Saturday, December 29, 2012

December 29 - January 3 Roses Above, Roses Below: On Photography

Gregory Crewdson has had a huge influence on constructed implied narrative in photography. Schooled at Yale, and teaching there since, he has trained more than a generation of photographer-stylists who, like motion film directors, select, direct and design characters within the photograph's still boundary.

He has spoken in Portland, exhibited at Reed and was included in a contemporary group show curated by Bruce Guenther at the Portland Art Museum. He's an artist and a little odd, but it's working. He receives multi-million dollar advances from his gallery, Gagosian, to hire production crews. He has developed a Photoshop process to produce very large infinite depth of field prints from multiple exposures on 8x10.

Now his latest work turns his cinematic approach on itself. In Sanctuary, he photographed the Cinecittà outdoor film studios in Rome, devoid of actors. Cinecittà has operated continuously for 75 years. It is the location for numerous well known films, including the HBO-BBC series Rome. So Crewdson has unmasked the cinema and made visible the precarious scaffolding hidden previously in his work.

Portlanders have another chance to engage Crewdson in a documentary, Brief Encounters, showing now in Portland. It is focused on a series in his mid-2000's cinematic work, Beneath the Roses, some of which showed in Portland. Not sure how long the run of the film is.

Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters shows at the Living Room Theaters 341 SW 10th See the Theater Website for times. $7/$6 Students

Thursday, December 27, 2012

December 29 Last Battle of the Year

In general we are against battles. And there is a good argument that this time of the year we need less battling and more hugs. In that spirit, the hip hop dance battle culture values positive competition energy and community. And so it is tonight.

CharacterCult presents Circle Science, a night of 1on1 bboy-bgirl battles. The format is a showcase to select 16. The 16 reduce to 8 in a toprock battle. The 8 move to semis based on footwork. The semis move to finals based on power moves. The finals select one based on all around.

On the wheels of steel, Golden Child & DJ Mighty Moves. Judges will be JoeRawk of Massive Monkees, Serg of Jungle Brothers and Impulse of Moon Patrol. Hosted by ThomasOragami of Soul Felons Crew.

Competitors include Boogie - Moon Patrol, Mikeezy - Limitless acts, A-be, Aantix - Back 2 Basix, Merk - New Birth, Fu-roc - New Birth, Rufio - Aristocats, Michael Kalas - MKC, Ben - Limitless acts, Elvis - Back2basix, Fredo - No Roots, TangBang - AAO, Sharkie - Soul Phase, Faze - Rhythm Bandits, JAB - Dance Broomz/THE HOODZ, JSpoon - Soul Felons/BDB/The Hoodz, Prince Hector, Rambo - New Birth Crew, One - Tru Roots, Phace - Salem Cypher, Flow One - Wicked FX, Juan - New Birth Crew, Marko - Vibe Tribe, Fligh - Tru Roots, Dobbin, Rona, Mpwo - New Birth/Jungle Brothers, Obscure, Mochine Gun - New Birth, Mango No Roots/Them Team, Eddie Lee, Chadzilla, Nahele - Back 2 Basix, Drift, Bloop, 2Luv, Lil D - Limitless Acts, Vote for Pedro - Wicked FX, Tommy Rocc - Wicked FX, Herrikane - Sick Floor Maniacs Crew, Calypso - DMC, and Lunatic - Battle Reflex/Unleashed.

Circle Science at Vega Dance Lab 1322 SE Water. 5PM-10 $8, $5 with FB RSVP.

