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Wednesday 10.24.07

« Ongoing Installations | Main | Tasty »

Wearing different hats and Portland hype?

bueyshat.jpg

Here's an interesting article about Wilhelm Schurmann on Art Facts (Salvatore Reda pointed it out to me). In particular I like how Schurmann confounds those who try to categorize his activities and it reminds me of all those shortsighted people who seem to complain about how disciplines like curator, artist, collector, critic, historian, gallerist, philanthropists or board member are blurred together. We live in a true era of pluralism so all of this boundary blurring shouldn't come as a surprise.

True there are some ethical boundaries and those of us who wear different hats do have to compartmentalize our activities and thinking but the fact remains that the art world needs both specialists and ground breakers. For an example, a chief curator of a major museum is paid to function in one primary role, whereas boundary blurrers are there to fulfill catalytic roles that break down the walls that often keep new things from happening. Frankly, it's these more chaotic chimerical art world entities that make the work challenging. Without chimeras like artist-historian-curators such as Murakami or curator-collector-gonzo contextualizers like Walter Hopps the history of art would simply look like a resume of inevitability.

These days Portland is full of chimerical multiheaded catalysts like Ruth Ann Brown, Patrick Rock, Christopher Rauschenberg, Jesse Hayward, Laurel Gitlen, Jenene Nagy, Paul Middendorf, TJ Norris, MK Guth, Matt McCormick, Matt Stadler and Myself... etc. and the city is simply the better for it. In fact its those who blurr the distinctions between curator, critic, artist, gallerist, historian and philanthropist who force those who are paid to be just one thing to step up and be more relevant by not just focusing on persona or money. Because multiple hat wearers can't hide behind standardized careeer derived platitudes, we have to be extra conscious of every detail and walk very fine but truly sophisticated lines. That is what PORT is here for, to give sophisticated critical response to sophisticated efforts.

Also, the WWeek has digested some of the media blitz on Portland... it's an interesting, funny read. Still there is something going on that is beyond hype, Portland is increasingly conscientious in a time when the USA seems increasingly amnesiatic... why are all these artists, musicians and other reasonably attuned ethical-aesthetes in Portland? Because like minds seek eachother art and Portland with its focus on ecology, art, design, food, transportation, neighborhoods and life in general is becoming the leading edge of America's somewhat underdeveloped conscience. Let's see how seriously we can live up to that challenge hmmm?

Posted by Jeff Jahn on October 24, 2007 at 16:53 | Comments (16)


Comments

If it is shortsighted to be concerned when board members are rewarding spouses or friends - or themselves - with grants or stipends, then fit me for a pair of glasses. It is troubling that you seem to think that a "specialist" can't be a groundbreaker, and that you imply that the only important artists are the ones who have a closet overflowing with hats, yourself, of course, included. Portland is not the first place where artists have participated in curation, or theorizing, or collecting. Kandinsky was doing this 100 years ago, resulting in far greater ripples than anything going on in this little pond. Was Picasso a lesser artists because he did not wear mulitple hats, simply "specializing" in painting and sculpting? Ah, if only he had started a blog, or owned a gallery, or written some theory - then he might have been somebody. I understand a second tier city like Portland needs its boosters, and gosh-golly I hope you find that barn and put on your show. But, until then, I will continue to roll my eyes and await Arcy Douglas' next submission where I will find some content that goes beyond name dropping and hyperbole.

Posted by: Amsterdammer [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2007 09:37 AM

Valid concerns but how do they hold up to the facts? That's where the shortsighted part comes in. For instance, I did mention that there are ethical boundaries that multiple hat wearers must carefully watch and those mentioned absolutely do. I hoped this post would provoke one of these reactions... on cue one has appeared. Here is a response:

Maybe you are assuming that everything is some inside deal, whereas it's more likely that individuals with "power hats" are given wide lattitude to exercise their judgement by virtue of how arts professionals compartmentalize their decision making (ie when the curator hat is on an artist has to meet certain criteria for consideration). After such a deciscion becomes public some who are prone to conspiracy theories (and smoke a lot of weed) might look at circumstantial evidence and make assumptions, but really it was just a curator or committee exercising their judggement. So to directly address your concerns:

1)board members of non profits awarding freinds shows or stipends without requisite merit: First off I havn't seen it. Go ahead name an instance?

