Saturday, March 6, 2010

Disquieted Worth $12

I can't remember ever going to a show where the curator and chief reviewer in town tried so hard to make sure you react to the art the way that they intended. There is a quote on the wall in large type at the entrance to the exhibit, making sure that you are suitably unnerved by a show that, `exposes our vulnerability in these turbulent times'. In his review in the Oregonian, D.K. Row describes the first installation, In the Midst of Dreams, as a work that will, `confront and remind us of a world that's too much with us these days'. (God forbid someone should go to the show and take it as a humorous affirmation that 21st century humans are doing okay.)

I was able to take two photos of In The Midst of Dreams, before the usher politely came up to me and explained that photos weren't allowed. How vulnerable I felt to have such a turbulent thing happen to me.

Let me say right here, in case you can't tell, Disquieted actually is a really great show. It is a great selection of artwork by interesting artists. The works play off each other both in terms of content and stylistically. When you walk past the big glowing heads into the main first floor gallery there is a 10 foot female mannequin looking a bit intimidating. Close by is a naked male mannequin with detailed anatomically correct genitalia. (`Exposed vulnerabilities' for sure.) In another part of the the show there is a sculpture of crouching boy. The boy is too small and it made me think again of the too big female sculpture that confronted me when I walked into the exhibition space. The show is full of that kind of synergy. The large photo of a Vietnamese furniture weaving sweatshop obviously plays off of the photo of cattle in pens next to it. The sweatshop photo is also is great when considered in tandem with the busy pop anime inspired painting. Both have repeating images and commercial overtones. That painting works really well with the guiltily seductive anime fairy princess sculpture. I could go on and on.

Go see this show. There is something for everyone.


  1. Can you tell us where this show is? Thanks for the review.

  2. This show is at the Portland Art Museum. That's why it costs $12. The Portland Art Museum is downtown along the park blocks, 1219 SW Park Ave.