PORTLAND, ORE – Artist Jenna Reineking’s upcoming installation in the lobby of the Portland Building, Temporal Ecologies, is designed to transform the architecture of the exhibition space into an activated environment; her choice of materials to accomplish this—the humble brown paper lunch bag: “I recently have become interested in creating systems using forms repeated in incremental units that can range from finite to infinite based on the constraints of the space.”
The choice to use inexpensive, readily accessible materials allows the artist to create environments that ask the viewer to revalue the mundane. Reineking’s process includes carefully manipulating or “sculpting” each bag and adhering them one by one to fit and transform the geometry of the Installation Space. She expects to use over 300 individual bags, “They will grow from the corners and utilize the walls, ceiling, and floor…and will be recycled upon completion of the exhibition.” In the process the artist hopes to transcend the “thing-ness” of these simple, overlooked manufactured goods and create a new set of biomorphic forms—design elements that are reminiscent of nature and living organisms but do not aim to directly reproduce them.
The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue and is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. Temporal Ecologies opens March 21st and runs through April 15th.
A New Season at the Installation Space: Jenna Reineking’s installation kicks off a new season of exhibitions at the Portland Building. Over the course of the next year, nine artists will present installation based and experimental media installations in the small gallery space adjacent to the building’s lobby. Each four week long installation has been chosen by the program selection panel to present challenging and diverse work that encourages visitors to reexamine their expectations of what art is and can be.
New Season Schedule and Project Descriptions:
Jenna Reineking March 21 – April 15, 2016
Temporal Ecologies – Description above
Larry Yes April 25 – May 20, 2016
Radical Positivity – Picked for its punch of color and upbeat message, the selection panel said “yes” to Larry, an artist who’s work focuses on love and human connection and can be described as a meditation on color and joy. The installation will cover the walls of the space from floor to ceiling with positive words and symbols rendered in every color of the rainbow.
Hannah Hertrich May 31 – June 24, 2016
Delicate Home – Many of us think of home as our foundation, an extension of self that is a base of stability, but is that perception based on reality? Hertrich’s Delicate Home explores the “fragility of self” by focusing on our notion of home. The installation stages a series of model houses constructed out of mirrors perilously set below gathering clouds of stone.
Yalena Roslaya July 5 – August 5, 2016
Visual Sound – Roslaya will record sounds that occur within the Portland Building and translate them into sound waves sketched visually on the wall and rendered aurally via ceramic sound wave sculptures. Five of these sculptures will fill the space, each with a mp3 driver enclosed in the heart of the vessel. “The idea of visually displaying sound is inspired by my experience with hearing-motion synesthesia…I would like to share this experience with viewers through my installation and hear their response.”
Bukola Koiki August 15 – September 9, 2016
JJC (Journey Just Come) – Koiki highlights the challenges immigrants face by spotlighting the linguistic slang and vernacular that people often need to learn and employ when navigating the spaces between and within disparate cultures. “As a Nigerian-American immigrant myself, I am particularly interested in pidgin, which is a grammatically simplified means of communication that develops between two or more groups that do not have a language in common…In Nigeria, a country of over 500 known languages, communication can be truly daunting at times.” To explore this idea of communication and miscommunication, the artist will fill the Installation Space with a profusion of brightly colored flags that showcase Pidgin English sayings extracted from the local language in Lagos, Nigeria.
Benz and Chang September 19 – October 14, 2016
The Bridge, 1910 – Based on an archival photo of the Hawthorne Bridge under construction, Benz and Change offer a thoughtful and dynamic homage to the crews that built Portland’s oldest existing Willamette River crossing. The Bridge, a set of four, 8 foot by 6 foot, hand cut silhouettes crafted in wood, will extend from the back wall of the exhibition space to render a life-sized composite image of the historic photo.
Alex Luboff November 14 – December 9, 2016
Pipeline Obstruction Pathway – Takes the form of large (one foot diameter), hand-build pipelines installed to purposefully obstruct and obscure entry into the exhibition space—a project that will get viewers thinking about all the energy infrastructure in our lives. Are the pipes, deftly assembled from plywood, a network of interlaced craft objects? Or are they elements of a dystopian “extractive energy landscape” we may be headed for?
Emily Myers January 17 – February 10, 2017
Mechanical Rituals – A comment on just how industrial our food production cycle has become. Myers will install a set of computer controlled mutoscopes—mechanized flipbooks mounted on rotating cylinders—on a prominently positioned dining room table. The mutoscopes, which show scenes of the food we eat as it travels from farm to table, are animated automatically as viewers approach. “My proposal for Mechanical Rituals brings the process of industrialized agriculture, which is so far removed from society’s consciousness, into the modern dining room.”
Stephanie Simek February 21 – March 17, 2017
Following on her work with optical illusions, holograms and science themes, Simek will create a custom built “table of holograms.” Optics hidden within her table will reflect images of common minerals upwards and cause them to appear to hover above the table surface. Simek sees her structure as a vitrine or a container for a kind of table of elements. “The choice of content is based on my previous work and interest in basic, elemental materials and their inherent potential. This often includes unusual and interesting physical properties like magnetic, electrical, and optical capabilities. For example, I have built sculptural objects that are also simple radios, an invisibility cloak, a compass, and a levitating sculpture, all reliant on the special properties of familiar minerals.”
Location and Hours: The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue and is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday.
For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space, including images, proposals, and statements for all projects dating back to 1994, go to http://racc.org/installationspace.