home school: Omens of Capacity

This event has passed. Sorry you missed it!
Apr. 21–June 11, 2023
Friday through Sunday, Noon – 5 p.m.
8371 N Interstate Ave
Portland, OR 97217

The following description was submitted by the event organizer.

home school and Oregon Contemporary present Omens of Capacity, featuring work by Jackie Abhulimen, Bridgette Hickey, Janice Lee, Ariana Nuala, Diego Morales-Portillo, Alex Tatarsky, and Shanzhai Lyric. With a title drawing from Guyanese writer Wilson Harris, the final show in the eleventh season of the Curator in Residence program "reads back through the shock of place and time for omens of capacity that were latent, unrealized, within the clash of cultures and movements of peoples.” 

Jackie Abhulimen presents a contemplative space modeled after the Hellenic cultic inner sanctum, ἄδῠτον (adyton), which initiates her publication platform of the same name. Unlike the Hellenic temple, however, this space is open to public entry.

Janice Lee presents a contemplative space comprising a projection of a moving image work and a meditation cushion surrounded by drawings on rice paper by the artist; in her words, the work “is a reminder of Thich Nhat Hanh’s concept of interbeing, that the environment is not outside you; you are the environment. The title for this work derives from a particular confluence of Korean words: 바다 (bada), meaning sea or ocean; 받다 (badda), meaning to receive, undergo, endure (suffering), or support; 바닥 (badak) meaning ground or floor.”

Bridgette Hickey draws upon ancestral somatic healing practices in a floating sculpture that incorporates branches, a poem on dyed paper, and mirrored acrylic. The work is part of an ongoing prayer for life on this plane and a process-based mapping of the body’s relation to time, landscape, and sense of life. What happens when much of what we carry, or what carries us, is on another plane? Map-making to this plane of life necessitates, in the artist’s words, “alternative modes of communication, bridges, honoring.”

Clown, curator, and researcher Alex Tatarsky presents an altar that explores etymological overlaps between “clown” and “clod.” To feel low, to feel like Pagliacci, to feel in the dirt: what kind of connections unfold when one sits with these etymological slippages? An exploration of traces of a remote performance, the work operates in a dimension of play that also includes a replica of NYC construction barriers (“post no bills") on which the audience is invited to leave marks.

Recife-based curator and scholar Ariana Nuala presents a new video about the quilombo leader Malunguinho, who led Afroindigenous and Amerindigenous people in resistance against Portuguese colonizers. The work connects this living legacy to contemporary Afroindigenous and Amerindigenous makers, thinkers, and cultural workers. Referencing Chiquita Banana, the Monroe Doctrine and the debt-governed banana republic through which the United States exerts influence in its “backyard,” Diego Morales-Portillo presents an interactive work consisting of bananas with artist-designed stickers laid on the ground in the shape of the Latin American continent. Viewers are invited to take one or more, take the peel and sticker home or leave them, and reflect on the colonial conditions that led to a Guatemalan banana becoming available for a Portland shopper.

In another interactive work, Endless Garment (2015), Shanzhai Lyric invites the audience to activate their archive. The artist explores the potential of mistranslation and nonsense as utopian world-making. Their archive of poetry garments is available here to be read aloud by audiences; a mic picks up speech and converts it to text projected behind the archive, expanding a neverending poem catalyzed by the fecundity of the error.