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Alfredo Jaar and Carsten Holler
Monday Links
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Clyfford Still Muesum opens
Open Doors and Second Previews
Kippenberger at PAM
Believe in Transmissions
Avantika Bawa speaks at Linfield
Geoffrey KixMiller at Appendix
PLAZM talk
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The Artist and the Computer: Lillian Schwartz

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Tuesday 11.29.11

Alfredo Jaar and Carsten Holler

Carsten Holler's Double Light Corner (2011), Animal Group (2011) and Aquarium (1996) at the New Museum (photo Jeff Jahn)

It isn't often that I write about programmatic archetypal curatorial strategies used in art exhibitions but two recent experiences; visiting Carsten Holler's Experience retrospective at the New Museum and Alfredo Jaar's talk "It is Difficult" sponsored by OCAC raise questions about the role of the artist and institution as well as how they ultimately interface with their viewers.

Alfredo Jaar speaking in Portland October 14th (photo Jeff Jahn)

Though Holler and Jaar couldn't be more different, both highlight the way the art experience is attenuated by how the artist/institution divide is negotiated (Jaar is very selective and insists on carte blanche). True, all art exhibitions represent a kind of experience but some are intended primarily as such... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 29, 2011 at 14:47 | Comments (0)


Monday 11.28.11

Monday Links

I'll publish an essay/review Tuesday but for now here are some links to get you started;

Tyler Green parses a Washington Post story on Hide/Seek and corrects the false assumption that the show is about same sex intimacy. BTW Hide/Seek is coming to the Tacoma Art Museum in March 2012.

Brian Libby reports that Jefferson Smith is the only Portland mayoral candidate to question the Columbia River Crossing's boondoggle.

The Guardian looks at the gaggle of Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 28, 2011 at 10:36 | Comments (0)


Thursday 11.24.11

Turkey links

As is our tradition PORT is taking a little break for the holiday but Ill have a big piece for you to read after this holiday weekend. Till then check out these very popular recent articles and links.

Our 1 year checkup on YU

Gary's interview with Chris Burden

... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 24, 2011 at 16:44 | Comments (0)


Sunday 11.20.11

Clyfford Still Muesum opens


The Clyfford Still Museum opened to the public this weekend with a positive review from the LA times already.

I've make no secret that Still is one of my favorite artists and in the past I've pointed how his Northwest roots run very deep. Here Arcy and I interviewed architect Brad Cloepfil about the design of this project... which appears to be his best work since the W+K HQ.

... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 20, 2011 at 18:12 | Comments (0)


Saturday 11.19.11

Open Doors and Second Previews

MFA Visual Studies_Open Studios 2011.jpg

Tonight, MFA candidates in PNCA's Visual Studies Program open their studios "for an evening of art, performance and conversation." Look! Ask! Be intrigued! Herein lies the future.

Class of 2012: Nadia Buyse, Jodie Cavalier, Patrick Driscoll, Kei Horiuchi, Juleen Johnson, Oriana Lewton-Leopold, Fletcher Meisenburg, Jamie Nadherny, James Papadopoulos, Stefan Ransom, Victoria Reynolds, Marilyn Skalberg, Timothy Stigliano.

Class of 2013: Christina Bailey, Terri Bradley, Erin Dengerink, Kaila Farrell-Smith, Kiel Fletcher, Linden How, Timothy Janchar, John Knight, Matthew Leavitt, Daniel Long, Andrew Lorish, Jordan Meyers, Cristin Norine, Justin Schwab, Edward Trover, Lindsay Williams, Takahiro Yamamoto.

Open studios • 6:30-11pm • November 19
PNCA MFA Visual Studies Studios • 1830 NW 19th • 503.226.4391

placepdx_wynde dyer_2 easy streets.jpg
Wynde Dyer, "1751 Easy Street," 2011

PLACE revisits five shows in its glossy birds-eye atrium.

