Of the many adventures that I had at Open Engagement, I enjoyed an evening at the Portland Art Museum. Their annual program, “Shine A Light,” came together in conjunction with PSU’s Social Practice MFA, in an effort to “ask visitors to reconsider what is possible in a museum.” It featured a number of MFA artist’s works including a reenactment of a lost Grateful Dead concert (“Turn on Your Lovelight” by Travis Neel), a dental trailer offering free dental work to visitors (“Dentistry at the Museum” by Zachary Gough), a booth in the basement where viewers were encouraged to record stories of objectified objects and being objectified (“Objectification Stories” by Erica Thomas and Heather Donahue), an invitation to commune with dead artists via mediums from Portland’s own Psychic Siamese Terror through select works of art (“The Dead Artists Salon” by Alysha Shaw) and much much more. (full program here) At every turn through the museum that night, you could feel the institutional context in a concentrated experiment in flexibility. It felt like a kind of earnest game, one in which visitors were simultaneously challenged to revise and open up their own expectations. It was a glorious mayhem. Outside, between the museum’s two buildings, people of all ages danced expressively. A beer truck stood across from an artisanal pizza tent, as the torches to PAM’s second entrance (what was a Masonic temple in a former life) bloomed brightly in the coming dusk. Artisanal popcorn was also for sale. In the midst of this, I ran into Dillon de Give, another Social Practice MFA presenting work. His project, 4-6 Dogs in the Museum furthers the desire to flex the museum structure, except in de Give’s case, he tried to apply that flexibility to non-humans. (read more)
I got to see this Marylin Minter piece from 2009 at the ICA a couple of days ago — it was one of many works featured in a show about their permanent collection. The exhibit included it as an example of how the field of painting has extended. I particularly liked it as it seemed like a great example of how the objectified figure (in this case, a hired model) became fractured and disembodied by, in this case, eating (sometimes gold) candy.
Coming up this weekend is CAKE: a comics table event where I will be selling Fortuna comics (as well as a couple of others) and then, on Saturday, June 15, 2013 at 1:30 at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre at The Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted Ave. I’ll be moderating a discussion between Jason Shiga, Deb Sokolow, Aaron Renier and Nate Beaty to discuss narrative (and the tweaking thereof). Here is the official blurb for the event:
Artists today are reinventing the boundaries of what is considered graphic narrative. From re-engineering the book, to capitalizing on the potential of the internet’s infinite canvas, to mapping stories through physical space, experiments in format are exploding the possibilities of non-linear storytelling and evolving the way we read.
Special Guest Jason Shiga is the author of Meanwhile, a tabulated choose-your-own adventure capable of 3,856 different story combinations. Fellow Special Guest Deb Sokolow creates narratives through gallery installations, in which physical size and space play a part of the story. They will be joined on stage by Aaron Renier and Nate Beaty, who launched the expansive and dynamic comics web-project The Infinite Corpse this Spring. Moderated by Caroline Picard of Green Lantern Press and BadAtSports, this discussion about comics’ outer limits is sponsored by Anchor Graphics Press.
This panel will take place Saturday, June 15th, at the Hoover-Leppen Theatre at The Center on Halsted, 3656 N Halsted Ave, at 1:30pm. This event is free and open to the public. See you there!
Ameena Meer interviews Anish Kapoor on BOMB:
Alchemy is the art of turning stone into gold. Anish Kapoor is an alchemist, turning chunks of granite into metaphorical caves, their hollow blue centers echoing with the black secrets of the unconscious. Ten years ago, he was a priest spreading piles of scarlet or yellow or blue pigment on the wall or floor, through which massive cement vegetables thrust into the room like vivid deities. His work reverberates with his own strange juxtapositions. His parents are both Indian, his father Hindu and his mother a Bombay Jew. He spent his childhood in Bombay, his adolescence in Israel, and had his art training in England, where he now lives. In 1990, Kapoor’s work will represent the United Kingdom in the Venice Biennialle.
Ameena Meer Some of your early works are called A Thousand Names. What does that mean?
Anish Kapoor I’ve always felt that my work had to be about something else and that’s what saved it, what made it be of any interest. I began to evolve a reasoning, which had to do with things being partially revealed. While making the pigment pieces, it occurred to me that they all form themselves out of each other. So I decided to give them a generic title, A Thousand Names, implying infinity, a thousand being a symbolic number. The powder works sat on the floor or projected from the wall. The powder on the floor defines the surface of the floor and the objects appear to be partially submerged, like icebergs. That seems to fit inside the idea of something being partially there. Now that’s actually taken another turn. They’re all about another place. They’re all about something here, which is something inside, something not here. That process seems to happen with emptying things out, making things voided. That seems to actually fill them up. Emptying them out is just filling them up. And that’s somewhere else. I don’t know how else to say it. (read more)