the flower, an exhibition of works by forty-four artists in the Lumber Room, uses the name itself as a reference across the mosaic-covered artworks. The collage-centric exhibition ascends from the ground floor entrance, spirals up the stairs to the main exhibition space and fills a series of central walls that reflect the folds of the petals. Every work of art finds some organic connection to an idea the flower, while also forging portals of meaning that intersect with each other and diverge from each other. In the words of curator Justine Kurland, the exhibition “suggests a circular genealogy of collage.”
Kurland, an experienced photographer who took up photography during the pandemic, evolved the flower In close partnership with Lumber Room director Libby Werbel and founder Sarah Miller Meigs, it brings together a body of collage-based works from the 1960s to the present. The huge range of works included in the flower It acknowledges a wide range of practices and affiliations, destabilizing cohesion by drawing attention to the workings of assemblage.
The work of Goiri Minaya #dominicanwomengooglesearch (2016) welcomes visitors at the entrance. Body parts of women of various skin tones and hair textures are printed on PVC sheet and suspended by transparent wire from the ceiling of the entrance to create a floating, diffused collage. Like leaves, they curl with the slightest airflow to reveal tropical plant prints as their supports. Each body part was cut into shape along the sharp edges of low-resolution pixels. This work sets the tone the flower From the beginning, pointing out the confusing nature of representation and identity construction that becomes clear when zoomed in. Minaya’s deconstruction and fusion reclaims nuance through a collective approach to collectivity.
Along the stairs leading to the main floor, hang collages of K8 Hardy’s zines and photographs (2011, 2015), filled with queer, feminist and punk aesthetics a la Riot grrrl. These works conjure playful sensuality and rawness: someone holds a phone up his ass, licks his foot, and sticks a curling brush into his vagina. Gray, pink and blue colors abound.
On the first floor, Wangichi Mutu Eat Rosie (2003) calls from a distant wall with a strange expression. This set of human figure has sad blue eyes, big red lips, rose breasts and helicopter pigtails. Left hand missing, blown off, with paint smears; The right, a rigid and pale appendage, was attached to the body. Eat Rosie It shimmers and swirls from brown to pink across different parts of the body, simultaneously evoking a racial fantasy and also a figure of fantasy and fantasy.
Not far from here, Rachel Mozman-Solano’s work speaks to divisions in time and space. Its title reads, “I will not tell you that (Mexicans) are the best people on earth, or that they will be wonderful citizens…” Testimony in the House Immigration Committee, 1928 from Viñas Abertas (2022). Mozman-Solano created this work with her friend Marisa Herman, who appears in two images of the clothing against a blue background. On the right, a figure wears a black dress and a brown leafy mane around her face, supported by a large cactus. On the left, the other sits naked in the pose of an Aztec birth sculpture, holding an image of a skull above his genitals and family photographs superimposed on his chest. Images of sand overlap at odd angles in the background, framed to suggest a fraught demarcation. The fissure becomes an integral part of visual art, an incentive to consider influences on the subterranean, effervescent and psychic levels – those that nourish the roots and bear the seeds.
Near Space Center, Keisha Scarville PassportsIt tells a reciprocal story about human-made borders. In a glass binder, several copies of her father’s passport photo – taken of his emigration from Guyana in 1967 – appear with various edits by Scarville. Some of these passport photo collages are sexy or flamboyant, featuring sparkling afro hair, white face, black veil, etc.
In general discussion with Kurland, an event was presented in the Lumber Room in conjunction with the flowerScarville contextualizes her work as being concerned with the “cunning of neutrality.” She referred to the passport photo as a flattening tool, a means of reducing oneself or changing form in order to move across borders toward citizenship. In response, her groups are working to reject the mirage of stability found in the passport photo. Duplicates of her father appear like multi-faceted characters on magical game cards, each revealing a different personality and special skill.
the flower He finds influence, in particular, by showcasing these and other works from the early 2000s onward, which touch on many different racial ancestors, cultures, traditions, and experiences. However, its thorn, so to speak, is a framework that ignores the breadth of gender diversity.
The exhibition includes works by art history giants such as Hannah Wilke and Mary Beth Edelson. Woe to you Kneaded eraser (Walt Whitman) (1975) shows her famous gray vulva sculptures pasted onto a postcard from Whitman Park. Edelson Flowering: Spiritual Transformation (1972) includes handwritten text that reads: “The Primal Secrets of Femininity.” These and other earlier feminist artists in the gallery have blazed a trail into this contemporary moment for many women.
Unfortunately, simultaneously with the display of these works, the curatorial text intertwines sex and genitalia in an outdated framework, stating that “the work on display touches the figure of the rose at oblique angles. Referring to the vaginal figure, it is a muscular art filled with nerve endings and teeth, which A code of feminine desire, pleasure and rage, and unsurprisingly, the majority the flower It consists of works by cisgender women, excluding noteworthy contributions by several non-binary artists including Lau Wai, Basira Khan, and B. Ingrid Olsson.
If one works with claims the flower– that “kinship is shaped by connection” – So, without a larger pool of trans and gender non-conforming artists, crucial opportunities for kinship at this intersection are lost. The strengths of the exhibition and this uncertainty prompt the question of what is at the top of thought and what is obscure. Between its lines, the flower We seem to wonder, how do we deal with the turns of presence and absence with caution?
The Lumber Room is located at 419 NW 9th Ave, Portland. The gallery is open from 12 to 6 pm on Friday and Saturday and by appointment from Monday to Thursday. the flower On display until October 28th.
(tags for translation) Join Minaya