- Wynde Dyer's For Sale By Owner: 1751 Easy Street, an excitingly large 1/2 scale model of her childhood home. Dyer built the replica on-site from memory using traditional wooden lathe construction. She plans to torch the whole piece after the show closes.
- Rhoda London's and..., an examination of myth and memory using artifacts and drawings. Harrison Higgs contributes a video of blurry "purgatorial space."
- Richard Schemmerer's Framed or Frame of Mind, a grid of assemblages and peculiarly angled picture frames.
- Jane Schiffhauer's The Myth of Memory, a multimedia installation about gender, power and personal narrative. Features a glass ladder (leading to an even peskier glass ceiling?!)
- Jamie Marie Waelchli's translations, a video projection about the slow decline of words into gobbledygook. Cameo by Google Translate.

For the party, Jason King will also unveil PositionMax Beta, a sculptural work involving new performance technology. A stealth apparatus "allows previously unmanageable positions to be held steadily by performers over long periods of time." The result? Still human forms with superhuman durability.

Edit: Upcoming Monday, artist talks with Wynde Dyer, Jane Schiffhauer and Jason King. PNCA professor Mary Preis moderates.

Closing reception and performance • 6-9pm • November 19
Artist talks • 7-9pm • November 21
PLACE @ Pioneer Place Mall • 700 SW 5th • 3rd floor • placepdx@gmail.com

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on November 19, 2011 at 11:35 | Comments (0)


Friday 11.18.11

Kippenberger at PAM

Martin Kippenberger at PAM

I've been very busy lately doing other things on Portland's South Park Blocks so it has really been irking me that I haven't had time to check out the Martin Kippenberger show at the Portland Art Museum. Looks like I finally get the chance today.

All of this is interesting because I don't dig Kippenberger all that much (saw his retrospective at MoMA and liked about 5% of it). Still he's influential, so influential that most MFA programs look like tribute cover bands devoted to Kippenberger. Generally, if I don't like something I try to revisit it as much as possible to understand why the work does or doesn't work... if I come back several times it means it is successful in some way that deserves scrutiny.

The fact that it is here though is a good enough reason to visit PAM, which also has a Chris Burden show up.

Here's what Chief Curator Bruce Guenther says about the Kipster, "Dissuaded of art's power to reveal truth or the possibility of producing original work, he nonetheless produced new important work with a strong political and social content, revealing, as John Lane observed, 'a moralist in despair.' The exhibition features a selection of paintings from the last decade of the artist's life and fourteen 'Hotel Drawings,' intimate works created on hotel stationary gathered on his peripatetic travels from 1987 until 1997. The works present an irreverent and ferocious humor that cumulatively accentuate the late artist's acute sense of moral responsibility to humanity and the history of art."

Look I'll say this, if you like Rock's Box at all... this is a show you have to see if you live in Portland . Through February 19th, but don't wait that long.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 18, 2011 at 10:41 | Comments (3)


Thursday 11.17.11

Believe in Transmissions

monograph bookwerks_transmission arts_cover.jpg

Monograph Bookwerks hosts a book launch for Transmission Arts: Artists and Airwaves, a historical speed-sweep through nine decades of acoustic innovations by broadcast, performance, video, installation and sound artists. Featuring Portland's own The Video Gentlemen, Joe Milutis, Weird Fiction and (HAM operator!) Chloé Womack.

Book release and performances • 7-9pm • October 18
Monograph Bookwerks • 5005 NE 27th • 503.284.5005

12128boatspace_sam korman_ufo.jpg

12128 boatspace presents I WANT TO BELIEVE, a "flat-footed, autobiographical" ride through the pop culture ruminations of Car Hole Gallery founder Sam Korman. "Think of a joke, mass-less, in a minimalist atmosphere. It probably didn't make you laugh." Did I mention there's aliens?

