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PORT Staffer's Picks For 2006
See em before 2006 is gone
An Interview with Marne Lucas
Making the most of predictable end of year stories
Robert Colescott at Laura Russo Gallery
Opportunities To Keep You Warm
Public Art, Public Smart
Truitt things have never been said
Pierre Huyghe at Portland Art Museum
Required Reading
POW! and Chris Verene's "Self Esteem" at Quality Pictures
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Sunday 12.31.06

PORT Staffer's Picks For 2006

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Melia Donovan picks Paul Sutinen at 9 Gallery


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Jeff Jahn picks New Trajectories I at Reed College: L to R works by: Stephan Thiel, David Thorpe, Eric Schmidt, Richard Prince and Tim Eitel

The Best Group show? Most improved artist? Artist of the year? Curator of the year? The lists go on and on... (much more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 31, 2006 at 13:48 | Comments (3)

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Friday 12.29.06

See em before 2006 is gone

A couple of quick reviews for shows that end this weekend:

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Absolutely do not miss Stephen Slappe's Chain Reaction at Tilt. This multi projector video installation of a menacing 60's style scientist and a couple of hapless humans being observed by him draws the viewer into the theatrical experiment. The music is classic B-movie sci-fi...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 29, 2006 at 10:42 | Comments (1)

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Wednesday 12.27.06

An Interview with Marne Lucas

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Marne Lucas, MLSP: Alphorny, archival pigment print 2006

Artist Marne Lucas and I took brief respites from our densely packed holiday schedules to sit down for an electronic bi-coastal conversation about her current exhibition, Sitting City: Portland Artist Portraits. The images of local artists created for Sitting City were partially funded by a RACC (Regional Arts and Culture Council) project grant, and represent a small cross-section of Lucas's ongoing project of capturing the appearance and essence of her artistic peers.....................(more)

Posted by Jessica Bromer on December 27, 2006 at 9:11 | Comments (7)

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Tuesday 12.26.06

Making the most of predictable end of year stories

Probably just to prove that he's still consistently the best art wordsmith out there, Peter Schjeldahl penned this wonderful bit on the most over exposed and obvious story of the last 3 years, art fairs & markets. (OK Dave Hickey can lick him at will but this "festivalism" subject is just too boring and too much of a weak F. Scott Fitzgerald impersonation to require very serious literary treatment). Being ahead of the fairs is tough but the only thing that separates someone with an intuitive eye and someone who looks at art through its effects on the fair swarm.

Still, Schjeldahl has done it best with this nugget:

"The typical contemporary-art object, judging from Miami Basel, is well crafted, attractive, interesting enough, and portable. It may be figurative or abstract and in any conceivable medium: a pleasantly ungainly painting by Peter Doig, a tiny sculpture by Tom Friedman, a video stunt by Tony Oursler. Not only is there no leading style; there is no noticeable friction between one style and another. These impressions might fade if you focussed on any particular work, but fairs destroy focus. Thousands of works coexisted cozily in Miami, sharing a pluralism of the salable. Talent counts; ideas are immaterial. Exactly one work drew raves from art people who still crave audacity: the New York dealer Gavin Brown left his large space almost bare but for a crumpled cigarette pack (Camels, perhaps to evoke the Middle East), which, attached by a fishing line to an apparatus high overhead, slowly and hypnotically flew above or skittered along the floor. Conceived by the Swiss artist Urs Fischer, this squandering of prime showroom real estate on the trashed container of an addictive product was a smart insult to the occasion, though an awfully mild one. (The piece sold for a hundred and sixty thousand dollars.) A decade ago, much new art was eyebrow-deep in critical theory. Now it seems as carefree as a summertime school-boy, while far better dressed..."

He didn't even give the 2006 Whitney Biennial a real review, dismissing most artists effectively with only a few words. I think there is something to all this lack of friction and the very convenient shape of contemporary art at fairs.

Also, Tyler Green has started the end of the year top 10 list frenzy. I'd add Nick Cave's Sound Suits at the Chicago Cultural Centerand Richard Tuttle at the Des Moines Art Center.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 26, 2006 at 13:40 | Comments (0)

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Friday 12.22.06

Robert Colescott at Laura Russo Gallery

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Haircut (detail) 1989

Artworks are judged in many ways but one of them, the ability to remain fresh, emblematic or poignant after standing the test of time seems to trump all of the others. Happily, time has not blunted the sting of Robert Colescott's irreverent and boldly direct work.

