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Tuesday 03.22.16

« Ruth Gruber retrospective at OJMCHE | Main | Interview with Wangechi Mutu »

Keeping up with links

I've been very busy on another major multi-media exhibition and scholarly conference that we should be announcing very soon (it is next month). PORT currently has 1 review and 2 major interviews in the works that we hope to drop on you soon. Till then here are some links:

Portland's Nathaniel Thayer Moss took part in Meow Wolf's newest extravaganza and even notched some pictures in the New York Times Magazine. It is this sort of artist driven pandemonium that makes most institutional biennial/survey attempts seem like stale ingraciatory exercises executed more for the institution than the health of an art ecosystem. back in the aughts Dave Hickey and Robert Storr were able to curate relevant things at Site Santa Fe by letting the work fuel and somewhat direct a probing intellectual premise. Lately, where most every institution fouls up is by trying to let the premise... or "we followed the process" be the guide. Arch-meh copout pseudo curiosity, and yeah my upcoming project follows that advice... the artists are not just illustrating an idea. Instead, the idea came after we chose the artists and their interests framed the intellectual scaffolding. Meow Wolf tropes to pay attention to "Mystery" and "Fantastical" artists who generate the unknown should be on everyone's radar and Portland is full of them and it isnt just a Surrealism/Dada rehash... there is a lot of design as a disruption of the reality going on. When reality yields a presidential race like this one one can see why artists are creating a parallel universe.

But I do like some places like London still parse how and why certain artists are chosen... for example the new Hepworth Sculpture Prize. Unlike Oregon's prizes, which seem to be mostly illustrative doteage on unchallenged cliches (effort in evidence craft, low grade academicians being academic artists and all things wooden or glass) the new Hepworth prize seems to pick artists who push against expectations in their genre rather than comfortably reside within them. Portland is full of rule breakers and is celebrated for it... but we reward rule followers far too often. I've discussed this at length before and institutionally things need to step up when it comes to addressing the international caliber of work being done here (no collecting a nice list of names is not enough).

Portland Architecture looks at what I wish would have been done with the Memorial Coliseum.

I found this article on Millennials and the new Broad Museum interesting. Ok, waiting in line is generally a waste of time but my take-away is that large scale installations and installation art need to be addressed by major museums. Also, yes to free admissions. In general major museums are terrible at art environments (and they think having some social performances will help... yeah some but it has already grown old). Clearly collecting major installation art pieces brings people in and makes the museum a must see.... particularly those who might not go to international triennials. Thus, any museum expansion which doesn't provide good, even novel spaces for installation or art environments misses the whole point (the Met's rooftop should have made that clear years ago). BTW PICA has a rooftop and I'd like to see it used much more (still putting things outdoors in the wind and rain has its own set of issues).

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 22, 2016 at 22:00 | Comments (0)


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