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Sunday 09.30.18

End of September News

It isnt so much the end of September but the beginning of Fall, that said there are some serious things afoot:

Back in July PORT was the first to uncover the important involvement of Oregon's Attorney General in the transfer of the Art Gym to OCAC, namely the status of the endowment. Yesterday, it was announced that both parties were walking away from that plan after the AG needed to look deeper into the situation of the Art Gym. This is certainly a more perilous situation and throws the Art Gym's survival into doubt. My take is that perhaps thousands of people have donated to the Art Gym and the AG wants to research their wishes. There is an endowment... and I hope the AG is doing this to ensure the endowment is allowed to support the Art Gym? If it is about Marylhurst University assets (like the Art Gym) coming into play in some larger financial entanglement? ... then I am wary. Also, is something moving into the Marylhurst campus that could allow the Art Gym to stay on the grounds? The Art Gym is important to the cultural scene of Oregon and I want it to stay that way. Contact the Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum here, especially if you ever donated to the Art Gym.

Ai Weiwei discusses the destruction of his studio.

Was Starry Night influenced by Great Wave?

Kboo interviews new artist run space Carnation Contemporary.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 30, 2018 at 9:09 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 09.26.18

September review cluster

Some complain about the state of "New Portland" but the actual art being produced in the city right now is especially strong. In fact, the current lineup of exhibitions is remarkably sharp and is perhaps being catalyzed the greater pressures of the moment? Certainly artists in Portland have a lot to discuss. As I have traveled in the state and elsewhere I keep coming back to some of my favorites, all of which have a certain dark tinge to them. It is as if contemporary art is telling dark fairy tales we wish weren't but already know to be so true so here is a series of short reviews:

Mark Smith and Maria T.D. Inocencio at Lewis and Clark College

Arguably the strongest and easily the most extensive exhibition in Portland this month is Loss of Material Evidence by Mark R. Smith and Maria T.D. Inocencio at Lewis and Clark College's Hoffman Gallery. It is a tour de force in material as memory and pattern as personality translated via sustained activity/interaction with family members and other loved ones. This exhibition successfully goes into places where contemporary art often fails, specifically the persistence of the personal and the building of meaning... (more)

Tabitha Nickolai at Williamson Knight


Fernanda D'Agostino at Open Signal

Perhaps no art institution is more in touch with the pulse of culture in Portland than Open Signal is and Fernanda D'Agostino's Mapping (Borderline) is a very successful example of why... (more)

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 26, 2018 at 22:16 | Comments (0)


Thursday 09.20.18

Post Analog at Grapefruits


The latest show at Grapefruits Post Analog featuring the work of Paloma Kop and Sara Goodman. Grapefruits is a space specializing in non digital programming so I've been looking forward to this as a signature kind of exhibition for the space. I also like the fact that much new media is already old media.

Here is a curatorial statement from Sarah: "Within the last 20 years, we've seen the transition from analog to digital video tools in the creation and distribution of moving images. Between maker and consumer, there’s always been a collaboration between user and tools, but now we rely less on physical labor and more on access to digital software and platforms.

Although there is a long history of analog video creation, within recent years, there's been an increased resurgence of analog tools to create and distribute newly created video content. A renewed fascination with physical labor. We take a larger role in the collaboration with the machine from the start. We fetishize the passage of time; the destruction of magnetic medium. We aestheticize the failure and decomposition of a tool that always had planned obsolescence. Nostalgia for a past that had an optimistic future.

Now, we master the imperfection and glorify it. Intentionality of destruction; yet generative in its genesis. Paloma Kop and Sara Goodman produce video works of generative materials that they then manipulate through physical analog video processing tools. These time based recordings are both performative and ephemeral. A ghost on the screen, tracking, glitching, transforming. Both Sara and Paloma transcend this art form by creating prints of their works. Using a screenshot to hold onto the chaos. Printing out a screenshot, instead of sharing it online. The progression of glitch from electronics to paper, manifests our ubiquitous perception of technology ruling our world. The tools we use, either analog or digital, manifest metaphysical changes to the way we perceive the world."

Ok, that is a tall order but that only gets my attention more.... nothing liker a little ambition to make Portland work better as an art scene. Besides I like analog glitchcraft, it speaks to that road warrior aesthetic or the lived in star wars univers where Han Solo had to smack the hyperdrive to avoid obliteration by an Imperial Cruiser.

