Skip navigation

Monthly Archives: May 2009

In the past two or three months, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting three photographers who are fairly new to Portland, and are doing some very interesting things. Keep your eyes open for these talented artists:


Jennifer Boomer
of Dallas, TX and New York, NY: Hey Hot Shot Winner Fall ’07, currently in the Nymphoto Presents exhibition at Sasha Wolf Gallery.

92210_extralarge

Lauren Henkin of Washington, DC: Current artist-in-residence at Newspace; preparing for June-July show at Camerawork Gallery. Henkin’s prints from Displaced: Part I, based on her self-imposed Nova Scotian exile, are astonishingly frank and beautiful.

Henkin

Blake Shell comes to PDX from Tucson, AZ, where she taught in the renowned UofA Photo Dept. Working with images and user-generated text culled from the internet, Shell frequently incorporates audio and video into her conceptual remixes of online culture. Also: make note of the blog!

23_1guitargloria-copy

Advertisements
untitledImplosion_smJim Kazanjian, Untitled (Implosion), Archival Pigment Print, 2009


Aberrations, an exhibition of Jim Kazanjian’s hallucinatory photo-composites are on view at 23 Sandy through the end of the month. Kazanjian’s images are pretty amazing, and I was happy to pen a short essay about his work, which can be downloaded here (PDF). Aberrations is on view through Saturday, May 30.

Chen QuilinChen Quilin, from the Garden series, 2007. From China Urban at Reed College.


Readers of the Oregonian might have spotted a few of my reviews in the paper last month. This new gig is particularly exciting to me for two reasons: I haven’t penned local reviews on a regular basis in a few years, and the O is the only daily I’ve ever written for. So far, they’ve been great editors and have been more than generous with their creative allowances, so I’m excited to help the paper expand its critical presence in the local art community.

The three pieces I’ve written so far can be read by following the links below:

Review: Susan Seubert at Froelick Gallery

In its best moments, Seubert’s balancing act of horror and beauty yields artworks that are exquisitely tense and captivating. At other times, though, the two qualities work against each other, creating the sensation that the photos want their proverbial cake and to eat it, too.

“Science/Fiction,” Seubert’s sixth show with Charles Froelick, walks this tightrope with a lighter touch than we’ve come to expect, and employs an array of techniques and strategies to explore notions of home and family, scientific achievement, natural beauty and — just to keep things interesting — mass annihilation.

A Short Editorial Recap of Photolucida

While the Portland nonprofit has garnered a stellar national reputation for serving the needs of its conference attendees, Photolucida is still figuring out its relationship to the local community. While early incarnations of the biennial emphasized citywide exhibitions and public photography events, the increasing popularity of its portfolio reviews has made it even harder for the small organization to organize broader programming.

Review: China Urban at Reed College

Chen Qiulin’s video cycle and color photographs bear poetic witness to the demolition of her hometown, which was flattened and flooded to make way for the [Three Gorges] Dam. Beginning with “Bei Fu,” Qiulin intersperses footage of Wanzhou’s destruction with operatic vignettes of costumed characters engaged in their own destructive dramas. Subsequent videos continue this blend of documentary and performance practices, casting the regions’ drowning death as the central arc of Qiulin’s epic Chinese opera. The artist’s most recent video, “Garden,” follows two migrant workers as they haul cumbersome vases of artificial peonies by foot on an all-day journey through the dense, hazy city. However unnatural, their pink floral arrangements are bright explosions of color in the dingy landscape of overpasses and narrow alleyways.