Risks. We all take them. There are downside risks and upside risks.
(We publish on mobile. If you want just the what where when, scroll to the bottom. This is an unusually long post!)
Downside risks are when you could feel discomfort, crash and burn, be injured, or die. Upside risk is when you survive another day, succeed, make someone happy or change the world for the positive.
The world of artists is taking risks.
We usually do not - as observers of finished art work - understand the internal and continuous experience of the artist with downside risk. Artists internalize that, in every moment.
Our experience as observers of artist risk - out the other (viewer) side - is as a touchstone for our own experience of risk. That is why risk is a powerful ingredient in artworks. It is an emotional carrier in my taxonomy of art ingredients.
Portland artist Wynde Dyer is an artist who takes personal risks in art making.
Classical artist risk takers are artists like Chris Burden. He approached real body risk from a masculine standpoint. Wynde Dyer goes far beyond that in the challenges she undertakes as an artist.
She has an ambitious show this afternoon, sharing the scraps. you should see, it closes April 27, today is the reception and an event to meet the project collaborators and supporters. We will return to that in a moment.
Dyer moved to Portland and opened Golden Rule, a collaborative art vintage shop. Each month she invited an artist to make an installation in the shop. Dyer then selected vintage clothing items to be sold in the shop to accompany the art.
In the 1970's to 1990's her mother, with a fabulous fashion sense, acquired clothes. Many. Incredibly all one size. But she never discarded any.
Her single mother died alone in Wynde's small California childhood home. Wynde was called to remove her mother's every possession from that childhood home.
It became Wynde's burden to return each piece of clothing to the world.
Over several years, she returned those clothes through art exhibitions in the Golden Rule store, in itself a social practice art project, though that term was not yet common.
Her work has continued.
She reprinted her mother's letters to a lover inmate for an installation, 2010.
She constructed a 1/2 scale model of her childhood home in 1751 Easy Street: For Sale by Owner, 2011. She spent weeks at night alone constructing it along with many volunteers at other times throughout.
She shredded her family photographs and then meticulously sorted the shreds by color, in Sorting Things Out, 2012.
She engaged in performances recreating intensely physically sickening experiences from childhood phobias - Things That Aren't Safe, Are, 2013.
She created the very, very intense Frantic Efforts to Avoid Real or Imagined Abandonment in 2013. The work included a cycling show in images of her mother's many lovers. Those mother's lovers competed (successfully) for her mother's attention; her child was emotionally abandoned, and they did bad things to that child growing. The work covered every wall with a list of the first names of every of the artist's crushes densely inscribed by hand on the gallery walls in metallic leaf, paired with her name. Trying to figure out adult relationships with imperfect models. It is a meditation on personal value when we are small, but when we need to be large, in relation to parental and personal crushes.
She has worked with Chinese artists recreating past living space illustrations.
She is a social activist. She is an accomplished organizer for taxi drivers facing exploitation and extinction.
In comparison, Burden is a poseur. We believe Dyer will be recognized as surpassing him and surviving too.
Dyer returns with a deep-rich project in Sharing the Scraps. She has engaged houseless-homeless individuals to create designs. She has sewn them in the manner of quilts along with her own designs from colored poly tarp material. Poly tarp - blue is common and you know. It is a common Chinese-manufactured import available in many primary colors. Each work is for sale to benefit rent support for individuals about to be made homeless by Portland's changes.
For the reception, Dyer has invited individuals from Hazelnut Grove, a self-organized houseless community in North Portland to help out. A displaced Portland chef, Amanda Luna, will be cooking tasty food for the event. Our Olivia Darlings provide movement performance about 5:45PM. Music by Brendan Hanna. Special dranks by New Deal+Stumptown; chocolate+coffee is A-OK.
More information at www.wyndedyer.com/sharing-the-scraps.html. At Stumptown Coffee Division, 4525 SE Division 4PM-6 Free