacrifice to the volcano god:
Portland's TIKI-KON starts on Friday, click here
. If you love kitschy pseudo Polynesian culture and strong silly
drinks this is for you. Apparently they will be taking a big tour of Portland's
best private Tiki bars on Sunday. The main event though is Saturday which starts
at the Jupiter Hotel, features a School of Rum bus and of a tour of Portland's
public Tiki bars. There's even a sneak peek of the soon to open Thatch bar.
Go and appease the volcano gods!
Oh and you thought the upcoming I-5 bridge was a big project, take look at
bridge under construction in Bangkok
(yes it's real). This is one project
where adding Tiki's wouldn't add any more zaniness to its appearance.
Also, the Mercury had an nice review of Grey|Area
, but why don't Portland's critics (outside of PORT) really
take on the subject of a group show. Instead, the formula is to reduce the theme
to a catchphrase, which is given a quick glance then shuffled off in order to
discuss the few works they liked. Sure it's valid but this was a good opportunity
to discuss the theme through the work and seemingly nobody will take it on.
I can see someone doing a Tiki show with 20 artists and the Tiki theme would
be described like this in the Portland press, "it's an ode to a kitschy
fad touched off by Thor
. Yet, Tiki culture like a bunch of rum filled zombies just keeps
coming back." That kind of treatment doesn't tell you anything about how
American W.W.II GI's experienced other cultures during the war and left them
with a taste for exoticism that Tiki
filled for a short time. That thirst for other cultures seems worlds
away from the current xenophobia in 21st century America. Maybe Tiki
wasn't a deep understanding of Polynesian culture but it was an interesting
cosmopolitan development compared to the "learn English" movement
On a literally beyond life and death serious note, The Oregonian had this sad but fascinating look at the state of Milton Wilson's estate here
. It's been said many times but an artist's reputation often depends on the savvy of those in control of the estate. Frank Zappa's widow is schrewd and smart and Richard Pousette-Dart's widow put him back on the map through her deal with the Met
. Milton Wilson deserves that kind of serious treatment and his show at Pulliam Deffenbaugh with a number of his peers
(especially Clifford Gleason) is very impressive.
Then there is Jerry Saltz's funny take on Berlin on Artnet
. Ive had the same conversations for over a year now. Also, I think Portland is one of the only places which can legitimately claim to "not be all about the money" and that's part of the reason hoards of creatives are moving and working here, we are an oasis. If anyone can claim a reaction to the influence of the market its Portland and its been written about in Artforum, ART News and Modern Painters (by moi) already. That said, it isn't like money is absent from any art scene's equation, we are an oasis not an island (hence all the galleries).
Lastly, you know I love Frank Gehry, he's great and for an architect he's got
credibility as a true artist but Jonathan
Lethem's open letter to Gehry in Slate
is one of the best reads I've had
in years. Frankly putting a 60 storey tiki head in Brooklyn would have been less
obtrusive than this plan.