Monday, January 02, 2006

January wish: that the temple of Janus be closed

January was named for the Janus, the Roman god of portals, beginnings, and endings. It is recorded that the temple of Janus was closed in times of peace. Not often then, or now. As the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, peace begins with a single action in each of our immediate worlds.

This was rescheduled to Tuesday January 3 and 7 PM because of snow!

Clare Fowler, Royal College of Art grad in Communication Art and Design, presents a night of film. Fowler's short films establish a poetic field of images and actions. Imagery, emotion laden, minimal, but elegant, simply combined with thoughtful sound design, lies down to dream. Films include:

A Poem is Only Game. DV Color 7 minutes 2001
With a soundtrack of Czech poetry, spoken, simple pregnant images alternate before their ultimate resolution.

Where Paper Will Touch The Skin. B&W DV One Minute 2001
Title inspired by sewing instructions, this work is a meditation on a paper dress.

The Devil & The Fly. 16mm B&W 8 minute 2004
An Icelandic folk tale inspires images arrayed as symbols of a mythical struggle. Sound recordings of the Icelandic glacier, Katnajokull, form the bed of sound for this film.

One Second Between States. Color DV 40 minutes
A rose blossom decays ever so slowly in a time lapse composition.

Tadpole B&W Hand scratched 16mm on DV One Minute 2003
To Touch Color DV 7 minutes 2000
Butterfly 2000 B&W DV One Minute 2000

7PM EARLY Holocene Free !!

January 4

Select preopenings.

January 5

Pulliam Deffenbaugh opens work by sometime Portlander Hildur Bjarnadó Hildur's work is informed by her Icelandic upbringing, where she rebelled against the traditional crafts taught girls in Icelandic "home ec'". While Portland's craft aesthetic cleaves to gemutlichkeit, Bjarnadóttir pushes much, much, further into the art realm. Recontextualizing weaving by using fishing line or showing large scale photographs of the much enlarged detris collected on adhesive lint remover rollers are examples. Portland's clothing artists may enjoy this work. Pulliam Deffenbaugh Gallery Early, 5-8PM

Blue Sky gallery presents Naglaa Walker's "On Physics", juxtapositions of chalkboard equations of the mathematical models of physics and emotional interactions of people, suggesting the similarities between the touching of subatomic particles, one to another, and likewise, individuals. Walker worked as a physics researcher before receiving her masters in art at the RCA in 2003, winning the Jerwood Photography Award in the same year. Also showing, Greenberg's "facing fear" projects, impromptu portraits revealing the the emotional data point of deepest fears of his subjects.

I do not usually review photography, the field is just too vast. The Photographic Image Gallery presents a retrospective of longtime OCAC photography instructor Cheri Hiser. Hiser taught (before my time) a generation of Portland photographers how to photograph friends and strangers in the wild. Hiser is one of those Portland artists who operates on an international stage, her biography is an inspiration to Portland artists of today who will do the same. Hiser will speak Saturday Jan 7 3-5PM Free Photographic Image Gallery 79 Oak Street

Rake Art presents impressionist landscapes by Jenna Kane. Let's see where this art collective goes! Rake is in the same block as the Everett Lofts, always recommended - take a walk down 6th Street to visit them.

Laura Russo Gallery is one of Portland's oldest contemporary galleries at 20 years, and direct descendant of Arlene Schnitzer's Fountain Gallery ('61-'85 see in which Bruce Guenther interviews Schnitzer!). This month they present a show of early Northwest artists: Louis Bunce, Kenneth Callihan, William Givler, Sally Haley, Charles Heany, Carl Morris, Arthur and Albert Runquist, Michelle Russo and Mark Toby. No Rothko, though. This is best seen in the context or the Portland Art museum's contemporary galleries by matching works by the date created. Mostly an art history lesson, it's hard to say that today, in McCluhan's global village, that there is a Northwest regional style, nor should there be. Still worth seeing. An interesting counterpoint too, to the Blackfish show of long time PNCA painting instructor, Harry Widman.

January 6

Rob Tyler presents Color and Modulation, a video installation. In a seven year project, Tyler modded 16mm film by hand painting and computer to produce this 55 minute work. Tonight the film will be presented on multiple monitors with live music by In Support of Living + Unrecognizable Now. Samples at It would be exciting if the Center Space returns to presenting art in a serious fashion as in the time when it was curated by Rose McCormick, now of NAAU. I have seen some of this work at Apotheke with White Rainbow - it's recommended. Tyler also is part of Vision and Hearing Saturday at Holocene. Center Space 420 SE 6th (x Stark/Oak) 6-10pm Thanks to Richard Speer for the heads up on this..