For a counter example as a curator for Organism I can state that Matthew Picton was in Model Behavior precisely because his new city work and the work of Hank Willis Thomas were brought to my attention within minutes of eachother and the resulting confluence inspired the show (both meet the criteria of being international artists as well). The idea for Model Behavior came about 6 months before I even seriously consdered to creating a non-profit. Was that an ethical decision based on merit, you bet... it orginated from the work and ideas not as a favor to an artist Ive known and worked with for years. In fact at the time the show was formed he didnt have representation in Portland and I felt it would be nice for an international artist to show in his home state.

2) Im completely aware of Kandinsky's activities, he is one of my heros as one might have guessed. In grad school I specialized in the history of Der Blaue Reiter and nowhere did I denegrate Picasso. Overall, I didn't claim that specialists can't break ground (those are your words and a paper tiger rhetorical construction) ... obviously anybody can break barriers, the point is those who straddle many fronts are almost forced to break down multiple barriers across different disciplines... they have less interest in keeping barries up. This is very important as it allows new combinations to arise.

Sure, there is more work to be done in Portand but you might be missing the fact that there is a lot more Kandinsky-like cross discipline activity going on here than in in much larger cities... and it is noteworthy because it creates this wild west "no fences" situation. In most other places the various art schools define your place in heirarchy, even before you graduate. Here it is just more open. So go ahead, roll your eyes and try to ignore how much interesting and increasingly internationally recognized work is coming out of Portland but to me it just sounds like useless bitterness.

3) I never claimed that Portland is the first place to have multiple hat wearers, in fact my pointing out of Hopps and Murakami stated the opposite. I merely pointed out that we have a lot of discipline crosssers and for many reasons (mostly amusing) a few are grousing about it. If they would just get up and do something of their own instead of complain they might achieve something more satisfying than carping that the art world is unfair. Of course it is, even Paul Klee had to rely on his wife's piano lessons to make ends meet, etc.

4) There is a big difference between boosterism and giving credit where it is due. It is important to acknowledge the strides people are making (which is why a bitter few who feel left out have become so vocal). We need to take (or give) credit not for the purpose of congratulating ourselfs but to move on, improve and follow up. Portland is on the tip of many a tongue for many reasons and rather than make arguments about Picasso that weren't even part of the discussion I'd rather people simply stepped up.

Ruth Ann Brown, MK Guth, Patrick Rock, Laurel Gitlen etc. all as multiple hat wearing go-getters not only ask people to step up... they back it up.

So, complain all you want but actions continue to speak louder than words. Instead of boosterism there's a whole lot of solid stuff being done here and your reaction only serves as a benchmark of its effect.

I still think that on the whole things here could be dialed up a few notches... but there is some work being done here which absolutely sets the bar compared to other places and that is no easy feat.

PORT is here to critically take on and sometimes embody the complicated way that the visual arts make culture. It's just part of the process and though turgid and non linear that's the way it works. There is definitely something going on in Portland and with the record setting # of hits here at PORT over the last week I suspect a lot of people are aware of it too.

The question is, if you aren't really involved do the complaints matter? Don't like something, then do it the way you want to see it done.

Right now it's up to those who do rather than complain to follow through and push harder.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2007 12:07 PM

uuhg...my shoes are too tight. oooh...my panties are in bunch. eeww...there's poop on the sidewalk! Oh glory! Thank you much Port, I do so need a place in which to complain about my life.

Posted by: clarklovins [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 25, 2007 05:09 PM

goodness, my apologies for poking the bear. my criticism, and I thought it was rather a small one, is the tendency of your publication to reference an artist or activity occuring elsewhere and say, "see, we're doing that here!" as an offering of proof of the high merits of the local art scene. It also makes me uncomfortable when an editor spends a large amount of time extoling his own virtues, and this is a practice which I would like to see you do less. The Schurmann article was interesting, and my hope would have been that you would have spent more time discussing, and encouraging discussion, about the content of the interview. His comments on art and music seem particularly relevent to the Portland scene. I have no desire to do away with boosterism, and anyone involved in such activities can claim great success in luring the youthful creatives to Portland, although, despite your record number of hits, my guess is the successive articles in the new york times on Our Fair City have been more responsible for the influx of talent. I also think it is disturbing that you write a baited entry waiting to pounce upon whomever dares to disagree with your view. This doesn't seem to be a format which will encourage open debate. In my defence, as any thoughtful reader could tell, I was not rolling my eyes at the local art scene, which I enjoy, quite literally, on a daily basis (lucky me!) but at you and your publication, which merely shows my desire to nudge the tone of your publication in a slightly different direction. This would seem to be the point of a blog, as an entity with an open forum for discussion. And finally, at no point in my brief entry do I carp that the artworld is unfair, smoke marijuana, nor do I wear panties, although I have tremendous respect for their design.

