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Friday 01.02.09

« Last Weekend | Main | PMMNLS Winter '09 »

First Links of 2009

Roberta Smith looks at an artist who turned obscurity into art. What this says to me is the art world is looking to challenge the current cannon of noteworthy names... again (I think this recent spate started with the rediscovering of Lee Bontecou and James Lee Byars).

Artnet had a good overview for the art world in 2008 here.

The O has posted their 2008 roundup... I'll have PORT's very detailed, multifaceted roundup posted soon (I'm helping install a very technically demanding show). PORT's analysis should give everyone something meaty to chew on.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on January 02, 2009 at 10:06 | Comments (6)


Ok so first off and foremost 08 did have its ups and downs, but honestly. Does anyone else have issues with the Oregonian article? I would have posted this their, but there comment page wasn't working. Feel free to repost this. Back to it. I respect DK and he has written some well thought out articles. But wasn't our grim Portland picture painted about 4 years ago. Only now is the economy caught up. So reading that article I was figuring the last paragraph would let us know where the tallest cliffs were. So out of all of that writing there wasn't more than one positive sentence about Portland's art scene? What about Rockbox, 1430, Creative Capacity, Milepost 5, the Suddenly Project,and so much more? I am leaving out lots here to conserve space, but you know who you are. Most definitely all of those things were valid and important but how about a dash of color. Come on Oregonian. I beg of you to try and paint a better picture. Portland has a lot to look forward to as well as celebrate from last year! There are a lot of us out there who have been "Getting By" for sometime now. Lets not build our Arc quite yet.

Posted by: Paul Middendorf [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 3, 2009 01:29 PM

David, any thoughts on the matter?

Posted by: Paul Middendorf [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 3, 2009 01:33 PM

I am with you Paul.
yes we all know how bad things are financially. here in Sweden a whole city is worried about their jobs because Ford owns Volvo .
but again YES WE CAN !
lets do what we can to keep the cool vibe !
lets trow good shows and scratch our heads later !
happy new year Jeff and your crew !

Posted by: Modou [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 3, 2009 02:54 PM

Glad you both spoke up. PORT's report should give a more balanced, engaged and useful report tomorrow... Not to taunt the guy but... has David even met Modou? (FYI He's one of the most important art professionals in the city, and one with an international reach to boot).

Today's journalists have this amusing problem...they are often addicted to bad news and in this case David missed many important facets. Fact is Portland had more exciting alt spaces running in 2008 than in any of the previous 4 years before it.

Take this nugget to the bank: alt spaces define an active art scene more than so called mid-level art institutions (The last true mid-level the city had was PICA under Stuart Horodner.... Ill clarify in the coming post)

Also, these alt spaces in Portland run on a shoestring and are therefore less exposed to the economy's cycles.

Here's an obvious truth: Portland's greatest strength are its artists... and if anyone can make the most of a serious economic meltdown it is Portland's artists.

A final thought here: The artists are the ones who have been relentlessly redefining the city's interbnational and local identity for the past decade, it's a safe bet they are better prepared for 2009 than the newspaper industry.

Posted by: Double J [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 3, 2009 11:11 PM

Jeff, I strongly agree with your statements about all of Portland's alt spaces. This year wouldn't have been half as exciting without Worksound, Rocksbox, and Gallery Homeland. And it's because of those very places that 2008 seemed like an amazing year full of energy and intriguing curation.

So personally, I would like to thank Paul and Modou (and Rock wherever you are) for crafting some of the best exhibitions this year.

Posted by: Calvin Ross Carl [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 6, 2009 12:11 AM

hey CC
thanks man !
an opening without you would lack some of its Glamour .
stay put .

Posted by: Modou [TypeKey Profile Page] at January 7, 2009 12:48 AM

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