Blue Sky presents an artist's talk by Jules Greenberg on his "Facing Fear" project. 7:30

Small A Projects presents obsessive narrative drawings by Michael Bise. In his series Joey and Melissa, mother and son characters struggle with their trappings of suburban life, emotional and material, and an unnamed protagonist. Artist talk at 8, opening 6-9

The New American Art Union presents its concept-namesake distribution show. Members join the gallery for $25 per year. At year end, the money is pooled, work by the gallery artists is purchased and distributed to the members. The artists involved include Tim Dalbow, Ty Ennis, Leah Faure, Jim Lommasson, Lacy Lowry, Joe Macca, Rose Willow McCormick.

Fix Gallery has been renamed Denwave, but remains in the same location. MoshiMoshi next doos may have something interesting as well.

Newspace Photo opens a show by its volunteer staff. Newspace also offers and open crit session monthly for photographers. Bring your own work to discuss and discuss alike.

January 7

Cheri Hiser see January 5 above

Vision and Hearing brings together White Rainbow, ambient experimental musicians and visualists, with the films of E*ROCK and Alex Hubbard (NY) ; visualist Rob Tyler with In Support of Living (Toronto) and Unrecognizable Now (Portland) and Matt McCormick's music+visuals unit, Very Stereo. Holocene $5 9PM

January 8

The Marylhurst art Gym opens a show Sleeping Giant by Daniel Duford 3-5PM. I haven't been excited about a Marylhurst show lately, this included, but they have a sharp curatorial eye for primarily mid career Portland artists. Worth keeping an eye on.

January 9

E*ROCK provides visual counterpoint to a night of beautifully strange music. Greg Davis (Vermont) and Sebastien Roux (IRCAM-Paris) present their melange of "psychedelic music, digital processing, folk, sunshine pop, musique concrete, ethnic sounds, drones and field recordings". They join Paul Dickow's Strategy (PDX), Josh Blanchard and Molly Griffith's Plants (PDX) and Ben Vida's Bird Show (Chicago). Holocene $6 9PM

January 12

Apotheke and the Music Population Project present Klatronic Chamber Music: electronics with keyboards, winds, strings and voice. A project of Brede Rørstad, the Music Population Project eschews the conventional settings for chamber music, sallying forth into clubs, bars and radical venues. Apotheke 8:30pm. Donations requested.

January 19

Chambers Gallery presents a show of photography by Chas Bowie and LeAnne Hitchcock. Hitchcock presents atmospheric landscapes. Bowie presents images of Robert Smithson's brilliant earthwork, Spiral Jetty, . Chambers Gallery 207 SW Pine St.

January 20

This event combines all the Holocene vectors: art, the politics of love, and dancing. JD Samson, smart, art band LeTigre's DJ, not only spins music for your dancing pleasure, but also shows slides and video from her Lesbian Utopia road tour. Project of Kathleen Hanna (Bikini Kill +++) and Johanna Fateman, who once published a zine with high school friend Miranda July, LeTigre, once included Pixelvision filmmaker Sadie Benning. Swan Island and Show Me the Pink also perform. Expect dancing. Holocene $7 9PM

January 24

The Cooley Gallery at Reed College establishes "New Trajectories I: Recent Painting, Drawing, and Multimedia Work from the Ovitz Collection, Los Angeles". That would be the Ovitz. This show focuses on flat work and sculpture including Richard Prince, Stefan Thiel, Cosima Von Bonin, James Siena, Eric Schmidt, Aya Uekawa, Idris Khan, Andrea Lehmann, Julie Mehretu, Graham Little, David Thorpe, Tommy White, Francesca Gabbiani Nigel Cooke, and Marc Handelman. Show continues to March 11

"New Trajectories II: Expansions" follows, focused on photography and media, including that of Gregory Crewdson April 11- June 11.
Though Reed is a little out of the way and aggressively shuns the limelight, their gallery has been presenting stellar shows of late. How lovely would be a lecture by the collection's curator!

January 25

Portland operates on a world stage in the arts and design, and in sustainability too. One of the reasons is Portland's Illahee lecture series. This season, the theme is peak oil, the concept that the earth has reached the inflection point of depletion of all the oil created by the decay of plants which lived between 1 and 300 million years ago. That would be before creationism and intelligent design, which propose the creation of the earth about 7000 years ago. Maybe that's why creationists aren't worried we'll run out of oil for our SUV's! (I don't get what evolution has been guided by intelligent design in the last 7000 years, but we'll deal with that later...) Tonight James Kunstler speaks on "The Long Emergency: The American Dream Meets Reality". Kunstler is a proponent of the New Urbanist design movement and a critic of suburban sprawl and the automobile. 7:30 First Congregational Church 7:30 $20 or $75 for 5 lectures, $50 students. I would bet a small number of volunteer spots may be available.

