I remember when I first moved to Portland in 1999 and we were lucky to have one good art lecture a month. These days most institutions have a weekly program and this Thursday looks like perhaps the most impossible schedule to choose from. Unless you can fold time and space you have to make a choice between these three options:
Still from The Ride at PAM
At the Portland Art Museum Paige Powell and Director Brian Ferriso will discuss New York in the 1980's (arguably one of the strongest cultural flowerings in human history) as a necessary addendum to The Ride photography and video exhibition. It is on view for the next couple months. A Portland native, Powell was part of the scene as a New York City "IT" girl and had a front row seat to the likes of Andy Warhol, Kieth Haring and her onetime boyfriend Jean Michel Basquiat
. This can't help but be interesting but it is also tricky when everyone from Madonna to artist's estates all have lawyers looking to generate billable hours. Still, Powell's photos and memories provide a crucial pov in this important era. It should be fascinating as museums often feel like the cultural residue minus the human stories about what happened. This should fill in some gaps and hopefully isn't too weird for Powell.
Stops Along The Ride: A conversation with Paige Powell
Lecture November 19th 6:30 - 7:30PM
Portland Art Museum
Watering Hole (2005) by Amy Stein from The New Explorers
The New Explorers by OCAC alum Kris Timken
looks like an excellent book chronicling the work of female artists who also explore our planet. Join Kris Timken along with artists Camille Seaman, Linda K. Johnson, curator Prudence Roberts and PSU's Professor Ethan Seltzer in a conversation about the project. I reviewed one of the artists, Amy Stein here on PORT
when she exhibited at Bluesky. With an essay by Lucy Lippard it looks like an excellent project worthy of greater discussion.
This is part of OCAC's excellent Connection series.
The New Explorers
Conversation and Book Signing: November 19 7:00PM
OCAC (Vollum Center)
This Michelle Grabner talk at PNCA
should be an artist favorite. An old acquaintance of mine from back when we were both in grad school, Michelle Grabner has taken on curating the historically underwhelming Portland20## Biennial series. She co-curated the last Whitney Biennial and so we shall see if this will be whelming
or just another exercise in aggregating a bunch of names that overshadow the exhibition itself. Admittedly, most survey shows (including the last Whitney Bi) are disconnected messes that serve more as a cliff notes version of an art scene. One where maybe 1 or 2 artists tickle a fancy or two... and well frankly I'm over the uninspired model, especially if it doesn't have a thesis or at least a theme or two.
Big surveys never seem to live up to the proxy community and billing fetish that the list of artists generate (only serving as an ingratiator for the institution). They kinda fizzle by design, rather than risking a detonation. That said Michelle has always had a knack for bypassing scene politics and always gives things an intellectual framework that might tell Portlanders something new about themselves. According to the prospectus for this talk she and a moderator will, "lead a conversation about issues relevant to the location and community of the institution." I'm pretty sure it will be better than that sounds and love her Suburban and The Poor Farm projects... as they have a Juddian aspect... i.e. artists making room for artists & repurposing of spaces that you don't expect to be used for art.
Conversation: November 19, 6:30-8:00PM
511 NW Broadway