Posted by: Amsterdammer [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2007 10:18 AM

Of course nudge away and it's appreciated... but I was the one who tabled and linked to Schurmann article, tying in its relationship to what is going on here. You are the one who felt a diversion to me was necessary.

It's partly why I did this post; a lot of people are getting hung up on local multi-hat personas, partly obscuring the important work done by these people (maybe the O�s coverage is part of the problem). I named many multitaskers directly and as I write from my own POV I had to acknowledge my stake. Still, I kept it low key.

Hopefully, as I sense from your comment we can now move beyond this?

Maybe I can be more specific: many people are bent out of shape about Ruth Ann Brown using her money and the media's local obsession with it to promote both her artists and others that she doesnt represent at NAAU. They feel she's bending the rules by being patron and gallerist... acting like a non profit. This move does several things by breaking some of the unspoken rules of a gallerist... rules which were made to be broken of course.

Does it make her efforts more difficult to sort and categorize, yes... but if the shows are good the strategy will be vindicated.

Matt Stadler has gotten a lot of similar blowback. By being a mc or host of sorts for the Backroom he made a lot of people a little annoyed. How dare he not limit his activities to scribbling words! Obviously it was a petty complaint. Sure it attracts attention to Matt but BFD. Same goes for my using my own experiences in PORT.. I cant speak from Dan May's experiences and Im just giving an honest response.

Then there are people like Laurel Gitlen. The carping about the Affair at the Jupiter hotel this year was louder than ever. It is seen as a confluence of her gallery's interests etc. and that might be a valid observation... but it doesnt diminish the fact that it is a good thing for Portland.

Some in this town want to redirect the discussion away from the effects the actions of multi-hat wearers have by pointing out that they as individuals might benefit from operating on multiple vectors... and my point is that it is a red herring. It's not like anti trust legislation should be passed so that arts professionals can only hold one job.

I'm not saying that you Amdamn, believe all of those things but many do and the post was designed to point out someone from outside of Portland (Schurmann) who operates like many in Portland do. Pretty simple.

Is multitasking a pet subject of mine?... hell yes but you were the one who chose to focus on me rather than Schurmann so let's not let this denegrate. I will continue to write from my POV and similarly all of the other PORT writers have their own voice and concerns... that's both vour strength and weakness, but by embodying and owning that paradox PORT has been quite successful. We are very up front about this, all of PORT's writer's are essentially wearning multiple hats.

Now let's more beyond that basic fact and expand the hat wearing discussion. Here's a list some of my fav's:

Donald Judd: artist, critic... he didnt like what institutions did so he created something he could get behind

Walter Hopps: curator, collector who just didnt play by many rules... other than art deserves to be treated with the utmost respect

Andre Breton: writer and organizer of intellectual activity

Damien Hirst: artist & curator who generously helped connect and contextualize the other YBA's, sure he's been rewarded but people should note how he didnt just help himself.

Takashi Murakami: the otaku king who now puts on fairs etc while shining a light on others from Japan who needed him to pave the way

Philip Johnson: architect, curator, collector Maybe he was'nt the most talented architect (but not a hack either)... but he lent his cachet to allow other young architects to get bold new work done. The Portland building wasnt his shining moment. Im not really a fan of Johnson but I find his role interesting and informative.

Now we have bloggers like gallerist Edward Winkleman... he wears different but very related hats adding more discussion while promoting his gallery.

I also think that Jerry Saltz when he curated a Whitney Biennial and Dave Hickey by curating Beau Monde took their ideas from theory to practice and the world was better for it.

I think some just want to compulsively organize and by having so many Portlanders wear so many hats it cant be done in terribly tidy ways. I think Portland embodies our times quite successfully in that way.

The point is; in art the rules often get made up as things happen... the multi-hat wearers frequently facilitate those rule changes.