December 28 Free the Marbles

On the last Friday of the month, the Art Museum is free from 5PM-8. So start your new year's resolution to see more free art early. It would also be an excellent opportunity to see the collage-paintings of Sang-Ah Choi in the Apex area of the Pacific Northwest collection on the top floor of the main building. Not sure how access to the special exhibit from the British Museum of Greek and Roman marbles works on free night. Interestingly the first works acquired by the museum were plaster reproductions of Greek and Roman reliefs, still on display in the lower ballroom. The project predated Nashville's Parthenon project. At the Portland Art Museum 1219 SW Park 5PM-8 Free

Thursday, December 20, 2012

December 21 Knitting Wunderkammern

The Big Fig is a show of new sweaters knitted by artist Johanna Jackson. She works in several mediums, including video, one of which resides in the other Portland modern art museum, the Portland Art Museum. Her knittings fit well with the program of the Portland Museum of Modern Art, and she has shown earlier work in this body there. And it's apropos, for now is the traditional season for "artistic" sweaters, so wear yours tonight!

Jackson writes of dreaming of knitting, the challenge of learning it and finally, learning the motions practiced by many over many, many years, our knitting DNA.

Musicians Grouper perform as well for the show opening in this small space. At the Portland Museum of Modern Art inside Mississippi Records 5202 N Albina 7:30 Free

Puppets! There is a small progressive puppetry art community in Portland if you know where to look. And they are not for kids only. In fact, tonight's show is for mature audiences. The annual Winter Solstice puppet show includes puppets, music and acrobatics. The tradition has been going on in Portland for eleven years and a trailer for a documentary on the event will also be shown too. At Disjecta, in the shadow of Paul Bunyan 8371 N. Interstate Map all ages, adult beverages for those 21+. 7PM & 10 shows, free-donations accepted

December 20 Slab City Citizens Band

Slab City is a pre-apocalyptic temporary autonomous zone in California. Citizens band is an archaic analog radio system, license free, and occasionally abused by radio hackers.

So the combination of words Slab City Citizens Band Bulletin is a rich mix, and it's also a collaboration between filmmaker Bill Daniel and musicians Jackie-O Motherfucker. Slab City performs live to Daniel's films.

Musicians Sunfoot and Invisible Bees from the UK also perform.

At Disjecta, in the shadow of Paul Bunyan 8371 N. Interstate Map 8PM $7advance/8door

Saturday, December 15, 2012

December 16 Publication Fair

Not all books are art nor art books. But Portland is an art town and a book town with dozens or small presses. Some of them gather today for you to see, and they to sell, their wares. Participants include Ampersand Gallery & Fine Books, Poor Claudia/Tale City Press, Bad Blood Reading Series, Perfect Day Publishing, Floating World Comics, Anahita Jamali Rad/AAB, Monograph Bookwerks, Dill Pickle Club, Peaches and Bats, Container Corps, Division Leap, IPRC, Nationale, Bedouin Books, Octopus Books, Gobshite Quarterly, Sharp/Stuff, Table Of Contents, Passages Bookshop, Tin House and organized by Publication Studio. At the Cleaners at the Ace Hotel. SW Stark and 10th. Noon-6 Free

Friday, December 07, 2012

December 16 Promised Land

This event is later in December, a sleepy month for visual art. But not for culture, and for things that are important.

Promised Land. Heavy meme. Ancient, even biblical. And now the title of a dramatic film by Portland filmmaker Gus Van Sant about natural gas fracking in America.

The film tells the story of a very small town guy, working for a very large company, convincing farmers to sign gas mining contracts. Like the Music Man, it seems to be going swimmingly until it goes so wrong. Ultimately it reaches a transformative resolution.

Energy is one of our most important ecosystems, but water is too. And though we don't mine natural gas in Portland or Oregon, natural gas exports are an issue we will need to deal with here. It's being studied by the Department of Energy and is a top issue for Senator Wyden, because exports will raise our prices.

The film's reach is sure to create a discussion across a country which needs to talk seriously about energy.

