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Friday 02.01.08

« First Friday Picks February 2008 | Main | Lucy Orta lectures at Reed »

News bits

Unimpressive street art creates impressive waste of tax dollars

A portland artist, Ryan Birkland, has been arrested for putting up guerilla style art on telephone poles. It seems pretty ridiculous.... how about taking on the meth pushers that ride the NoPo max lines instead? This could have a chilling effect on street art like Scott Wayne Indiana's horses and this selective enforcement seems poorly defined.

Jerry Saltz has reviewed Guy Ben-Ner's latest "Ikea based" video

Reed's latest show Working History is now definitely open, go see it. Laura Fritz's Caseworks 13 (in the same building) has been extended to Feb 17th.

Last but not least there are (solidly sourced *update confirmed) rumors that the Portland Art Museum has recieved a pledge from Gordon D. Sondland and Katherine J. Durant for a 1 million dollar gift to allow Children 17 and under to visit the museum for free. It is part of a larger endowment campaign to provide free days for everyone. Mayor Potter may have avoided funding those free days but the museum is moving forward with results. See, Portland's patrons do write checks but it is tied to the seriousness and focus of the organization's mission. If you are just showing your friends in a big warehouse (and if they aren't very good) don't expect to be entitled to that much. Seriousness + focus = funding.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on February 01, 2008 at 10:59 | Comments (5)


If a fascist police state is what it takes to get rid of those crappy horses littering the pearl, then I may be shifting rightward in my thinking. If I trip over one and break my arm I can file a lawsuit against the artist, right? Lets hope someone does, and soon. In the meantime, "artists" should do well to remember - power poles=no no. Have a little respect for the lineman who may need to climb it to turn your power back on. And, yes, this is a complete waste of police time and taxpayers dollars - all thanks to an "artist". The real fascist here is, of course, Ryan Birkland, who forces us to view his crappy, poor excuse for painting, either because it is too crummy to find representation in a gallery/street fair/alt venue or because he is too lazy to find appropriate venues to display his poop. Hey, I know, let's encourage these young rebels to nail their work over stop signs. Let't have them turn stop lights into Dan Flavin light shows. How about an installation in the middle of the Burnside freakin' bridge?? He, let's go yell "fire" in a crowded theater as a performance piece! That would be so cool dude!
God I love a good rant in the morning!

Posted by: Amsterdammer [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 2, 2008 10:48 AM

And that rant gives everyone else a bad impression of you. Jerk is one word that comes to mind. I agree it was bad art. Personally, I find the horses fun, but wondered about why enforce for the law for Birkland's faces and not the horses? Its essentially the same kind of public art placed "illegally". Since when did the police become art critics.

Posted by: shooter [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 3, 2008 01:36 AM

Exactamundo shooter... the issue isnt the quality of the art but the enforcement. Criticism works because it is seldomly conclusive and doesnt have a police state behind it. Enforcing and sanctioning art with the weight of the law is not something any free country should invite. Last time I checked Portland wasn;t under martial law.

thanks for the input

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 3, 2008 02:41 PM

I wonder if it's dawned on anyone yet that this is a blend of "criminal act" and First Amendment right? The stuff this guy nailed to utility poles may not have been "art" but he was still exercising a Constitutional right. I like the horses, and believe it or not, the face guy does some pretty cool stuff (stumptownart.com). If this constitutes crime, then PoPo needs to start arresting the 80 year old ladies who post their estate sale signs, or arrest other people who have lost their dog and want folks to be on the lookout .... what a stupid waste of my taxpayer dollars and the public's judicial resources. Get a grip, Portland.

Posted by: PB4P [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 4, 2008 06:03 AM

No thinking person really believes in complete freedom of speech, and courts have rightly and wisely shown that free speech can be restricted, as in the yelling fire in a theatre scenario. I don't believe neo-nazi's should be allowed to broadcast racist ignorance, nor do I believe "artists" should be allowed to nail pornographic images accross from schoolyards. Were the police profiling here, or as you put it, being critics, or were they recognizing the greatest risk to pubic safety and the largest physical objects of blight? Do you think they arrest only the bad taggers? Would any of us want 100 such persons nailing uglyness to our trees and utility poles? Really, I don't understand the contempt for the police in doing their job when it should be leveled at the stupidity of the person nailing crap to power poles.

Posted by: Amsterdammer [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 8, 2008 05:04 PM

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