Whereas, those who abide strictly in one discipline tend to follow the rules and be more reactive. It isnt a bad thing, just the way things are. The net result is Portland has a lot of unpredictable activity that has formed several increasingly defined concerns, centered around various individuals. Let's just look at the concerns, ideas and shows and leave the documentary to some film student?

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2007 11:48 AM

I was going to add some smarmy comment, but even I have lost sight of why everyone is so upset in this discussion.

Discussion isn't even the proper term. "Bitching" perhaps?

I would like to paraphrase what I think is important in this article:

1) Questions of one's ethics are always directed towards multi-hat wearers.

2) These Portland multi-hat folks are all essential to Portland's art scene.

3) Portland is an indie mecca.

4) Portland is a super-duper-inspirational American city.

So what's all the fuss about? Those sounds like perfectly good subjects to me.

PS: Sorry, apparently I just couldn't resist leaving a smarmy comment.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2007 07:48 PM

pullleeeze. damian hurst also said that the 911 attacks on the trade centers were like a beautiful thing, which is so gross, and does nothing to separate the beautiful from the diabolic. double j is stating the oh so obvious, influential artists have always worn more than one hat, and portland is hardly unique in that. I just moved here from minneapolis, and there is as much multi hatting going on there as there is here, and with worse weather, which really demands good hats, cuz it gets fucking cold there. a great art community is defined by many things, the least of which is a blog. you have one museum here, and good god, what is up with that squeaky parquet floor? OMG I so miss the Walker and the Minneapolis Institute, I mean how do you live here without a Modigliani or a decent Van Gogh to look at? and what is up with the little cliques here? jesus, you people are so afraid to let an outsider in, I mean, what are you afraid of?? jeez, open up a little. I moved here cuz I thought it was an artsy place that didn't have such shitty winters. all I get are hipster attitudes and crappy installations that look like art school rejects. yeah, keep telling yourself your cool, but my first friend here just got run over by a cement truck.

Posted by: Carol Kennicott [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 26, 2007 10:22 PM

Carol, I'm so sorry about your friend.

Still, outsiders get in pretty easilly here. It's not that tough, sounds like you've just met the wrong people drop me an email and I can suggest some people who might share similar interests. The hipsters aren't usually the real movers and shakers here, they just make for colorful/amusing openings.

Also, weve got a nice Brancusi, does that help? Also our Monet Waterlilly is first rate... the Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Chaim Soutine also always do it for me too. The Paige Powell Basquiat on view at PAM is pretty interesting too. Portland is a young West Coast city so our collection is spottier... but in many ways that lends a sense of urgency to create something new.

I agree multitasking is just a modern fact of life... but lately its been a funny bone of contention in Portland because some would rather focus on persona grousing (as in the firestorm over SWI's simple and rather innocent Portland Art Scene coloring book). Frankly i'm more interested in his more conceptual projects, but to each their own.

Maybe this lil diversion has just exhausted some of the recent silliness... if so that's a good outcome.

I hope to see several good to outstanding shows next month... October was rather good with Dan May, Vala, Scott Peterman, Picton, Cramer, Kojo Griffin and the crybaby show at PAC. Ill see Rhoda London's show saturday... yet another multi hat wearer doing a warehouse show in St Johns .

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 27, 2007 12:46 AM

Amsterdammer, Carol Kennicott and Other Interested Parties:

There are other places online that are involved in this conversation in various forms within the NW. It absolutely happens elsewhere in various places and professions. A friend from grad school just "curated" himself into his own group show in NY. If this thread is still of interest to you may want to join other "local" discussions:

http://thebrillobox.com/?p=28#comments

http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/art/archives/124458.asp?source=rss

http://blog.oregonlive.com/visualarts/2007/10/news_tidbits_and_a_few_thought.html

http://blog.oregonlive.com/visualarts/2007/10/reflections_on_couture_and_mor.html

http://thebrillobox.com/?p=27

Perhaps this is a practice of this specific generation. Or maybe just a practice of the young (in age and/or practice) that is soon outgrown as complaints mount and maturity and experience are gained. It would be hard for anyone to argue that there's something wrong with multi-tasking or "wearing multiple hats". The issue is when an artist curates a show and includes their own work or other versions of the same problem (insert gallery director, editor, writer, etc.). This is not the practice of curating. If a friend/colleague's work fits the parameters of the thesis of the show, I see no conflict in including their work. However, the curator is already in the show by way of their thesis and the inclusion of their physical work is a redundant and egregious gesture.