Director Gus Van Sant introduces his film, Promised Land, tonight in a benefit showing for Outside In, providing medical and survival services for homeless youth. The film begins its regular run December 28, in time for the 2012 Oscar nominations. Tickets in advance at the McMenamins box offices. Film at the Bagdad Theater 3702 SE Hawthorne 7:30PM $79 main/$49 balcony

Dec 15 False Front Place

Seth Nehil, sound artist, presents his sound and paper art tonight. The paper work is hand cut. The sounds are hand cut acoustic samples with the assistance of electronic computer machines. Music 8. At False Front Studio 4518 NE 32nd Map 7PM-9 Free

Place continues its shows and opens a group show, White Pride, with artists Nadia Buyse, Chris Freeman, Sam Guerrero, Michael Martínez, Mark Martinez, Christine Taylor and Chloé Womack. All at Place, a gallery on the 3rd floor of the Pioneer Place Mall along with the People's art of Portland and the Woolley Gallery. If the mall appears closed, enter the film theater building adjacent, travel through the tunnel to the Place mall, and take the elevator to the 3rd floor, sometimes the bridge on the 3rd floor is open too. 700 SW Fifth. 5PM-8 Free 5PM-9

December 12 The End of Art Education on 12/12/12?

What is the value of an MFA? What the market will bear. There is a serious imbalance between tuition and renumeration, between the business of art schools and reality, though the romance remains.

Pedigree is a panel discussion by Gabe Flores, Gwenn Seemel and Horatio Law moderated by David Vanadia on art, art school, money, value and the art star-making machine.

At Place, a gallery on the 3rd floor of the Pioneer Place Mall 700 SW Fifth. 7PM-8 Free

December 8 Print Peoples

PICA holds its annual printmaking fundraiser. It's especially fun for the artists making prints, some who have never done so, to get their hands dirty with plenty of very experienced printmakers. Most, if not all, are monoprints, one of a kind. It's in the PICA offices this year. 415 SW 10th 6:30PM-8:30 Free

The Peoples Art of Portland is one of Portland's largest art dealers. With low prices, they make it up in volume. Their margins are the same as commercial galleries, but their costs are lower. Every year, they hold their Big 300 sale, over 350 artists, each making 10 8"x8" works on plywood panels, and all sold for $40 each. Usually about 80% are sold, so you can do the math. Cash or credit, take the work off the wall and home for instant gratification. A can of food for the food bank is requested. At the People's Art of Portland 700 SW 5th 2PM-9 Can of food

There is a reception for Bruce Conkle's show at PSU, see Thursday's listing.

December 7 Eastside Art Openings+

Portland as music town goes in cycles and now is uptime. But Salem was home to famous guitarist John Fahey in the 80's and 90's, who lived 1939-2001. Fahey traveled extensively in the South collecting the folk music of Mississippi Delta, Appalachian bluegrass and New Orleans jazz musicians, in person, and in recordings made in the 1920's and '30's, and refining them into his own picking style with unique tunings. Fahey went on to found artist-focused, rather than label-focused, music labels Takoma and Revenant. In Search of Blind Joe Death: The Saga of John Fahey is a new documentary relating the story of his life. Folk music was what we had before copyright, and it's where we are headed to again, as the age of infinite reproduction and the music industry itself successfully slay the goose that laid golden eggs. Maybe that's a good thing, Internet folk music, and music in person. The film will be introduced by a performance by Chris Funk. At the Hollywood Theater 4122 NE Sandy 7:30PM $7

The art and design world is filled with many twisty career paths, not all alike. One is that of Raymond Pettibon, punk artist. Bass player in Black Flag early, and brother to Flag leader, Pettibon designed the logo. He went on to make pen and brush drawings, many used as music media cover art and for band posters. He has used hand lettered text extensively, a 1980's trend that returned in the new millenium, for instance, in the work of Mission School artist Chris Johanson. Pettibon was first tapped for the Whitney Biennial in 1994. Later he returned in 2004, the second year of Larry Rinder's new bad art boy curatorial direction. Perribon has exhibited extensively in Europe as well. Pettibon was tapped in 1995 by Portland's Plazm. They present a show of his early work, 1978-1986, band posters, his zines, and some vinyl covers, opening tonight. Band Blood Beach performs at the opening at 9. At One Grand Gallery 1000 E Burnside. 7PM-10+ Free

