Curated by Damien Gilley
July 19th - August 3rd, 2008
Immaterialized surveys various projects by artists exploring the indeterminacy of materials and content. The exhibition includes 6 artworks by 6 Portland-based artists/teams: Gordon Barnes & Shelby Davis, Ryan Burghard & Dean Spella, Justin Gorman, Damien Gilley, Rebecca Steele, and Makerlab (Paige Saez, Anselm Hook, Marlin Pohlman, Ben Foote). Five of these works are being exhibited for the first time.
The exhibition includes sculpture, installation, drawing, mixed media and mobile technologies that subvert or re-contextualize materials to explore the relationships of abstraction and architecture, spirituality and artifice, ephemera and decoration. Says Gilley: “The artists in this show take provocative positions- the work provides more questions than answers.”
Gordon Barnes and Shelby Davis shift materials, scale and orientation to re-contextualize a familiar military icon. Rendered with precision, yet utterly playful, the work delivers a supernormal experience with common materials. The tank has an undeniably powerful physical presence, yet its realness is doubly countered by cardboard construction and an out-of-this-worldview presentation that is grounded in fantasy, and foreign realities.
Ryan Burghard and Dean Spella’s geometric sculptural installation serves as physical space demarcating spiritual activity. The physical construction of a sacred symbol directly addresses the polar extremes of spirituality and materiality, activating space in the gallery as a potential arena of interaction between constructed reality and mysticism.
Justin Gorman visualizes an abstract urban landscape that never ceases to evolve. Looking at Portland’s recent hyper-development, Gorman proposes new ways of seeing the city’s changing structure as perpetual and pervasive. Architecture takes on an organic growth, yet comments on the continuous erasure and rebuilding of the city as a beautiful, regenerative process.
Damien Gilley simplifies and reorganizes frameworks of built environments, combining places into visually compounded experiences. Referencing construction and faux materials, these temporal blueprints are manifested in an artificial and illusory space. The work questions the perceived permanence and quality of structures and facades, providing an alternate awareness of our current and potential surroundings.
Rebecca Steele approaches her work as an intuitive creative process using ephemeral sources. Recycling hundreds of the artist’s discarded photographs, Steele hand-cuts and composes an intricate baroque motif. Her use of detritus photographs of various subject matter creates a mysterious nuanced symbol that suggests hidden narratives, image accumulation and saturation, and the unpredictable process of recollection.
Makerlab consists of Paige Saez, Anselm Hook, Marlin Pohlman, and Ben Foote, four designer/artists interested in exploring surveillance and privacy concerns through innovative use of the internet. Programming mobile phones to geo-locate in incremental time, individuals volunteer to be tracked over an extended period. The use of GPS systems as a creative medium is manifested in physical form with a generated visual pattern of the participant’s movement over time.