I like the adventure and mental challenge that looking around an interesting art city like Portland can provide. There really is no substitute for experience. Here are some things the truly adventurous should have a look at:
Ann Hamilton's Habitus in Portland
I appreciate having an Ann Hamilton piece around to look at but habitus in Portland
might have gotten away from the artist and curator. Restaging an idiomatic installation piece in a different city, with different materials is tricky. In the Philadelphia version the soft fabric, which contrasted with hard concrete was replaced with Tyvek and a soft dusty floor with less spatial compression here in Portland, doing it no favors. Thus, Portland's habitus
lacks the dreamy frission of contrasts + scale of the original. Also, those substitutions change all of the contexts and meanings in less successful ways.... sequels are notoriously problematic (in ways I wish to touch on in a larger article I am at work on). You can look at the Philadelphia version of habitus here, it is far more successful
for those reasons (site sensitivity, context etc) and many more Ill touch on later. Till then, go and see for yourself... also definitely catch these two more rewarding shows by R.B Kitaj and Jenny Holzer.
Guns in the Hands of Artists at Moloko
Brian Borrello's Guns in the Hands of Artists series of collaborative exhibitions
is incredibly relevant ongoing project but most of the time its taking place far away from the artist's home base of Portland. That why I relished the opportunity to view this research and development installation for turning guns into a coral reef at Moloko, Portland's coral reef cocktail lounge
. I like the way it insinuates itself into a less formal art environment, though Moloko is an artist hangout.
Justyn Hegreberg's Three Kinds of Yes 1 & 2 at Floating Gallery
Another peak sort of Portland-style art adventure is the Floating Gallery (I've seen beavers working as I walk up to the gallery). A private houseboat which is hosting occasional art exhibitions. Currently they have Current Construct on display with the work of Justyn Hegreberg, Doug Davidovich and Paul Fukui. I particularly like Hegreberg's work who is developing into a sort of Mac Guyver of visually reactive materials and its rewarding to follow artists as they come into their own. The gallery is only open by appointment so contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Then there is the Chicken Coop Contemporary... literally a chicken coop. Also by appointment only so contact: email@example.com