MYS Oregon to Iberia

VizArts Monthly: Visions of spring

March may be starting off with some residual snow but spring is around the corner and there's plenty of art to see in the meantime. Jason N. Le has the highlights in VizArts Monthly.

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In the midst of these winter months, the mind always seems to want to wander elsewhere— especially with our record-breaking surprise snowfall last week (the most recorded snow since 1943!). What a somatic tease it is to think about how in the Southern Hemisphere, people are (hopefully) frolicking along warm, sunny beaches. But nevertheless, our time will come soon— snow eventually melts to make way for spring, doesn’t it? Until then, the best we can do is just patiently wait and think warm thoughts. This month’s roundup of visual arts happenings and artist talks seem to also be quietly thinking of elsewhere, of places and times and histories that could be. From photographic and textile weavings to bright, tactile prints and objects, artists this month are re-envisioning difficult pasts, looking for potential futures, and dwelling in the present with every bit of their sensorial being.

By the way, dear readers, I want to briefly introduce myself— Hello! I’m Jason N. Le, and I’m thrilled to be presenting VizArts Monthly to you. I’ve been a member of Portland’s creative community for about ten years now, studying and writing about studio art and art history all along the way. I am excited to explore Oregon’s visual arts events with you each month. Let’s go on this journey together!

Work by April Bey, image courtesy Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU

Atlantica: Speculative Fiction and Black Opulence
Artist Talk, Thursday, March 9, 5pm
Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at PSU
Fariborz Maseeh Hall 110, 1855 SW Broadway, Portland (Tues – Sat 11am – 5pm)

As part of the current Weaving Data exhibition, JSMA at PSU will host an on-site talk with participating artist April Bey. The Los Angeles-based artist has been developing the world of Atlantica over several years now and it is the subject of her recent digitally printed weavings that incorporate portrait, textile, and narrative in a collage-like fashion. Bey’s Atlantica-focused works envision an ecosystem of mutual aid and reparation while engaging in postcolonial criticism and AfroFuturism. This gallery talk gives further insight into Bey’s project and is free and open to the public.

Dinh Q. Lê, Cambodia #24, 2022. Image courtesy Elizabeth Leach Gallery

Cambodia Reamker
Dinh Q. Lê
March 2 – April 29
Elizabeth Leach Gallery
417 NW 9th Ave, Portland (Tues – Sat 10:30am – 5:30pm)

In a new body of photographic weavings, Dinh Q. Lê contemplates the complexity of Cambodian national identity, the Khmer Rouge, and the consequences that ripple from its wake. For these weavings, Lê intertwined images of murals painted at the Cambodian Royal Palace of the country’s national epic (Reamker, the Cambodian interpretation of the Sanskrit Rāmāyana), with portraits of people imprisoned by the Khmer Rouge. What results is a delicate enmeshing of people, place, and time— one that describes multidimensional individuals situated in Cambodia’s history and present instead of unidimensional prisoners.

Work by Daniela Repas, image courtesy Sator Projects

Pour the Water as I Leave
Works by Daniela Repas and Simone Fischer
March 3 – 31
Sator Projects
1715 SE 3rd Ave, Portland (Sat – Sun 12pm – 5pm, or by appointment)

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Sator Projects launches its Spring programming with Pour the Water as I Leave, a part exhibition and part fundraiser for the animated documentary of the same title directed by Daniela Repas. The feature film tells the stories of survivors of the Bosnian War of the 1990s and its effects on refugees today. The exhibition offers a glimpse into the animated film-making process, presenting hand-drawn animation cels by Repas accompanied by behind-the-scenes photography by Simone Fischer. Sator Projects will also host a panel discussion for Pour the Water as I Leave on March 17th before a closing reception party on March 31st.

Work by Katherine Spinella. Image courtesy Well Well Projects

Dandelion
Katherine Spinella
March 4 – 26
Well Well Projects
8371 N Interstate Ave #1, Portland (Sat – Sun 12pm – 5pm)

Katherine Spinella’s work consistently appeals to the tactile senses, giving pleasure through both recognizable and abstract objects. In this new solo exhibition of prints, objects, light installation, and everything in between,  Spinella contemplates how our daily experiences find depth and meaning through contrast, drawing inspiration from the Greek myth of Persephone and her connections with the changing seasons. As a result, viewers are invited to question what is truth and what is fiction in what they perceive.

Work by Alex Da Corte, photo by Anna-Marie Kellen. Image courtesy University of Oregon College of Design

Fun World
Alex Da Corte
Artist Talk, Thursday, March 9, 5pm
University of Oregon
Lawrence Hall Room 115, 1190 Franklin Boulevard, Eugene

University of Oregon welcomes Philadelphia-based, Venezuelan-American artist Alex Da Corte as part of their Visiting Artist Lecture Series, presented by the Center for Art Research and the UO Art Department. Da Corte’s bright and dramatic installations blend pop culture, dizzying colors, and surrealist whimsy to explore the nuances of contemporary life. What worlds are to be found amidst the one in front of us? Da Corte’s talk will be delivered in person in addition to being streamed live on the UO College of Design’s YouTube channel.

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Photo Joe Cantrell

Headshot of Jason N. Le.

Jason N. Le (they/them) is a Vietnamese American writer, thinker, and curator based in Portland, Oregon. Their academic background lies in art history and critical theory, focused on postwar American art, identity politics, performance theory, and the genealogy of arts criticism. They hold degrees from the Pacific Northwest College of Art and Portland State University, and their other critical arts writing can be found at Art & About PDX.

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