Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Synthesis Series

RECESS invites you to participate in an ongoing, cross-collaborative series of exhibitions that will inject a dialectical approach straight into the veins of the contemporary arts - from the level of production up to the display. In contrast to the didacticism that has historically run rampant in art practice, this formula seeks to incorporate methods gleaned from the Socratic/Hegelian dialectic. In this formulation, rather than one thesis or statement that aims to convince an audience of its (truth) value, there are multiple, reactionary perspectives that seek to develop a more complete, rounded perspective by moving beyond the limitations of the first ones. These ‘statements’ form a trajectory illustrated by Thesis --> Antithesis --> Synthesis.

The model calls for three months, three venues, and approximately twelve dedicated artists who are interested in, or inspired by, working closely with others. For the ‘Thesis’ show, the artists will be randomly paired off into groups of two. Each group will have a month to collaborate on a project, loosely based on the ‘Thesis’ theme, to be displayed at Research Club. For the second installment of the series, ‘Antithesis,’ the groups will shift. One partner will continue working on the project with a new collaborator from another group. The new pairing will synthesize their interests to form the second installment of the continued project to be displayed at an alternate venue. For the final exhibition at RECESS the groups will shift again, but this time with the other side of the pairings that hadn’t already switched it up.

In the end there will have been six projects with three exhibitions, each building on the one before. We’re looking for a few more artists interested in participating.

If interested, please get in touch with RECESS. Direct all responses, questions, submissions, concerns, statements, clarification issues, ethical disputes, or other kinds of disputes to If you would…

Briefly describe your experience with or interest in collaboration,
Mention any relevant skills/interests/research that you could bring to a collaborative team,
Include up to five images of recent work (optional),
and tell us anything else about you that you find relevant (optional),

…that would be fabulous.

We’ll be considering collaborators until October 15th, so hurry up and let us know that you’re interested!

If you don’t want to collaborate - that’s cool, too. You should still come check out the exhibitions, when they’re ready. We’ll let you know more about that when the time comes.

-Tori Abernathy
Director, RECESS

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Phun with Phonemes©

Phun with Phonemes©

at RECESS, August 25th, 18:00 - 23:00.

Phun with Phonemes© is a text-based show coming to SE Portland’s RECESS gallery on August 25th. Through investigating memory and writing, text as spectacle, logo confusion, and conversational attention spans, Phun with Phonemes© is one of the many tools a child needs to become a good reader. The child who learns to use phonemes will be a step closer to reading. While text on gallery walls may not seem most titillating to some of you, RECESS has promised to uphold its tradition of alchemy, turning something as base as language into “pure gold.”

Lori Gilbert will be showing new works at this show, including some t-shirts parading around as “art objects.” Again, one might be tempted to raise an eyebrow, and raise an eyebrow you should, so that you can get a closer look at the nuance with which Gilbert explores recontextualizations and misunderstandings. An advocate of uncertainty interested in making value judgments, “Gilbert comes to conclusions through collecting, sorting and drawing.”

Jesse Malmed’s work bears the influence of an unending engagement with language's myriad facets, the liminal spaces between thises and thats, conceptual poetics, bi-fi psychedelia and the history of avant-garde media art. He’ll be exhibiting the well-loved “Conversational Karaoke” – an interactive,

multi-channel, mixed media installation, mobile party-game from the future and partipatory song poem. Then there's kind of like a poem hidden in layers of video (and sound?) to effect what seems to be a 4-D Magic Eye piece. “Some adjectives that I've heard applied to it: mesmerizing, layerful, maximalist and meditative,” writes Malmed.

Delphine Bedient has planned to appropriate some diary pages onto transparencies, which will be suspended from the ceiling, and floating in view-space. Will you be able to read them in such a format? Will they flutter everywhere like butterflies when passersby are exuding their energetic influence on the piece? What kind of diary is this anyway? Is it really a diary in the first place, or was it constructed for this show? Bedient's attention to craft and concept make her work a breath of fresh air in a world overrun by myopics and half-baked foutre-quoi’s.

Marc Saleme is supposed to have a slide projection of a “heart-rending” story told in the form of a concept map. Is the story-board the best translation of literature into visual story-telling? Well, that's part of the story on the floor beneath your feet. It will require a collaborative effort on the part of the attendees in order to continue reading the narrative thread—as in, “Could you move just a little to the side please? I want to read what's under your shadow.”

Andy King is a Portland native who's back after a sojourn in Los Angeles. He says that he's extremely disappointed by art, and the ambition of his contribution to this exhibit shows it. He is a craftsman of high caliber, with work experience in the wonderful world of advertising. For Phun with Phonemes© at RECESS, he is making words and (...) not really destroying them, so much as dramatically modifying them while you watch, and then removing them, leaving you with the remainder. The performance will be coming to a climax around 7:30; it's a show-stopper, and if you miss it, you'll be sad.

Phun with Phonemes© opens at RECESS Wednesday, August 25, at 6:00 p.m. After this opening, the show is viewable during RECESS open hours, every Tuesday from noon to 4:00 p.m. Press affiliates are welcome to contact RECESS to schedule advance viewings.

Delphine Bedient

Lori Gilbert

Andy King

Jesse Malmed

Marc Saleme

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Call to Artists

Work that recontextualizes the text. Work that informs, invites, or inquires. Work that sends, receives, documents messages/ideas. Work that does work. Work you made. Work that you and someone else made. Work that you want to make with people. Work that is technically proficient? Sure. Work about ideas about ideas about ideas. Work in Helvetica. Work in Garamond. Work in video. Works on paper.

Do you have something that seems to fit? Does it coincide with at least three of the above statements? That's okay, even if it doesn't, you should send it to by the end of July for a show opening in the middle of August.

Please include your proposal/project description/artist statement along with some contact informtion, artist bio, or link to a relevant/personal website.
Suggested Additions:
Images of proposed work
Images of recent work
Your phone number

If you have any questions or concerns, please direct them to

Friday, July 9, 2010

Belated thanks, please enjoy the site, and get ready for the Social Net Works show Wednesday 07/14

Be sure to check out the new photos tab on the blog-site here! Thanks very much to Sean Patrick Higgins for taking such elegant photographs of the first show, and also for helping us with light construction and facilities development. Thanks to Lyle Kopnicky for operating the motion picture camera, and for editing and developing the footage.

Please click the button to follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter. That way, you won't have to wonder whether we've got the video uploaded yet.

Thanks to Aria Mikkola-Sears and Drew Barton for helping with everything all the time, and especially the beautiful show catalogues. Thanks to Karl Ramentol for always responding to requests for helping hands in setting up the space.

Thanks to The Artistery for housing us. Let's have some fuckin art shows, Portland.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

RECESS is a new art space located in the ground level of the Artistery on SE Division. The intention of the space is to encourage collaboration between the artists, curators, and attendees at each event. The curators are interested in supporting emerging and established, experimental artists whose work might have difficulty existing in a space with more economic concerns. For the first show, “Recess,” the space will showcase work that invites the audience to be a direct and fundamental participant in the process. There will be video work, interactive installations, interactive performance work, a soup exchange, and then a couple musical performances to follow. The show starts at 6:30 on Saturday, June 5th and live music will begin at 9:30.

Nim Wunnan
Gary Wiseman
Rachel Montgomery
Abraham Ingle
Justin Flood
Ally Drozd
Crystal Baxley