Portland2019

Curated by Yaelle S. Amir, Elisheba Johnson and Ashley Stull Meyers
August 25 - November 3, 2019

Disjecta Contemporary Art Center is pleased to announce the Portland2019 Biennial, co-curated by Yaelle S. Amir, Elisheba Johnson and Ashley Stull Meyers opening on August 24, 2019. Portland2019 is a survey of works by visual and performing artists who are defining and advancing Oregon’s contemporary art landscape. This will be the fifth biennial in Disjecta’s series of biennials, dating back to 2010. Portland2019 aims to examine the form of the ‘regional biennial’ as a locally concentrated infusion of resources for artists in various stages of their careers, through newly commissioned or contextually expanded works. In conjunction with the biennial, Disjecta will host a series of programs and performances throughout the exhibition. A free, public opening reception will be held on Saturday, August 24, 2019 from 6-9pm. 

The Portland2019 Biennial will present a survey of work by Oregon based artists whose practices are rooted in a rigorous approach to socio-political commentary, presenting diverse perspectives on historical and contemporary narratives unique to the Pacific Northwest. The exhibition will focus on the nuanced thematics of site, diaspora, and the multifaceted histories of the region as told in eighteen projects. These gestures will address the continuous migration and erasure of communities from the Oregon landscape and, in some cases, serve as an act of preservation and remembrance for their stories. The exhibition will also reflect a layered view of Oregon’s current landscape – observing and commenting on some of the structures and landmarks that populate the state to formative ends. Such objects influence perceptions of the state of Oregon (and the city of Portland) within the country’s pop-cultural imagination and lingering fascination with Manifest Destiny. The selected artists were chosen as those whose current studio practices have been influenced by their relationships to community, landscape, and local politics. 

Participating artists:

Natalie Ball |Adam Bateman | Jovencio de la Paz | Demian DinéYazhi with R.I.S.E | Dru Donovan |Ka'ila Farrell-Smith | Harriet Tubman Center for Expanded Curatorial Practice | Sabina Haque | Anthony Hudson | Garrick Imatani | Colin Ives | rubén garcía marrufo | Jess Perlitz | Vanessa Renwick | Sara Siestreem | Sharita Towne | Lou Watson | Lynn Yarne  

The exhibition will feature the following programs and performances. Unless otherwise noted, all events will be located at Disjecta Contemporary Art Center and free and open to the public. 

Scheduled Events and Performances: 

Saturday, August 24
5:30pm Member preview with the curators and artists
6-9pm Opening reception from 6-9pm, Food and drinks for sale. 

Saturday, September 7
10am Interstate Avenue, On a Saturday, for Harp Duet and Percussion
A performance by Biennial artist Lou Watson with Finnian Peck and the Harriet Tubman Curatorial Project, creating a live musical score of Kenton commuter traffic along N Interstate Avenue. 

Saturday, September 21
7pm SHATTER///
An extractive performance
Transdisciplinary Indigenous Diné artist Demian DinéYazhi’ will be joined by Intermedia sound artist Kevin Holden (Navajo and German) to debut a new performance and noise based work. SHATTER/// is the aftermath of destroying an accumulation of Indigenous stereotypes. It is an extractive ritual of settler colonial romanticism and a cosmic seedling dependent on the nurturing of Indigenous Queer community. It is a celebration of forgetting what should have never been manifested through genocidal violence.

Saturday, October 5
7-9pm
Illuminating Voices: Activating Orchards of 82nd with live projections and performance
By Biennial artist Sabina Haque, as part of the Mobile Projection Unit.
Location: Orchards of 82nd, 8118 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97206 

Saturday, October 19
6:15pm Requiem for Vaseline Alley
Biennial artist Anthony Hudson (in drag, as Carla Rossi) leading a performative walking tour of downtown Portland’s Harvey Milk corridor, formerly known as “Vaseline Alley”. The tour will be a historical exploration of gentrification and now-vanished spaces for Queer embodiment and culture.
Location: Begins at the corner of SW 10th and SW Stark in front of Living Room Theaters 

Saturday, November 2
4:30pm A panel discussion led by the middle school class of the Harriet Tubman Center for Expanded Curatorial Practice with biennial artists and curators.
6-9pm Closing reception and catalogue release party.

The Portland2019 Biennial is supported by The Ford Family Foundation and Robert Lehman Foundation. Biennial artists received further support. Ka'ila Farrell-Smith is supported by Oregon Humanities. Rubén García Marrufo is supported by Regional Arts & Culture Council. Anthony Hudson is supported by Oregon Arts Commission. Sara Siestreem is supported by Potlatch Fund, Evergreen Longhouse, Oregon Arts Commission, The Ford Family Foundation, and Oregon Community Foundation.