Robert Colescott, a onetime Portlander, seems to be one of the few contemporary artists capable of achieving that feat, maybe because so many of today's young whippersnappers like Cecily Brown, Inka Essenhigh, Kara Walker, Daniel Richter or even cartoons like The Family Guy seem to be following in his iconoclastic "equal opportunity offender" footsteps.

As the 1997 Venice Biennale representative for the US he took shots at everyone, whites, blacks, construction workers, salesmen, Coca Cola, sex, the priesthood etc, sometimes all at once. Colescott creates a kind of pantheon of human failings and there are no "sacred cows" for Colescott...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 22, 2006 at 11:50 | Comments (0)

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Thursday 12.21.06

Opportunities To Keep You Warm

Give yourself the gift of time this holiday season. Whether you go for a few weeks or a few months, the artist residency experience is a valuable opportunity to gain some perspective on you work and meet some other interesting folks. Here are my picks:...(more)

Posted by Jenene Nagy on December 21, 2006 at 12:10 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 12.20.06

Public Art, Public Smart

Portland Public Art has a great post or two on the new Chinese Dragon debacle down in Chinatown. Yes it's an attempt at yuppifying the street but a lot of the write-in comments going on over at the Portland Tribune are just wrong headed. Yes, it's a bad design by committee and that will happen when the process doesn't have sensitivity to excellence built into it but that is hardly a reason to damn all public art. Except for Chicago, I rarely have very high expectations for public art but I think the debate produced by the incident is very important. RACC has done its share of great things along with a few duds. The trick is to produce more great outcomes. The duds will linger and remind us of what not to do and boldness often becomes endearing even if it isn't someone's cup of tea. To remove public art from a city is to make the cityscape less open to questioning. "Why this, why here?" are good questions raised by good and bad art alike. Anything is better than apathy and neglect and Portland at its best abhors apathy and neglect.

My favorite public art pieces in Portland are the Kenny Scharf Tiki Totems (they seem to mock the Pearl in a hilariously reflexive way) and the super traditional statue of Lincoln in the South Park Blocks (there is an identical one in my home city of Milwaukee Wisconsin).

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 20, 2006 at 10:58 | Comments (4)

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Tuesday 12.19.06

Truitt things have never been said

Michael Kimmelman had this fascinating article about an artist in Houston who literally build's community in The New York Times. Kimmelman will be in Portland on February 18th at the Portland Art Museum.

Also, in the NYT's there is an article on Thom Mayne's softer side. Port brought you that side a few weeks ago in this review of his new courthouse in Eugene.

Tyler Green reports that Anne Truitt is finally getting her retrospective, might I gently suggest that the Portland Art Museum as the home of the Clement Greenberg collection and (with at least 1 great Truitt) be one of the tour stops? Yeah, I'm officially freaked out that we like too many of the same artists; Bavington, Still, Smithson, Judd, Ruscha, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Truitt. My love of Damien Hirst, Sue DeBeer, Karen Kilimnik, Elizabeth Peyton, Basquiat, Fischli & Weiss and Richard Tuttle might be divergent points though... at least I hope.

Last, but hardly least, Jerry Saltz has an excellent review of both John Currin and Gregory Crewdson on Artnet. Two artists who have been becoming overly tame, crowd-pleasing entertainers as of late. It's good to see them address the problem but are their solutions enough? Instead of statement shows these are shows designed to reposition them before the assumed statement shows come.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 19, 2006 at 11:49 | Comments (0)

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Monday 12.18.06

Pierre Huyghe at Portland Art Museum

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Pierre Huyghe, This is not a time for dreaming, 2004, Live puppet play and super 16mm film, transferred to DigiBeta. 24 minutes, color, sound, Photo: Michael Vahrenwald

If the story of Modernism is in large part a story about progress, then its contemporary re-telling is necessarily about failure. Pierre Huyghe's This is Not a Time for Dreaming chronicles parallel stories about the creative process, at the same time giving form to the failures implicit in both narratives. Commissioned by Harvard University to create a work commemorating the 40th anniversary of the Carpenter Center for the Arts – the sole building by Le Corbusier in the United States and one of only two in the Americas – Huyghe delved into historical records and archival documents to provide source material. The resulting work took the form of a puppet show set to music, performed with a cast of custom-built marionettes and filmed in a pod-like stage that Huyghe constructed as a temporary appendage to the Center. The 16 mm film documenting the performance has been included in solo shows at the Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris and Tate Modern, and is currently on view as part of the Miller Meigs contemporary art series at the Portland Art Museum...