Opening reception • 7-10pm • November 18
12128 boatspace • 12900 NW Marina Way • see their website for directions

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on November 17, 2011 at 12:51 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 11.16.11

Avantika Bawa speaks at Linfield

Avantika Bawa from Vantage at the Archer Gallery (2010)

It is short notice but perhaps you can catch Avantika Bawa's 4:00PM talk at Linfield tomorrow. Over the years she has demonstrated that she has an acute eye for frayed perceptual procedures that present themselves as diagrammatic territory.

According to the press release, "Bawa creates new territory between sculpture and painting, similar to her ability to navigate the borders between two cultures – Indian and American. She is influenced by: minimalism, or the reduction of art to basic shapes, colors, and textures; installation art, which is the temporary transformation of spaces; and the interruption of space that brings viewers a new understanding..." (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 16, 2011 at 14:08 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 11.15.11

Geoffrey KixMiller at Appendix

Geoffrey KixMiller at Appendix Project Space

Quick, let's play word association: "cheap." Nothing? Okay, linoleum." Yeah, grandma's kitchen floor. That's exactly what I was thinking. But evidently, that's not what Geoffrey KixMiller, Philly-based artist who is now showing at Portland's Appendix Project Space, was thinking. It took me ages to find this gallery—supposedly one of two "it" places to see art in Portland right now—but wandering in the dark through the backstreets of the Alberta arts district, I finally saw a tiny unlit alleyway next to a gym... (more)

Posted by Guest on November 15, 2011 at 13:41 | Comments (0)


PLAZM talk

archer_plazm_20 yrs exhibition.png

Archer Gallery presents Plazm: 20 Years of Art and Design. The exhibition traces the rise of the magazine from "collaborative creative resource" to "high profile cultural force," also detailing the design ventures that support its publication.

For today's talk Creative Director and Co-Founder Joshua Berger speaks about the history, curation and vision of the magazine.

Art talk • 7pm • November 15
Closing Reception • 6-8pm • December 10th
Clark College Archer Gallery • 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA• 360.992.2246

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 15, 2011 at 13:10 | Comments (0)


Monday 11.14.11

Monday Links

Yesterday Roberta Smith took on the sprawling Pacific Standard Time complex... aside from the idea that LA is the only west coast hotbed for art it's interesting to read how the east coast is discovering the depth of the West Coast. The truth is there is a Mexico to British Columbia thing that has been in force for at least 3 decades now. Hopefully all this talk of region will evolve the way we discuss San Diego, LA, San Fran, Las Vegas, Eugene, Portland, Tacoma, Seattle and Vancouver BC.

Brian Libby discusses CoLab's newest design.

The Guardian discusses the importance of design to a country's economic well being.

Jerry Saltz softens up to Maurizio Cattelan. I find Cattelan mostly dull except a few standouts like Him and La Nona Ora. He's the Carrot Top of the art world for me... worthy of respect in that he has survived so long but ultimately not doing his best work anymore, mostly because the method wasn't that rich with material to begin with.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 14, 2011 at 15:22 | Comments (0)


The Artist and the Computer: Lillian Schwartz

cinema project_lillian schwartz_joystick.jpg

Cinema Project presents a special, one-night screening of Lillian Schwartz's pioneering computer animation. As a consultant at Bell Laboratories in the 1970s, Schwartz developed computerized techniques for merging sound, art and video. Her innovative research makes her the grand dame of computer-generated art and computer-aided art analysis... including contemporary film, video, animation, graphics, multimedia, special effects and virtual reality.

"In the traditional of 'visual music,' her work from this period features animated computer-based shapes and fields— transformed through color gels and film stock— that synch, pulse, and grow to the equally distinct and complex computer and electronic soundtracks."

