Perhaps the first litmus test for anyone's basic knowledge of Portland is whether Portlandia calls to mind a cable tv show or a sculpture which serves as the focal point of Michael Graves historic Portland Building
. Well it turns 30 this week and RACC is throwing a bash on Thursday featuring Mayor Hales, former Mayor Clark and Nick Fish from 12:00- 1:30PM October 8th.
Still, it is very important that the sculpture isn't considered just a stand alone cultural feature. Instead, it is a kind of hood ornament for the first Postmodern building... an anthropomorphic totem that conveys the then radically humanistic aims of the entire Graves designed project (the interior is dismal). Sure, we remember the hood ornament on a car but its kind of an introduction to the spirit of the design and in this case it is a historic building that is designed to be a kind of gallery for the sculpture. That was a radical move and it is troubling how many feel the only sculpture itself is important. The world renowned building needs to be saved and rehabilitated sometime in the near future. Besides, without that building Portlandia simply becomes a big neo beaux arts
sculpture, but upon its pedestal it is a kind of spirit of what Portland's government (with offices within) should aspire to.
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