Posted by Katherine Bovee on December 18, 2006 at 13:19 | Comments (1)

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Required Reading

Last summer a certain local art journalist and I discussed how being at smaller Miami art fairs (like Aqua) would be important for Portland and Seattle galleries. Being the snarky and cynical sort he is (almost a requisite for being any kind of writer) he snorted, "but art fairs are a dime a dozen." But being in Miami last year I countered that Aqua was a hit last year and this year would cash in. Fairs broaden collector bases and short circuit regional collecting ruts and Jen Graves piece in the Stranger explains why.

Artnet has also chimed in with an art fair cattle call.

Hell, PORT cofounder Jenn Armbrust's gallery, Motel, managed to sell a Jesse Rose Vala installation to a European collector (how many local collectors dare buy installation art despite the fact that it is the most dominant and interesting part of the scene?.. I know of only 5). Other Portland artists were picked up by galleries in larger cities etc. If you aren't familiar with big international art fairs it is impossible to write informed articles about what is happening to the Portland art scene. The good news is your editors need to put Miami, London or New York in the budget.

The Graves article is required reading for all Portland art press, yes there will be a quiz.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 18, 2006 at 0:00 | Comments (2)

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Saturday 12.16.06

POW! and Chris Verene's "Self Esteem" at Quality Pictures

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Detail from Chris Verene's "Heidi in Her Renaissance Fair Dress" 2004

Heidi greets you at the door, resplendent in her full regalia of "Ren" Fair attire, beaming in all of her medieval maiden glory. She seems relaxed and proud amidst suburban fauna and flora, the portrait of someone living as closely as possible to a dream. POW! Pictures of Women confronts you immediately upon entering the door. Enter here, stage left, Quality Pictures, Portland's latest addition to the Pearl, and after experiencing the raw caliber of its first show, quite an addition indeed. . .(more)

Posted by Amy Bernstein on December 16, 2006 at 10:58 | Comments (0)

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Friday 12.15.06

check em out

If you havn't checked out the Flog on our blogroll, do so now. Chris Tallon and Barry McGee are worth the click alone.

PORT will have our review of Quality Pictures fantastic POW show soon.

Also, check out this interesting article in the O on the new face in affluence in Portland. This comes as no surprise but the # of people making $100,000-$500,000 a year has doubled in the last 10 years. So has the 500,000+ bracket. Not news if you pay close attention, but it's why people have gotten more and more ambitious here.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 15, 2006 at 9:45 | Comments (0)

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Thursday 12.14.06

Do you make videos?

Seems like a great time to be a media artist. Everywhere I look I am seeing calls to artists for time based works. Here are my picks:...(more)

Posted by Jenene Nagy on December 14, 2006 at 16:01 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 12.13.06

I blab about art on KBOO

Just a quick note, I'll be on Julie Bernard's Art Focus radio program on KBOO (90.7 FM Portland, 91.9 FM Hood River, 100.7 FM Willamette Valley) Thursday at 10:30 AM Pacific. You can stream it here. Ill be discussing this show primarily. Also, I'm trying to get Julie to bake me some toll house cookies like she used to for guests.... oh so Portland.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 13, 2006 at 20:40 | Comments (0)

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Miami Art fairs (part 3, favorites) by Amy Steel

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Miami fair favorites...(more)

Posted by Guest on December 13, 2006 at 17:57 | Comments (2)

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Tuesday 12.12.06

Processing it all

Here is some more Miami to process, including Tyler Green's initial take, sounds like the superflat paradigm to me.

PORT's coverage of Miami art fairs looked like this.

Portland boasts 10-20 artists every curator looking for new artists should consider: Sean Healy, Storm Tharp, Ellen George, Matthew Picton, Jacqueline Ehlis, Chandra Bocci, Bruce Conkle, James Lavadour, Vanessa Renwick, Laura Fritz (yeah my GF but others say this), Michael Knutson, Matt McCormick, Michael Brophy, Tom Cramer, David Eckard, Brenden Clenaghen, Red 76 and Patrick Rock are just the tip of the iceberg. People like Jesse Hayward, Brad Adkins, Carson Ellis, PORT's own Katherine Bovee & Philippe Blanc, TJ Norris, Marne Lucas and Daniel Peterson are all up and comers who might excite national audiences too (I can go on and on with more, Jesse Rose Vala, Paul Green, Daniel Fagereng, Joe Macca, Sincerely John Head etc.).

On Point.Flux.Broadcast the lovely Natasha Snellman blogged Miami as well.

...and as congratulations to Jerry Saltz, may he win the damn Pulitzer some time soon, has any art critic in recent memory deserved it more?