Film screening • 7pm • November 16
Hollywood Theatre • 4122 NE Sandy • 503.281.4215

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on November 14, 2011 at 14:54 | Comments (0)


Friday 11.11.11

Alfredo Jaar talk

Alfredo Jaar's Geography = War (1991)

On Monday, the latest of OCAC's new talk series Connection: Intersecting Tradition and Innovation brings Portland a doosey, MacArthur fellow Alfredo Jaar. Known for staging incredibly clear meditations on very difficult subjects like the Rwandan Genocides or intellectuals under pressure in dictatorial regimes his work is both sparse and emotionally devastating. His installation, the Sound of Silence is one of the very best art pieces I have ever encountered. There is only room for 20 or so more people so I suggest you jump on this talk at Blue Sky Gallery. You must RSVP for the event: 971-255-4165

"It Is Difficult" with Alfredo Jaar
Monday, November 14 from 7:00-8:30pm
Blue Sky Gallery | 122 NW 8th Avenue, Portland, Oregon 97209 Seating is limited. Please rsvp to 971-255-4165

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 11, 2011 at 20:17 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 11.09.11

Margins and Material

lumber room_leonie guyer_constellation.jpg
Léonie Guyer, "CONSTELLATION (NO. 2)", 2010

Lumber Room presents Interior Margins, an exhibition "bringing together the work of an intergenerational group of Northwest women artists who are transforming the diverse legacies and practices of abstraction for a new era." Cooley director Stephanie Snyder curates in collaboration with Lumber Room founder Sarah Miller Meigs.

Artists: Judy Cooke, Léonie Guyer, Victoria Haven, Midori Hirose, Linda Hutchins, Kristan Kennedy, Michelle Ross, Blair Saxon-Hill, Lynne Woods Turner, Nell Warren and Heather Watkins.

Exhibition • 11am-6pm, Thursday-Saturday • November 12-January 30
lumber room • 419 NW 9th • info@lumberroom.com

Jay Spicero, "Silver Chain and Peace Sign"

RECESS presents (Im)material, where artists of the "technological zeitgeist" explore the fleshy divide between virtual worlds and earth-bound bodies. Featuring video and mixed media sculpture by Jay Spicero, Kyle Raquipiso, Michelle Liccardo, Alex Mackin Dolan and Chase Biado.

Opening reception • 6:30-10:30pm • November 12
RECESS • 1127 SE 10th • recesspdx@gmail.com

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on November 09, 2011 at 16:00 | Comments (0)


Happy Hour with Vanessa Renwick

pdxcontemporary_vanessa renwick_biscuit burn.jpg
Vanessa Renwick, "Biscuit Burn," 2010

Vanessa Renwick delivers this month's Happy Hour Talk at PAM. A documentarian, installation artist and official director of the Oregon Department of Kick Ass, Renwick is a "filmmaker by nature, not by stress of research... Her iconoclastic work reflects an interest in place, relationships between bodies and landscapes, and all sorts of borders."

Artist talk • 6-8pm • November 10 • $5 members
Portland Art Museum • 1219 SW Park • 503.226.2811

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on November 09, 2011 at 15:24 | Comments (0)


YU 2, what are they up to?

Tonight the YU Contemporary Art Center project held its second annual state of the YU address.

Crowd of movers and supporters at YU, November 8 2011

Last year PORT was the first to break the ambitious new YU project to the public but this year the bigger concern is whether they have really made any progress.

The answer is a definite yes but it remains true that some absolutely crucial elements (a robust board) have yet to materialize... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 09, 2011 at 1:16 | Comments (0)


Tuesday 11.08.11

The Earth is not up to code?


James Harrison is one of the brightest designer/artists in Portland so his talk tonight looks very promising at Curiosity Club.

Here is what James is promising, "A dispassionate investigation into the suitability of planet earth for human habitation reveals 10 to the 23rd power building code violations.

From 'Violations of Shape' to 'Violations Based on Natural Malice', the entire range of geological transgressions will be systematically categorized into a rigorous framework. Using this framework it will be possible to devise strategies for clearing the backlog of violations with bureaucratic efficiency.