Post Analog | September 20 - October 21
Opening: September 20, 6-9PM | Performance @ 8PM: drc / erc Grapefruits Art Space
2119 N Kerby, Suite D

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 20, 2018 at 15:31 | Comments (0)


Wednesday 09.19.18

Mid September Art News

I've seen so many shows and there are some great reviews and a pretty massive article on the way but to tide you over here's what is new:

Jeffrey Deitch returns to LA...

Here is a wonderful review of David Wojnarowicz's retrospective at the Whitney in the Washington Post.

Here's a fascinating take on art criticism... that it is becoming more common, less judgemental and somehow quite similar no matter where it is being perpetrated? Lots to disagree with there and I've found most dont understand what art criticism can really do and the loooong article I've been working on forever really gets into it, with some new wrinkles. Let's just say the that the ambitions, pecadilleos and greater failures of the moment are laid bare in criticism and most art writing isn't actually criticism. The way a critic conducts themselves is actually a kind of theater that determines a lot of the effect... and worth of what they do. Let's just say that simply tossing a few stones only creates ripples on very calm waters.

Joseph Gallivan of Kboo interviews Dana Lynn Lewis for her upcoming public art piece.

A review of Avantika Bawa's latest show at PAM's reinvigorated APEX Program series. I still prefer her installation art but it is a very good show and I'm curious how it will shift her career? Shows at PAM that alter careers... what a much needed development that is.

Nan Goldin responds to Sackler patenting an anti addiction drug for Oxycontin.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 19, 2018 at 19:50 | Comments (0)


Thursday 09.13.18

Utopian Visions Art Fair

People often ask me, is there anything new going on in the Portland art scene. Answer, a resounding yes and though the world really doesnt need another art fair the Utopian Visions Art Fair is exactly what the world needs... new faces and ideas looking for hope and a new way. Some of my favorite artist and art agitators like Maximiliano, Victor Maldonado, Chicken Coop Contemporary etc. are all involved. Tune in and catch up.

Utopian Visions Art Fair
Friday, September 14 2018 5-8PM
Saturday, September 15 11AM-4PM
Sunday, September 16 11AM-4PM
518 SE 76th Ave

Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 13, 2018 at 18:31 | Comments (0)


Monday 09.10.18

Early September Links

I've been looking at so many shows and writing so much (+other things behind the scenes)that I havent had time to do many posts. Till then here are some links:

The Tate is outsourcing its biographies to Wikipedia. This is what happens when museums get away from their relationship with artists.

Rising costs in Berlin are affecting artists like most other interesting places. The question is what can cities do about it... Ive got some ideas for Portland.

Chistopher Chichocki's art looks at the Salton Sea.

Jerry Saltz on Hilma af Klint.

And Brian Libby writes about a Portland home (full of art) in the New York Times.

An interview with Liza Lou on her latest show.

*Update Brian Libby interviews Brian Ferriso and one of the architects working on PAM's new expansion. I interpret all of this as a good direction. The original renderings were very vanilla, plain almost to a fault but now that the pathway is to remain open it also affords an opportunity. Ferriso and I have discussed connecting to the parkspace and the community for years now... with lots of warning from me about being "too museumy") and it seems like an enhanced level of that integration and transparency will now be a goal. Of course funding gets put into the mix there but it is a complicated site and requires some innovative thinking... an off the shelf museum-style solution isnt enough. Think like a garden amenity etc. Losing the staircase is good, it was clunky. As with all things becoming more obsequious/elegant in architecture costs more but only a little more and is worth it. I met with Vinci Hamp last winter and their interior details are impressive. I challenge everyone from City Hall to PAM and its architectural team to dream a little harder... it will make funding easier as the middle of the road is the best place to be hit by the bus of mediocrity. Yes, Brian you'll be my first call if I draw a winning lottery ticket to facilitate this and in liu I'm challenging PAM's patrons to expect a bit more as well. Museum expansions are rare things. This expansion should be a reflection of the ethos Portland has grown into and signal towards what we as a city seek to become. Right now the renderings lack the detail to judge on those terms and the details are everything. So far this revision signals good things but the details really matter. Before the details get finalized though a full reckoning of what this means to Portland has to get shaken out. Ive got a huge article in the works and I dig in to most everything. Stay tuned.


Posted by Jeff Jahn on September 10, 2018 at 14:20 | Comments (0)

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