Hair, it can be an obsession for some. Soft & Sturdy by Heidi Hopfer is a show of hair theme drawings. At Redux 811 E Burnside

Black Box has a show of color photography curated by Katherine Ware of the New Mexico Museum of Art. She has been photography curator at the Philadelphia Museum of Art at the Getty. At Black Box Gallery 811 E Burnside, Suite 212 upstairs 5PM-8:30 Free

At the Ford Building Gallery Homeland continues it's current show and Pushdot has a reception for a non-photography show, pointillist pen and ink drawings of insects. 2505 SE 11th x Division. Enter through the cafe on the corner if the main doors on 11th are locked. 5PM-7/9 Free

Universities are a rich stew of creativity as a value. It's stimulated by the ease of creative communication and collaboration. In art programs, there is a value placed in understanding what has come before. In that spirit, PSU artists reinterpret Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable over 45 years later. Bands include Etbonz & Videodrone. In Neuberger Hall Room 293. 7PM-9 Free

Aedion 44 Gallery shows Friends of Mine, from Portland photographer Brendan Coughlin. The gallery is in a space for graphic clothing. At Aedion 44 Gallery 4430 SE Hawthorne 7PM-11 Free

Newspace has Jeff Rich with Watershed: A Survey of The French Broad River Basin, documentation of a river in the Southeast. The photographer captured individuals in their homes along the river with river industrial facilities in the background. Photolucida director Laura Moya has an ongoing series, On My Walls, selections from her personal collection. At Newspace Photo 1632 SE 10th Map

The studios of the OCAC+PNCA MFA in Applied Craft + Design are open tonight for you to see what the students are doing. They will also be open tomorrow in the daytime. It will be tonight's hit. At the Bison Building, 421 NE 10th. 7PM-9 Free

RACC throws a party tonight in honor of Mayor Sam Adams, Portland's tireless art supporter. It is a benefit for the Right Brain Initiative. Patrons at 6, $175, open to all at 9, $25, breakfast midnight.'s-party-name-art-almost-here At YU Contemporary 800 SE 10th

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

December 6 Westside Art Openings

Everyone is in Miami, but the show must go on.

Hellion has taken Mitt Romney's suggestion that we get close with South America. It's not a bad idea, and Brazil is our hemisphere's part of BRIC. The show of 15 artists from Brazil is Pindorama.

There will be an opportunity tonight at Hellion to get the new book by Matt Wagner, The Tall Trees of Tokyo. Matt is the curator and creator of Hellion. In his introduction he writes of Japanese society, the tall tree is beaten down. But if it can withstand the forces of wind, it can move the mountain in which its roots entwine.

In the book, he has profiled contemporary Japanese artists by the train lines in the Tokyo sprawl in which they live. The book is bilingual. A portion of tonight's sales go to a project to build an indoor playground for Fukushima children.

Many people have left the contaminated area, but those who are too poor have stayed. It's dangerous for the children remaining to play outside. The project is organized by many of the artists Matt profiled in the book. They also spontaneously delivered supplies into the red zone soon after the earthquake and meltdown, and Matt himself was able to travel with them to help.

More information about the project is at You can use your web tools to translate it from Japanese.

The book, The Tall Trees of Tokyo, is a project of Portland's Overcup Press. You can find out more on their website, or by stopping into the gallery. The book is limited to an edition of 1000.

At Hellion Gallery 19 NW 5th Suite 208. Through the lobby of the arched brick entry, up the stairs and to the back. Very upper floor Japan-style.
Map 7PM-10

PNCA has Cause Unknown: Mapping Ravaged Landscapes, by Erinn Kathryn. She has drawn a connection between landscapes formed by eruption, uplifts, fire and erosion with the body's tissues, subject to their own vicissitudes. In Gallery 214, upstairs.

