Storm Tharp, Dog Day, 2016. Ink, gouache, dye, and linen tape on paper, 50 x 60 in. Salon: Portland2016, Disjecta, Portland. Photo: Evan La Londe. Courtesy of the artist, PDX Contemporary, and Disjecta Contemporary Art Center.
Storm Tharp is well known both within and beyond the Portland arts community. He was included in the 2010 Whitney Biennial, and museums and galleries from Switzerland to California have shown his work. His surreal, geometric portraits (on view at the Schneider Museum of Art in Ashland) play with pattern, texture, and color to create strange, psychological studies of contemporary life.
Charlene Liu, The Mist, The Morning Rain, 2016. Screenprint and acrylic on aluminum, 60 x 48 in. Salon: Portland2016, Disjecta, Portland. Photo: Worksighted. Courtesy of the artist and Disjecta Contemporary Art Center.
Employing printmaking, painting, and papermaking, the Taiwan-born, Midwest-raised, Eugene-based Charlene Liu explores the intersection of culture and location in her work. In The Vessel, The Mist, The Morning Rain at Disjecta, images of a decorative vase, a hand, a floral pattern, and shapes that resemble Rorschach blots collectively suggest the complexity of cultural identity. More of her work is on view at the Rivoli Theatre in Pendleton and Crow's Shadow Institute of the Arts at the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation.
Midori Hirose, HummHmmmHmm (TumWee II & III), 2016. Canvas, vinyl record, clay, copper, motor, tumbleweed, joint compound, wood, and paint, dimensions variable. Salon: Portland2016, Disjecta, Portland. Courtesy of the artist and Disjecta Contemporary Art Center.
Midori Hirose's installation at the Morin Print Building in The Dalles evidences a broad practice: the sound of humming emanates from overhead speakers, painted tumbleweed nests in wall crevices, tiny video monitors display scenes of nature, and other works feature motorized remnants of vinyl records. As a whole, the show commemorates the building's history as the Vogt Opera House; the humming comes from local residents' performances of songs performed there from 1891 through 1911.
Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Sea Man, 2016. Iron, glazed ceramic, fabric, and enamel paint, 22.75 x 23.5 x 20 in. Salon: Portland2016, Disjecta, Portland. Courtesy of the artist and Disjecta Contemporary Art Center.
The media in Jessica Jackson Hutchins's sculptures range from ceramics to furniture, from macramé to ladders. Her assemblages of found household objects and clothing suggest intimate views into domestic lives. Her work is on display at the Christian Science Reading Room in Pendleton as well as at Disjecta, where her work is the only piece on view that makes use of a discarded pair of jeans.
Julia Calabrese and Emily Bernstein, The Cosmic Serpent, 2015. Single channel video. Portland2016, Public Access TV, Portland, and the Liberty Theatre, La Grande. Courtesy of the artists and Disjecta Contemporary Art Center.
Calabrese and Bernstein made video art accessible to the masses when, in 2013, they wrote, created, and produced the made-for-public access TV teleplay, The Comic Serpent, which aired on Portland channels in 2015. You can watch their antics at Portland Community Media, Liberty Theatre in La Grande, or in a brief video at Disjecta where they play absurdly comic versions of the moon and the sun.
Lisa Radon, The sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere, 2016. Mixed media, dimensions variable to infinity. Portland2016, Muscle Beach, Portland. Photo: Chase Allgood. Courtesy of the artist and Disjecta Contemporary Art Center.
In The sphere whose center is everywhere and whose circumference is nowhere, housed at a garage space in Portland called Muscle Beach, Radon critiques Grabner's notions of localist art. Her sculptural work includes a server that hosts Minecraft 1.10.2 as well as white oak and selenite found in Northern California, the area she hails from. The tension between the placelessness of digital culture and the site specificity of the natural world is simultaneously poetic and impossible to reconcile.
Taryn Wiens, Minimonuments, 2016. Concrete, letterpress prints, wool, wire, insulation foam, and wood, 32 x 26 x 6 in. Salon: Portland2016, Disjecta, Portland. Courtesy of the artist and Disjecta Contemporary Art Center.
Taryn Wiens, Disjecta's gallery manager, only submitted her work to the online open call as an administrative duty, to test whether or not the platform was working. Apparently, it was. Grabner decided to include a sculptural piece of Wiens' in the Disjecta show. Arranged in cubbyholes, her "minimonuments" fuse thread with concrete and sky blue insulation foam. Combining light and heavy elements while maintaining a sense of delicacy, her work explores the intersections of craft and fine art, decoration and utility.
Colin Kippen, Spool Table, 2016. Concrete with denim insulation, wooden wire spool, and acrylic paint, 31 x 36 x 36 in. Salon: Portland2016, Disjecta, Portland. Courtesy of the artist and Disjecta Contemporary Art Center.
Represented at Disjecta, c3:Initiative, and Project Grow, Colin Kippen's work is displayed across multiple Portland venues. Kippen unites found objects (an ironing board stand, a ladder) with concrete castings of everyday objects (containers, doors). Often coated in muted tones of acrylic paint and positioned askew, the sculptures ask viewers to reconsider overlooked everyday objects and the lives in which they play a role. His connection with Project Grow also proved fruitful for both the artist and the organization—at the end of the summer, he'll curate a show featuring the artists who work at the Project Grow's art center and urban farm.
Tannaz Farsi, Formation II, 2016. Intaglio, 78 x 25 in. Salon: Portland2016, Disjecta, Portland. Photo: Worksighted. Courtesy of the artist and Disjecta Contemporary Art Center.
Farsi, an Associate Professor of Sculpture at the University of Oregon, creates panels of multicolored etchings that represent the patterns found inside mailing envelopes. The works, which can be found in the old Morin Print Building in The Dalles (a small town east of Portland), memorialize the glory days of printed matter. As etchings, they also evoke our age-old desire for mass production and consistency that has led us, in part, into the digital age. Farsi is also exhibiting at Portland State University's Broadway Lobby Gallery.
Ryan Woodring, Non-Manifold, 2016. 4-channel video installation and painters' tarp (9 layers), dimensions variable. Portland2016, White Box, Portland. Photo: Evan La Londe. Courtesy of the artist and Disjecta Contemporary Art Center.
At White Box at the University of Oregon in Portland, Ryan Woodring presents an installation that engages with contemporary international politics perhaps more than any of the biennial's other works. In a small room, his video—which is derived from ISIS propaganda and depicts the destruction of a sculpture at the Mosul Museum in Iraq—plays on all four walls. As the video loops, the installation immerses the viewer in a ceaseless cycle of cultural demolition.