Project Background: The Material Rescue League is setting up shop in the Portland Building. Created by artist Leslie Vigeant in 2010, the Material Rescue League (MRL) is an ongoing and evolving homage to humble materials. MRL installations also offer a critique on the marketing practices the mainstream retail industry employs. The degree to which we, as consumers, can be influenced by chic packaging and alluring presentation becomes crystal clear the moment we realize that Vigeant’s objects, elegantly displayed in futuristic boutique fashion, are actually post-consumer items that have been reworked and re-packaged—old floor tiles, lead tire weights, and discarded bits of wire never looked so good. In many ways, the installations are an anthropological display of cultural debris. Vigeant’s focus is a hybrid of scientific study, fine art, and dumpster diving and the work deftly calls into question the hierarchies we place on materials, and objects. This focus, combined with the attention to detail Vigeant brings to her MRL installations prompts a thoughtful examination of the challenges and rewards associated with the recovery and rehabilitation of discarded goods.
About the Artist: Leslie Vigeant lives and works in Portland, Oregon. She received her MFA in Applied Craft and Design from Oregon College of Art & Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art. Vigeant is also a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she received a BFA in 2-D Studies; she has shown her work on both coasts and recently completed a Recology Fellowship in San Francisco, California
Viewing Hours & Location: 7 am to 6 pm, Monday – Friday. The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland.
For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space series including images, proposals and statements for all the installations since 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.