White Noise opening at Worksound, where the crowd became a kind of white noise itself
Normally, PORT doesn't care that much for parties that make it impossible to see the show, but this packed feel good get together shows just what a diverse crowd a warehouse show in Portland's art scene can bring. Lets see: lots of artists, too many hipster party goers, some professors and a few major patrons can be seen here. It looks like a nice show and I'll come back later to check out curator/artist Jhordan Dahl's handiwork when I can actually see the show. Till then enjoy this video art scene rollercoaster.
I got there early before it got too crowded, and my impression was pretty mixed.
As I often find with Worksound's big warehouse shows, the energy is great, some individual works are good, but as a group they tend to present as hastily put together, tenuously connected, and occasionally amateurish.
Some pieces stood out strongly (the bear, the television &c. in the west side room, and to a lesser extent the installation in the back), but felt a bit like sore thumbs in a crowd. The pale print just inside the door of the west side room, I believe it was Damien Gilley's, was lovely, but its subtlety was absolutely swallowed by the enormous diptych down the wall (although it may stand stronger without people crowding the space). The multi-channel video installation in the east side room was intriguing, but the exposed wires felt problematic. With them visible because of logistics it felt visually sloppy, with them visible on purpose it felt vaguely like a one-liner on personality and being "plugged in."
Clearly I'd need more time with the show to produce a coherent or comprehensive review, but those were first impressions.
However, I don't necessarily think that they're doing something terribly wrong at Worksound. It's a large warehouse space that needs to be filled, and actively supports serious young artists. That is going to mean lots of kinetic energy that can produce sloppy, disparate results, but in the end generate something interesting and vibrant.
Posted by: Megan at February 9, 2009 10:24 AM
Yeah, Worksound is a tricky space with lots of cool funky elements... and an opening like that is tough for viewing (Ill go back on tuesday). Part of the reason I did VoLume there in August/September was to bring more attention to the space and show what could be done there and I'm glad Jhordan has taken up the curatorial role.
One thing, for the VoLume show we did a lot of buildout... it makes that room near the bar work better. VoLume was nearly all installation too so it's a very different show.
The works I liked best from my quick viewng of White Noise where by Stephen Scott Smith, Jhordan Dahl, E*Rock and yes Damien Gilley's wonderful little piece... but Ill reserve judgement till I can really see the whole show properly.
I thought the flying party cam for this video was a kind a documentation of the opening event... not a proper way to view the show.
Hi Megan !
thanks for your comments. something to chew on. this is why we do this,to create a debate or recreate a scene. looking into whats the urgency.
the best happening places, whether they were in the lower east side of nyc, lofts in berlin or london 1988 freeze warehouse show where Damian Hirts made his marks were very amateurish. the Warhol Factory gave fame to tenuousness.
I am not a big fan of modernism, so Worksound applies a little to the traditional definition of the white box .
our (Worksound) role in pdx is to combine different works, different disciplines, different artists otherwise you would not experience in PDX.
We try to make it a laboratory where video work, life size sculpture, digital prints, sound can mingle, create a new energy.
that is the outcome by not going mainstream.
one thing is hang for one to buy, but also we can create a synergy you well described Megan within the Industrial structure,Multimedia artwork and performances.it would be nice to do a walk through with the curator and share our opinions .
Jeff your sloppy moving- hastily created video , is a perfect example of what we like to provoke. the rendering of the situation was perfect . I love it .
we are open to this debate, so we can contribute to making pdx a good place for makers to keep artwork in activation energy.
I especially liked the collaborative piece by Kent Richardson & Jhordan Dahl. This show is worth checking out and exhibits a nice collection of Portland artist.
Posted by: Pamela Baker-Miller at February 9, 2009 08:31 PM
Easily my favorite of the show was the collaboration between Jhordan Dahl & Kent Richardson. However, the rest of the show felt like it was striving too hard to be "cool" and I was unable to make a conceptual connection between the individual works. Perhaps that is my own ineptness and I missed something that was obvious. However, I do applaud Jhordan for putting together a show of "young artists to watch." And separately, they are all intriguing artists, but together their messages seem somewhat mixed and confused.
PS: Any show that creates this much debate is obviously doing something interesting. So, at least go see the show and support Worksound. There are very few other places that serve as such a hub of experimentation.