Binary Lore is a show by Edie Fake, from Chicago and PNCA alumna Brenna Murphy ’09. It also shows in Chicago in a cooperative exchange between Threewalls in Chicago and PNCA here. Fake remixes historical queer culture of Chicago into comic-style drawings. Murphy remixes electronic images and electroacoustic sound samples into sculptural performances as MSHR and in her solo work. Highly recommended. In the Feldman Gallery.

Both at PNCA 1241 NW Johnson Map 6PM-9

The world is filled with artists. The tools of infinite reproduction are available to us each and we are trained aesthetically by our continual exposure to reproduced images from early childhood. That means there is great work out there that is undiscovered, or will never be known beyond small circles. Occasionally the unknown artist is discovered, and unfortunately often after their death. That is the case with street photographer Vivian Maier. Working as a nanny, she photographed extensively with a 2 1/4 camera in New York and Chicago and traveling in the US. She is estimated to have made over 150,000 images. Some are on display at Powells and a collector of her work, Jeff Goldstein and the author Richard Cahan of a book about her speak tonight. At Powell's Basil Hayward Gallery, 3rd floor. 10th and W Burnside Talk 7:30PM

Bruce Conkle will be creating scents by burning the resins of native trees in his show Tree Clouds Thursdays at 4 in the Autzen Gallery. Conkle is a prime exporter of Northwest-inspired environmental-themed sculptures and installations he dubs "eco baroque". There will be a reception Saturday at the gallery 6PM-8. At Autzen Gallery PSU, Neuberger Hall, Room 205, 724 S.W. Harrison tonight 4PM-5

Augen has Portland illustrator-collage artist Trish Grantham with At a Loss for Words. At Augen Gallery 716 NW Davis early close 8PM

PDX has Molly Vidor's color fields and flowers plus Nell Warren's impressionistic landscapes. At PDX Contemporary Art 925 NW Flanders Map early close 8PM

Compound presents End of the World, probably not the Mayan version, though. Artists include AMTK, Steve Seeley, Sean Edward Whelan, Brendan Monroe, Pat Perry, Gala Bent, Clare Rosean, Leo Zarosinski, Joseph Mcvetty III, Amanda Lee James, David M Cook and Morgaine Faye. At Compound Gallery 107 NW 5th 6PM-10

Louie Palu has photographs of warfighters from the various coalition forces at the end of their tours in Kandahar, Afghanistan. In an entirely different view of the military, Theresia Viska, in La Danse Françaisehas, made impressionistic set of photographs using long exposure times of the Stockholm Military Academy’s annual winter ball. Generations of her family over 300 years served in the Swedish military, which has largely avoided war since 1814. At Blue Sky Gallery map 122 NW 8th 6PM-9

The UO White Box presents Affective Duplication by street art group, The Reader. You can go to their website to read the description of the work, but personally I thought it was vague art speak which I can't summarize. At the University of Oregon White Stag Building, 70 NW Couch 6PM-9

Everett Lofts are recommended as always. It's easier for you to see them all than for me to write suggestions. Some close as early as 9PM. At the Everett Lofts 625 NW Everett. Bounded by NW Everett, Broadway, Flanders and 6th Map 6PM to 9ish

Saturday, December 01, 2012

December 1 Oscar's Delerium Tremens Redux

Portland artist and curator Patrick Rock pushes boundaries. But he also has a sense of absurdity, performance and participation. Oscar's Delerium Tremens is an example, and his timing could not be more perfect. Oscar is a giant inflatable sculpture of a pink elephant. It's a sculpture you can enter and bounce on its inflated floor, shoes off. And you can see in and out of the sculpture through the eyes of the elephant. Rock has done a fine job at coordinating his sculpture with the birth of a baby elephant at the Oregon Zoo.

Unfortunately on inflation yesterday, the elephant sprung an irreparable leak. So the previously scheduled family events were canceled. There will be no bouncing, but the evening reception will be held.

Oscar can be viewed at the new art center, The Colony, in St Johns. 7527 N. Richmond x Lombard. Saturday 8PM-11 21+ Free