January all month

Red 76, the Portland and sometime Chicago collaborative art group is mounting a month long project:Ghosttown. Ghosttown manifests in unusual locales as a sort of social performance art - think something like Harrell Fletcher's work (, but not as sublime. Anyway all the details are available at

January 14 & 15

Hip hop - perfect onomotopia - and so much more. Portland is so far off the map on this one, that when a hip hop dance weekend comes, well be there, b boys and b girls. Kid Shilo and Kumari host 2 hip hop performance nights on the stage of the IFCC. See dance crews Caleaf /Mop Tops /Dance Fusion (NYC), Byron /Dance Fusion (NYC), Soul Selector (SF), Circle of Fire (SEA), Shades of Mahoganee (PDX), Ladidadee (PDX), Boogie Monsters (PDX), Lady Di (NYC), Potion (SEA), SambaSol (PDX), One Family (PDX), Torra Do Sol (PDX), Moncell /Mop Tops) (PHL), Misguided Steps (TAC), Rhodesia (NYC), Vondana /1LHD (NYC) with sounds by Soul Plasma, Lightheaded, Liv Warfield, Nickles, Funk Plastic, LifeSavas and DJ Bombay. The IFCC gallery mixes its take on graffitti for the show. Saturday doors 7:30, show 8, Sunday Doors 5:30, show 6. $12, reservations at IFCC 5340 N Interstate

and Hip Hop Master workshop Sunday

Caleaf, who has worked with Crystal Waters, CC Peniston, Will Smith and Mariah Carey, explores social hip hop from the 80s to now. Old School hip hop and house foundations such as shuffles, stalking, loose legs and more are covered.

Byron Cox covers house dance including jacking, skating, footwork and lofting.

Moncell "IllKosby" Durden, who has worked with the Wu Tang Clan, Notorious BIG, NWA, KRS One, MC Hammer(?), Crystal Waters, Jore and many more, covers choreographed routines which contain all styles under the umbrella of funk and hip hop.

12-4 the Center Space 420 SE 6th $12 per class

January 16

Art museum is free MLK day. Where are the great leaders today when they are most needed?

January 19,20,21,22 the politics of dancing

Monster Squad is back. Dancer Tahni Holt performs "Island Desk: My Teeny Tiny Knowledge of Nothing". Artist Marty Schnapf has abstracted the office desk into a sculpture upon which Holt struggles with the rigidity of her office environment. "Through her observations and fantasies, she becomes entrenched in the private affairs of her co-workers. Desks become islands and walls become oceans as she attempts to navigate the ever-changing terrain of the day-to-day... Just when you are sure you're somewhere familiar, the walls shift and a new day begins." A true artists' collaboration, Emily Bulfin of Video Minds provides the mediascape, Bret Knopf of Menomena, the soundscape, and Jayme Hansen of birds of prey the costumes. 338 NW 6th Thursday-Sunday 8PM $10 students, $14. Presented by and tickets theorgh Disjecta at

January 22

John Perkins, author of "Confessions of an Economic Hit Man", speaks on his life as a consultant to developing countries. Perkins used Enron style accounting to convince countries to take World Bank loans he knew they could never pay back. When they defaulted on the loans, as was his and his employers' plan, they came under pressure of the US government to make political and foreign affairs concessions. Who would'a known? Shocking! Amazon synopsis at 7:30 Powells on Burnside

January 20 the politics of art

Some months it seems like a dryspot, yet they unfold in unexpected ways into many sweet art suprises.

The Missing Link, Japanese toy store had a nice event last evening. Their art aesthetic, as well as their merch, is very Just Be Toys with a big dose of Dark Horse.

January 23

PSU, the Oregon University System's poor stepchild has always been on the losing end when funding is divided between UofO and OSU. Yet they are making a pretty decent run of it with their studio arts program MFA. They have started a free artists' lecture program and the next is this Monday. Chris Johanson, who was included in the 2002 Whitney by curator Larry Rinder, will speak. Chris is sometimes labeled and outsider artist, yet he has now been drawn into the art machine, though maybe reluctantly. Examples of his work may be seen at: Oh yeah, he moved from SF to make work here. The talk is 7:30 510 SW Hall St in the 5th Ave Cinema.

January 30 talk. talk, talk

Artist Jo Jackson will speak at 7 at PSU tonight. Her work, if you are curious, is at . For now the location looks to be PSU's 5th Avenue Cinema which was filled to overflowing last week, so for a seat might be a good idea to arrive early. 7PM 510 SW Hall St