James M Harrison has made a career of taking the craft practices of one genre and incorrectly breeding them with the craft practices of a different genre."

The Curiosity Club @ Hand-Eye Supply
23 NW 4th Ave
Portland, OR, 97209
Tuesday Nov 8th at 6pm

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 08, 2011 at 14:07 | Comments (0)


Monday 11.07.11

PICA's new HQ

When PICA announced last summer that they had received a $200,000 ArtPlace Grant I was cautiously skeptical they would fully leverage the opportunity of a medium sized, not huge grant. 200k does go fast when you get involved in civic buildings. I felt like they might just float between a couple moldering properties on the East Side of Portland, rather than take the responsibility of a full time presence in Portland more seriously. I love PICA but as a "burned" past supporter I'm hard on them. Think of me as the grumpy old uncle who loved them as a cute kid and beamed as they grew into adulthood (with their Pearl District gallery) but was publicly heartbroken when they decided to throw it all away and shirk responsibility back in 2004 when they stopped being a major full-time vis arts institution and became a festival with a vis art component. Ultimately in the intervening 7 years their vis arts program became less focused, with its series of provisional/compromised spaces and scattered attention during TBA festivals.

Unfinished space that is to be the new PICA HQ (photo Andrew Billing)

Well today, I'm less skeptical with announcement that they will indeed have a nice headquarters space at 415 SW 10th Ave. It is just down the street from Powell's and is described as a hub office, not merely a series of ever changing off site encampments (which they will also undertake). The permanent space does make PICA suddenly a lot more exciting. There is something more grown up... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 07, 2011 at 22:23 | Comments (1)


30 issues later...

archer_plazm_20 yrs exhibition.png

Archer Gallery presents Plazm: 20 Years of Art and Design. The exhibition traces the rise of the magazine from "collaborative creative resource" to "high profile cultural force," also detailing the design ventures that support its publication.

Creative Director and Co-Founder Joshua Berger speaks about the history, curation and vision of the magazine in a Clark Art Talk next week.

Opening reception • 6-8pm • November 8
Art talk • 7pm • November 15
Clark College Archer Gallery • 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver, WA• 360.992.2246

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on November 07, 2011 at 9:57 | Comments (0)


Saturday 11.05.11

The Magical Nature of foreGround


Littman Gallery presents foreGround, curated by PORT's own Jeff Jahn. The show addresses the "pervasive but often hidden influence of geology on contemporary life," and features works by Zachary Davis, Arcy Douglass, Jacqueline Ehlis, Jim Neidhardt, Matthew Picton and Ben Young.

"Call it existential geology. The show sidesteps the literal landscape to get at things hidden in plain view. It is a landscape show which explicitly avoids traditional landscape art in order to explore geology's existential, intellectual and spatial impact on our lives."

Opening reception • 5-7pm • November 5
Littman Gallery PSU • 1825 SW Broadway • Smith Center, 2nd Floor Room 250 • 503.725.5656

Lauren Payne, "Matanuska Magic," 2010

FalseFront presents MAGIC > NATURE, the first in a rolling series of group shows curated by invited regional artists. This month's stylists: Michael Endo and Emily Nachison. "Drawing on the lost symbolic languages of pseudo-sciences, synthetic colors and mimetic natural environments, these artists pick up the remnants of our disenchanted world and seek to assemble new truths and speak to our desire to have our world re-enchanted."

Featuring John Bohl, Lauren Marie Cherry, Tia Factor, Lauren Payne, Kendra Larson, Hermonie Only, Andrew Rogers and Ian Waite.

Opening reception • 6-10pm • November 5
FalseFront Studio • 4518 NE 32nd • 503.781.4609

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on November 05, 2011 at 12:41 | Comments (0)


Friday 11.04.11

First Friday Picks November 2011

Andrea Land, "Angelina," 2011

Newspace presents In My Room, photographs by Andrea Land. "Each young girl, while physically existing in the natural world, also thrives in another realm, an insular dream state, with her gaze turned inward. The photographs exist as both fictional and autobiographical creations."