Posted by: melia [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 28, 2007 09:24 AM

I think multi-hat wearing is just something that is naturally done as a scene is still developing...

Yet there is something of this age which demands that some (not all) cross boundaries with their involvement. I also think that transparency of one's involvement is central and key to our age. So instead of coming from some pseudo-disinterested facade curators, writers and artists merely present their interests as a kernal around which the idea generates. The Schurmann article highlighted how this trend is deeply entrenched and valid, making the counter reaction seem a bit quaint.

In the old days this was the avant garde... now it's avant subjectivity and its ubiquity in most any interesting place is a kind of calling card for civic vitality.

Some sites discuss the issue well (with opposing views), others merely provide anonymous opportunities to air ignorance, bitterness and pointless conspiracy theories.

I'm still considering why PORT should keep its comment section... Art Blogginng LA and Tyler Green have disposed of theirs and it eems the higher profile the site the more comments just seem useless. (comments help build readership for young sites but are a small part of our 70,000+ individual readers per month)

Yet I like the way this thread worked... a kind of invitation to step into the ring? Maybe it is because I am planing to seriously curtail the comment opportunities on PORT shortly, and I simply wanted to see who might speak up directly.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 28, 2007 10:25 AM

I want to argue for the continuation of the comments section... It's unfortunate that the more thoughtful reviews often lie dormant while the active exchanges usually pertain to contentious or bitter issues. I guess that's just human nature. Still, in a web format, I don't really see what harm is done by such venting. Perhaps if the dialogue was framed less in terms of a boxing ring and more as an opportunity to share views or debate important topics?

This might involve:
- framing the initial posts to pose participatory questions
- allowing those who comment to occasionally go without refutation and to sometimes have the last word
- identify some of the key issues within a topic, in the way that Calvin has done above. For example, it seems that the real issue in this stream in not the "multi-hat" nature of art communities (which in my perspective is the norm across locations, eras and scene maturity and ages of artists). Instead, I think the ethics of such activity are the real issue, and an important one that deserves discussion.

Overall, I'm not sure I'm not sure I understand the advantages of closing down discussion over opening it up.

To comment briefly on the issues above:
Since it seems that multi-tasking is the norm and there is no such thing as a disinterested or unbiased critical or curatorial voice, then the problem (if there is one) must lie somewhere else. I would suggest that its more a matter of: 1) disclosure and transparency 2) the spirit of things.

For example, in regards to Couture, I think it might have been good if Ruth Ann had stated from the beginning that 40% of the artists would be chosen from a group already represented by NAAU. This would have provided interested artists (including myself) with a more accurate idea of the procedure and avoided controversy later. On the other hand, Ruth Anns spirit of philanthropy and her intention of feeding money into a system designed to implement and support large scale projects is undeniably impressive.

I agree with Melia that curating oneself into one's own show is in poor taste. Ill leave it to others to comment on the spirit of praising one's self on one's own platform...

Posted by: seth [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 28, 2007 01:39 PM

Well I think the boxing ring is sometimes necessary since often times the most extreme voices turn up in the comments first. After things get boxed, things settle down and can get more productive. (of course asking questings up front is ideal but if nobody answers it seems wasted so I chose to bait).

Also, note I foregrounded the ethical issue from the opening post and I'm glad you want to persue this thread Seth. I think its productive, and thanks for encouarging it.

I'll take a stance on the curating issue... depending on the situation it is perfectly fine, even encouraging when an artist curates themselves into a show.. precedents like Gauguin, Kandinsky, Judd, Hirst, and Murakami etc. all make a clear case or it. For me the attenuating circumstance is the nature and style of show. Is it a show where the artist curator is central to the context... aka Superflat or Freeze? Then it's fine. A flat rule that artists should never curate themselves into a show seems to deny the protean processes that bring new art forward... it all cant be some institutionally vetted agreement, sometimes its just an artist and their peers doing what they feel like.

I think Scott Wayne Indiana essentially curating himself into an art scene coloring book is prefectly ethical as well. Some are way too touchy about this ingratiating impulse because I think Scott realized the project would create a funny/reflexive momenent where people were getting all bent out of shape because they hadn't made the scene in a "coloring book" (ha).