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 12, 2006 at 11:43 | Comments (2)

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Monday 12.11.06

Outer and Inner Space: Films of Andy Warhol

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Cinema Project offers two opportunities to catch Andy Warhol’s Outer and Inner Space and ten of Warhol’s screen tests featuring Lou Reed, Susan Sontag, and John Cale this evening and tomorrow night at the New American Art Union....(more)

Posted by Melia Donovan on December 11, 2006 at 9:21 | Comments (0)

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Sunday 12.10.06

Miami Art fairs (part 2) by Amy Steel

Portland has a striking presence in Miami. Chris Johanson and Harrell Fletcher are showing at Jack Hanley at the Nova fair. Motel, Small A, and Elizabeth Leach are all at Aqua. PDX is at the Flow fair.

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Chris Johanson's painting at Nova. Nova is apart of the main fair (Art Basel Miami Beach) and encompasses all the spaces on the building perimeter. Its intention is to showcase "emerging" artists.
...(more)

Posted by Guest on December 10, 2006 at 16:11 | Comments (14)

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I Want to Show You Somewhere

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Be sure you don't miss "I want to show you somewhere" at Reed College's Cooley Gallery, which closes today has just been extended for another week. The two installations that comprise the exhibition are not as much about the personal and political histories that artists Hadley + Maxwell and Lucien Samaha depict, as they are about the act of describing and investigating these histories. Vancouver-based collaborative Hadley + Maxwell revisit the events that took place on May 4, 1970 during the Kent State riots through drawing, sound and a video installation. Re-enacting a scene from an iconic photograph from the riots, the two artists trade roles as fallen student and anonymous bystander. Though the notion of photographic truth is rendered unstable through their re-creation of the events depicted in this famous photograph, the installation retains an elegiac rather than overtly critical tone.

Lucien Samaha's installation of 98 unmarked photographs culled from his extensive archives relay a much different kind of history. For the duration of the exhibition, Samaha has occupied a temporary office within the gallery, allowing visitors to select one photograph from the exhibition. Only after the visitor has taken the photograph and reciprocated the gesture – the artist requests that visitors send a digital image of the photograph at a location of their own choosing – does Samaha allow access to an online archive of images that include accompanying texts explaining the significance of each autobiographical photograph. In the event you don't make it to the gallery, an interview with Reed student Matt Burke is available on Samaha's web site.

Noon to 5 pm • Through December 17 • Cooley Art Gallery
Hauser Memorial Library at Reed College • 3203 SE Woodstock Boulevard

Posted by Katherine Bovee on December 10, 2006 at 10:33 | Comments (4)

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Friday 12.08.06

Miami Art fairs (part I) by Amy Steel

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The part of Southern Florida im staying in is a little resort town outside of Miami called Hollywood, or "Hollywierd" as my friend calls it. It reminds of me of a David Hockney painting with its pastel colors and swimming pools- yes that tiny white dot in the background is a cruise ship.

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Thus, a pool sculpture by the cuban collaborative
duo Los Carpinteros @ Sean Kelly ABMB.... (more)

Posted by Guest on December 08, 2006 at 10:41 | Comments (0)

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Thursday 12.07.06

Portland in Miami guide

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a Bruce Conkle Snowman @ Jack The Pelican Presents

So, where can you find Portland galleries and artists in Miami?

Art Basel Miami Beach:

The SF based Jack Hanley Gallery represents mr. Harrell Fletcher and Chris Johanson

Aqua:

Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Small A Projects and Motel (run by PORT's co-founder/owner Jennifer Armbrust)...(more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 07, 2006 at 12:29 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 12.06.06

First Thursday Picks for December

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Jenny Saville at Quality Pictures

NKOTB Quality Pictures inaugurates their Hoyt St. space with work by Cindy Sherman, Jenny Saville, Nikki S. Lee, Sue de Beer, Larry Sultan, Kara Walker, Glen Brown and Katy Grannan, among others, promising to keep the opening going until 11pm and evidently ordering enough food to warrant mentioning the opening's caterers (Planet B's Modern Tastes) in the press release. Sounds almost too good to be true...will they ask for our immortal souls at the door?