Over in the special exhibitions gallery, Lisa Wells and Bobby Abrahamson present The 45th Parallel, a documentary project profiling three endangered rural towns in Oregon.

Opening reception • 6-9pm • November 4
Newspace Center for Photography • 1632 SE 10th • 503.963.1935

(More: Travis Wade at Launch Pad, Tia Factor at Half/Dozen, Edward Jeffrey Kriksciun at Nationale, folk textiles at the Japanese Garden.)

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on November 04, 2011 at 14:41 | Comments (0)


Thursday 11.03.11

First Thursday Picks November 2011


Appendix Project Space presents Target Language, videos by Andrew Norman Wilson, Anne de Vries, Harm van den Dorpel and Oliver Laric.

"Appropriating visual material from tech marketing, Disney movies and the decorative arts, language from pop culture and philosophy, and even cannibalizing their own work, these artists investigate continuities so familiar as to be invisible."

Opening reception • 7-11pm • November 3
Appendix Project Space at 937 • 937 NW Glisan • 503.295.6144

(More: Amy Bernstein at Stumptown, Pattern Recognition at Steven Goldman, Erik Geschke at PNCA, Jim Riswold at Augen, lectures by George Baker.)

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on November 03, 2011 at 12:37 | Comments (0)


Alice Aycock at OSU

Alice Aycock, "A Startling Whirlwind of Opportunity," 2009

OSU Department of Art kicks off its Visiting Artists & Scholars series with a lecture by Alice Aycock.

"Internationally known for her large scale, contemporary public sculptures... Alice Aycock has exhibited in major museums and galleries nationally as well as Europe and Japan. Her works can be found in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Brooklyn Museum, New York; the Louis Vuitton Foundation; LA County Museum; and the National Gallery, Washington DC."

"Aycock's public sculptures can be found throughout the United States, including the San Francisco Public Library, a large-scale sculptural roof installation for the East River Park Pavilion on 60th Street in NYC, and 'Star Sifter' for Terminal 1 at JFK International Airport... A permanent public artwork for Washington Dulles International Airport, Washington, DC will be completed in 2011, as well as a piece for Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan in 2012."

Reception • 6pm • November 10
Lecture • 7pm
LaSells Stewart Center • Oregon State University • 875 SW 26th, Corvallis, OR • 541.737.5009

Posted by Kelly Kutchko on November 03, 2011 at 11:27 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 11.02.11

10th Northwest Biennial artists announced

TAM's building by noted architect Antoine Predock

The list for the 10th Northwest Biennial at the Tacoma Art Museum has been announced. For the first time it will include our Canadian friends in British Columbia, something I've criticized all so called Northwest surveys for not doing. This year the survey focuses on "interdisciplinary art practices."

Of the 30 artists, 13 are Portlanders, list after the jump... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on November 02, 2011 at 20:26 | Comments (1)


Tuesday 11.01.11

Interview with Chris Burden

One of Chris Burden's assistants at work on What My Dad Gave Me (2008)

Gary Wiseman: Let's start with the Three Ghost Ships currently on display at the Portland Art Museum. Will you talk about the development of the project? How did it begin? How long did it take? What were the challenges?

Chris Burden: Let's see. The Ghost Ships. They came about by being asked by Mary Jane Jacobs who had been chief curator at MOCA in LA but was now working in Chicago as an independent curator. She was in charge of the Spoleto Music Festival, the art component of it, in 91'. She invited 20 different artists to do projects as part of the music festival, I was one of them. I had been conscious of this boat designer Phil Bolger who was known for making these seaworthy small boats that were ocean capacity and were real simple to build. He was an anti-yachting kind of guy. So I proposed that... (more)

Posted by Gary Wiseman on November 01, 2011 at 11:17 | Comments (2)

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