Is SWI the final arbitrator of the portland art scene, of course not... no one person is. Still consensus does get created and I think it is the right of every artist to cultivate, capture and frame the conext of their work and peers.

As for Ruth Ann's Couture prize... sure such info regarding those in her stable might have been useful to some but I think there is something equally nice to making up the rules as one goes. Besides who didnt expect some of her artists to be included? Since NAAU isn't a non profit she didnt have to play th "popularity contest" inherent in NP's and their rules. She kept the printed guidelines very loose and I think this should have cued everyone off to the fact that she would taylor the awards as she saw fit. I respect that pragmatism as well. PS. I didn't apply because there was no way I would want compete with (my formidable) girlfriend and already had a show schedualed at PNCA in Mid-March 2008. If I need capital for that project Ill just ask someone anyways. I also altered my behavior by hardly chatting Ruth Ann as she was making her decisions and I suspect those who got awards acted similarly. This gets back to the necesarilly compartmentalized thinking of multi-hat wearing culturalists.


Back to generalities: with the transparency and relative anonymity of the internet we are seeing the reactions to people's tightrope walking and hat doffing. From a historian's viewpoint this is interesting. I think the intrnet calls ethics into question much faster as well, and puts pressure on those making the ethical decisions to "own" or embody the issues or tensions they raise.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 28, 2007 02:06 PM

Please don't close down the comments! If some are truly inappropriate, then get rid of those....

Posted by: lsd [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 28, 2007 03:23 PM

Charlie Finch weighs in on blogs:
http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/finch/finch10-26-07.asp

Posted by: jerseyjoe [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 29, 2007 09:35 AM

I vote that the comments stay, but I offer an account of my own experiences to this community.

I once served as managing editor for a news site that I think had a similar profile to this one: narrow topic focus, regular updates of original content, and a decent audience size for a niche player.

When we added message boards, I started out posting thoroughly researched and well-reasoned responses to most of the topics that came up. What I discovered is that I tended to close off participation, rather than encourage it. Once I said everything that needed to be said, no one had the desire to say anything else.

So I took a lighter hand, and let folks post away with only minimal intervention, usually just to clarify a factual matter or to close off abuses. Participation grew, and our audience size grew, to the point that we started developing expert commenters and discrete sub-communities within our community.

One might argue that the overall quality of the discourse went down. But then you have to start talking about your goals as a site owner/operator: are you trying to grow an audience, build a community, generate connections among disparate players in the community and promote the greater interests of the community? Or is your goal to assert an authoritative editorial presence above any other competing priorities?

Posted by: getfogged [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 29, 2007 09:55 AM

Thanks GF'd those are the sorts of things Ive debated with the staff and the general consensus is we are a visual arts site... which gives precedence to quality over jerry springer style human drama.

The goal is to raise te level not lower it.

PORT's audience is growing at a fantastic rate, even when there are no comments so I'm inclined to let less serious tabloid sites/writers handle the apparent human need for stupidity (ala Jersey Joe's link). This topic is discussed in the Art in America article.

As for the original discussion here about the general grist over people fullfilling multiple roles and the general ire it has provoked as of late... I see it as a reaction to the success that the strategies have been enjoying and complaining about someone's hard won success usually just makes the complainer not the complainee look bad.

People in the arts absolutely have the right to make certain their efforts are not ignored and if wearing 10 hats gets the job done while upsetting a few people... so be it.

Cant make an omlette without breaking a few eggs.

A freind of mine pointed out the logic flaw yesterday ... one never hears people complain that a solo show or project that doesnt reference others reflects and draws attention to the creator. It's a given, but they complain when quasi democratic projects that include scores of other artists also includes the curator or project coordinator.

It's "quasi" democratic and expecting something to not reflect the organizer is unrealistic. Because the organizer cannot ever be extricated fully from the project it makes such carping a moot point. To include oneself or not is simply a decision (with consequences) but hardly one that invalidates itself.

Maybe because there is so much attention being paid to Portland that people are touchy about any consensus' that leaves them out?

Portland has a love of dippy "lets be a group but never stand out"efforts but its been seriously challenged by a new paradigm where anyone who stands out in a crowd also gets rewarded for it.

Maybe the real trick is asking if the criteria for who stands out is rigorous enough?

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at October 29, 2007 01:03 PM

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