The Cooley Gallery, Reed College, and Converge 45 are pleased to present The Autopoets, the first exhibition of Facing Between Centers, Artistic Director Lisa Dent's three-year program that engages artworks as complex forms of aesthetic, cultural, and political choice. Dent explores how artist networks provide engagement and support, yet each artist makes work based on careful aesthetic and technical decisions, informed by multiple artistic and cultural communities. These interests are shared by co-curator Stephanie Snyder, who is invested in the work of artists such as Gregg Bordowitz and Wynne Greenwood, who use collage—combining moving image, material, and live performance—to crack the mirror between self and society, unleashing political and spiritual revelation. The exhibition title evokes the biological concept of autopoiesis and artists who create and recreate their own, evolving life-poetics outside of convention.
Roland Dahwen (Reed class of ’13) is a filmmaker and photographer whose work explores migration, race, and memory. For Converge 45, Dahwen exhibits a new film-based installation entitled Overseas that employs collage in various storytelling forms. The films in Overseas were created during the artist’s recent trip to Cuba. In Dahwen’s work, sound, image, and texture express a poetics of self in constant negotiation with ritual and history. In 2013, Dahwen founded Patuá Films, a studio and production house based in Portland, Oregon that creates films, installations, and music videos in collaboration with a wide range of interdisciplinary artists, musicians, and writers. Overseas is commissioned by the Cooley Gallery, and is part of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s 2019 Time-Based Art Festival.
Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s photographs combine formal portraiture, elements of storytelling, and homoerotic imagery. His collaged-based photographs often include camera lenses and mirrors that lift the veil of his studio practice and highlight the works’ artifice and self-actuation. Sepuya’s images feature muses, friends, lovers and self-portraits in complex tangles and fragments that resonate with restraint, intimacy, and desire. His first museum solo exhibition is on view at the Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis, MO (May 17 – Aug 18, 2019) and his photographs are included in the seventy-ninth Whitney Biennial (May 17–September 22, 2019). An image from his series Darkroom Mirrors (2017) was featured on the cover of ArtForum magazine, March 2019.
Tuesday Smillie is an interdisciplinary artist whose works address trans-feminist politics, binaries of inclusion and exclusion, and the relationship between individuals and groups. Her large, collaged textiles function as protest banners while also acting as citational fields for literary and personal texts. In other works in the exhibition, Smillie explores an imaginary of reading and gender performance in her ongoing series of watercolors depicting various editions of Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1969 novel The Left Hand of Darkness. Her work is currently featured in the exhibition Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall, at the Brooklyn Museum, NY, commemorating the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. Smillie will be an artist in residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva, FL in 2020.
Free and open to the public.
Sunday, October 6, 2019 at 12:00pm to 5:00pm
Cooley Art Gallery
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199
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