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Monday 04.21.08

« Regine Basha Lectures | Main | Architecture as Autobiography »

Weekend developments

The West Side Railyards Project with pink cultural mystery box (lower right corner)

Nicolai Ouroussoff of the NYT's had an interesting dissection of developer renderings on Sunday. In this case he was taking it to Helmut Jahn's renderings of the recently awarded West Side Rail Yards project in New York. I particularly liked the Ourousoff's "Cultural Mystery" description where, "neither the developer nor the government have any idea who would occupy the so-called cultural building." Apparently the developer Tishman Speyer has an art collection too... though it isn't like New York needs another corporate art museum. (mmm and yes HJ and I are cousins) This railyard redevelopment reminds me a bit of the South Waterfront project in Portland, which is actually bigger and more expensive than this New York Project... though SOWA doesn't even have a cultural mystery box, though to be fair they do have Linda K Johnson's AIR residencies. Of the AIR projects I think Horatio Law's "China on the Willamette" in May is gonna be a real treat because it draws a correlation between Portland's mega-development which is tiny compared to China's mega-developments (not that bigger is necessarily better from a human use standpoint).

Tyler Green had a nice bit on intellectually supercilious museum shows that support contemporary gallery markets. I nominate the Paul Klee/Devendra Banhart travesty at SFMOMA as the single worst example of this "museum becomes hipster" malaise.

David Row had a nice long piece on Ken Shores Sunday too. Shores is an important international figure in the contemporary craft movement and the O generally respects anyone over 60. Not so under 60, but at least he's admitting he might be clueless. Hint, read this now... no discussion of current art in Portland can be undertaken without familiarization with this 15+ year trend that has been lead by Rachel Harrison, Iza Genzken, Jason Rhoades, Urs Fischer and Jessica Stockholder (aka the children of Dave Hickey and Larry Rinder... or more historically Synthetic Cubist Collage, Robert Rauschenberg, Dada and Jean Tinguely?) It's not a new trend though there is something different about how Portlanders are approaching space and materials. I'll have an essay out early this week here on PORT. I think it's time to raise the level of discussion a bit, though this was a start.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on April 21, 2008 at 0:00 | Comments (0)


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