Ascendant local Holly Andres will join the formidable ladies and gentlemen listed above in POW! Pictures of Women, an exhibition of works that investigate female aesthetic power beyond the bland confines of traditional standards of beauty. Running simultaneously, Chris Verene's Self Esteem "will feature photographs by Mr. Verene that examine the role of photographed image and its effect on an individual's self esteem. Works in this exhibit will be primarily drawn from Verene's 'Self Esteem Salons' and from early work. Verene's 'Salons' are a performance artwork wherein he builds a temporary sanctuary to be used in helping strangers-'clients'-to make a sincere and lasting change in their lives."
Opening Reception • Dec. 7, 6-11pm • POW! Pictures of Women: Dec. 7-30 • Self Esteem: Dec. 7 - Jan. 27
Quality Pictures • 916 NW Hoyt • Tel. 503.227.5060
..........(more)

Posted by Jessica Bromer on December 06, 2006 at 5:06 | Comments (2)

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Tuesday 12.05.06

Sponsoring Better Art Writing

Regular PORT reader may recognize a few new sponsors to the right, Quality Pictures, Pushdot Studios, The Bullseye Gallery and Organism. In fact, let's take a break to thank all of our sponsors, you make all this possible. Our, monthly readership has nearly doubled since June (our 1 year anniversary) and it is really gratifying that so many readers from around the world have found us useful. When Jennifer, Katherine and I (along with Phillipe Blanc's software customizations) were originally trying to get one another to do this alone we had no idea where it would lead… all we wanted was better art writing and better art scene information blogged with an international perspective. This art macroblog was an experiment and a kind of labor of love public service. With so much art press in Portland being rather persona and tabloid-ish rather than content/context driven Im really proud of all of our writers, you really make PORT a unique online community... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 05, 2006 at 22:40 | Comments (0)

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Monday 12.04.06

Go Go: Green Light Green Light at Small A Projects

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Detail from Anissa Mack's "Generic Fruit Cocktail" 2004

Small A Projects' current show, Green Light Green Light, is one of this winter's refreshing rarities. It holds fort on an island of wry, dry wit and irony, defending itself in the infinite, reverberating echoes of implication the works channel. For lack of effusive formal elements or the push of a gaudy craft, horror vaccui sufferers beware. The immediate impression. . .(more)

Posted by Amy Bernstein on December 04, 2006 at 8:31 | Comments (1)

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Sunday 12.03.06

James Lavadour at PSU

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Portland's favorite "greatest painter", James Lavadour, will be this season's final PSU MFA Monday night lecture guest...

The season will resume in early January, with a lecture on January 8 by Dave McKenzie, a Brooklyn-based artist who will be presenting his second solo exhibition in Portland with Tomorrow Will be Better at small A projects.

Lecture · Monday, December 4th · 8:15 p
PSU 5th Avenue Cinema · 510 SW Hall St. Room 92 (on the corner of 5th & Hall)
Funded in part by PICA, PNCA, Reed College, Lewis & Clark College and The Affair at the Jupiter Hotel

Posted by Katherine Bovee on December 03, 2006 at 19:00 | Comments (1)

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Saturday 12.02.06

Round Up

Did you know that a flower coming out of a pizza pie represents the destruction of New Orleans? Wondering what our local galleries have in store when they hit Miami? Which color for corduroy will be hot this winter? Get all of those answers and more from this enlightening article. I love these kinds of articles in the NYTimes. Usually they predict the end of a career that’s just beginning. Warning: if you’re young and on the verge of breaking out don’t answer the call for an interview with the Times…no matter how nice they seem on the phone....(more)

Posted by Melia Donovan on December 02, 2006 at 15:53 | Comments (0)

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Akram Zaatari for Cinema Project at NAAU

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Today, a two-part series of screenings by Lebanese artist Akram Zaatari continues with his feature length documentary film This Day. This is Zaatari's second project in Portland - in Fall 2005, Mapping Sitting, his collaboration with Walid Raad, came to Reed's Cooley Gallery. This time, Zaatari was able to travel to Portland and is in attendance at all screenings. Many of the same themes are present in Zaatari's video work. Last Thursday, the three short films included a story of the last meeting between two friends, set in a once grand shopping district in Bereuit that was later destroyed during the Civil War; a documentary on several young males who relayed disarmingly frank stories of sexual conquest, in the process revealing their own vulnerabilities to social mythologies of virility and machoism; and a documentary about Zaatari's quest to recover a buried letter from a figure in the Lebanese resistance. Tonight, Zaatari will present a feature length documentary that uses archival images from Lebanon to explore the notion (or delusions) of photographic truth.

This Day [2003, video, color, sound, 86 min] Saturday, December 2nd · 7:30 p
New American Art Union 922 SE Ankeny Street · 503.231.8294
Suggested donation: $6.00 · Members: $3.00
Presented by Cinema Project in collaboration with Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed

Posted by Katherine Bovee on December 02, 2006 at 8:46 | Comments (0)

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