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Friday 03.24.17

Not NCECA picks

Nothing against the NCECA conference (I've collected ceramics myself since college) but like many arts people I crave variety. That said I am looking for a new coffee mug, which shouldn't be impossible in Mudtopia Portland. Take all that into account and here are my weekend picks:

Apex_Sam-Hamilton_Apple-Pie-sm.jpg
Sam Hamilton, Apple Pie (Still)

For her inaugural exhibition at PAM as its newest curator of Northwest Art Grace Kook-Anderson has chosen Sam Hamilton, an artist who has recently made his home in Portland, originally hailing from New Zealand. Titled Standard Candles... the films mark the artists first show in Portland. It is also incredibly significant as Portland really has done a poor job institutionally of paying attention to newcomers... the very people who have redefined this now extremely vibrant and internationally active art city. What's more you will see there is a long run for the exhibition. I think this is a good thing as the APEX series and CNAA's have languished somewhat by not having very clear differentiation programmatically. Hamilton, refreshingly considers himself non disciplinary and shows internationally... another problem the museum has had is with being far too traditional in terms of disciplines and regional identification as belonging to certain institutions or cliques when the vibrancy comes from excellent artsist who just came here to work and show abroad. Basically, artists just dont work/think in proscribed ways (institutions do, often for for grant writing/funding purposes... understandable but it is 2017).

Standard Candles | March 25 -August 12, 2017
Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park





Taj_party.jpg
Taj Bourgeois



In true Portland fashion this is a closing party For Taj Bourgeois' hardflip on a sad dog exhibition and a community meetup. It features short films by Bourgeois as well as a community canvas (bring your art supplies or just yourself). The artist also wants you to, "feel free to bring your zines, patches, prints, whatever to share with others and for trades." Taj is one of the most interesting short form video artists in Portland and the Everett Station Lofts has long been a den for interesting developing artists so check it out.

Closing Party: hardflip on a sad dog | Taj Bourgeois
March 24, 6-10PM
Funeral Diner
625 NW Everett #103

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 24, 2017 at 13:52 | Comments (0)

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Wednesday 03.22.17

Disjecta reboots with Shell

Bunyan_disjecta.jpg
Disjecta (behind Bunyan) reboots

The interesting news in Portland today is that Blake Shell is to be the new Director of Disjecta. It is a bit of a surprise as she hasn't been at the Art Gym for that long (though her programming felt less like her previously excellent work at the Archer Gallery, perhaps over the shoulder oversight?). Regardless congratulations are in order to Blake Shell.

Clearly the institution needed a shift and we covered Disjecta with a critical eye since its inception.

The choice of a locally based director is interesting since they seemed to be casting their nets afar... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 22, 2017 at 11:47 | Comments (0)

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Monday 03.20.17

Monday Links

No, we don't need celebs to give context to art coverage. It seems harmless but considering the sensational nature of most every other art damage event story it just seems supercilious.

Yes this President (for now) plans to defund the NEA and seemingly every other useful organ of the federal government. Not surprised, perhaps if the country survives all this we can remember how pathetic the Federal support of the NEA already is? Just a semi positive thought... let's remember the lack of things like the nuanced thinking fostered by the arts that lead us to this situation.

ArtFcity reviews the latest Whitney Biennial. Of course it can't possibly capture the grist of the moment, no major museum has the kind of guts that takes but unlike the surveys we've seen of Oregon art it is engaged that there is a certain dissonance. Jerry Saltz wrote about it too ofc. Overall, I see these shows as more of a measuring stick for the calibrating how museums serve their audiences rather than a real state of the art... big festivals seem to be more in tune... perhaps it is the museum industry itself where the curators have lost intellectual edge to the mediating imperatives of directors? The Whitney still has some teeth and that is important. It doesn't have to be perfect but all museums need to find the tensions of the age. I've been thinking of a show that can do what the museums just can't.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 20, 2017 at 12:28 | Comments (0)

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Friday 03.17.17

Art & Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon

edit-a-thon_F_Wiki_sm.png

It is a strange fact but Wikipedia editors tend to be men and the site tends to under represent women. For example, it is very true of this wiki on Portland art ecology, despite the fact that a majority of curators, gallerists and critics in Portland are women. To combat this PICA is hosting another of these edit-a-thons and they ask that you RSVP. Also, considering that a majority of the artists, curators, gallerists and critics in Portland are women I also find it odd that men tend to get gallery representation and awards more than the lades do. BTW Last year, every review PORT published was of a female artist and if you ask me who the 10 strongest artists in Portland are 7 of them will be ladies.

Art & Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon | March 18, 10AM
RSVP
PICA (west side)
415 SW 10th Ave, Suite 300

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 17, 2017 at 13:54 | Comments (0)

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Tuesday 03.14.17

Post Winter Artist Opps

The Torpedo Factory Art Center has an interesting call for digital and internet based art in their Target Gallery for an exhibition called Glitch. There is a cost of $35 but unlike most of these sorts it seems promising. Deadline: March 26, 2017

The Los Angeles Valley College Art Gallery is accepting submissions. Portland tie-in is that it is being run by Jenene Nagy (who did a lot for PORT in the early days as our first dedicated business manager) so it's worth a shot. $25 Deadline: June 5, 2017

The Henry Moore Foundation has a variety of grants, many are research oriented. Deadline: May 15, 2017

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 14, 2017 at 8:34 | Comments (0)

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Tuesday 03.07.17

Early March links

Sorry, I've been under the weather with the virus that has been going around Portland and plan to get out to the galleries asasp. Till then here are some links to get March kicked off.

Here's an interesting interview with Tony Cragg and I like how it ends with a discussion of Art as a defense against mediocrity. To do that you need exhibition venues that celebrate something other than mediocrity though.

The upcoming Whitney Biennial looks at the definitions of "American Art"... which can mean a lot of things. I'm not exactly stoked about this exhibition and usually one can skip the bi-annuals if you are working with interesting artists, getting in studios and seeing a lot of work. They are good for all the people who need cliff notes for what's going on. I'm not being snide, most people need cliff notes for a very complicated and turgid art world. It takes a while to develop one's own eye, measuring sticks and tastes. Perhaps the Whitney's real value is in the way it seems to fail in each iteration. That said do the surveys in the Pacific Northwest even give themselves opportunities to fail in enlightening ways? (answer = no)

The latest Vancouver Biennial contends with the dreams and blights that accompany gentrification, something that would have been an easy subject for any Oregon art survey show but somehow we have mostly avoided it.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on March 07, 2017 at 20:07 | Comments (0)

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