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I like the adventure and mental challenge that looking around an interesting art city like Portland can provide. There really is no substitute for experience.

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Ann Hamilton’s Habitus in Portland

I appreciate having an Ann Hamilton piece around to look at but Habitus in Portland might have gotten away from the artist and curator. Restaging an idiomatic installation piece in a different city with different materials is tricky and the soft fabric contrasted with hard concrete in Philadelphia was replaced with Tyvek and a soft dusty floor in a space with less compression here in Portland. Thus it lacks the dreamy frission of contrasts + scale of the original. You can look at the Philadelphia version of Habitus here, it is far more successfulfor those reasons and many more. Go and see for yourself… also definitely catch these two more rewarding shows by R.B Kitaj and Jenny Holzer though.

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Guns in the Hands of Artists at Moloko

Brian Borello’s Guns in the Hands of Artists series of collaborative exhibitions is incredibly relevant ongoing project but most of the time its taking place far away from the artist’s home base of Portland. That why I relished the opportunity to view this research and development installation for turning guns into a coral reef at Moloko, a Portland’s only coral reef cocktail lounge. I like the way it insinuates itself into a less formal art environment, though Moloko is an artist hangout.

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Justyn Hegreberg’s Three Kinds of Yes 1 & 2 at Floating Gallery

Another peak sort of Portland-style art adventure is the Floating Gallery (I’ve seen beavers working as I walk up to the gallery). A private houseboat which is hosting occasional art exhibitions. Currently they have Current Construct on display with the work of Justyn Hegreberg, Doug Davidovich and Paul Fukui. I particularly like Hegreberg’s work who is developing into a sort of Mac Guyver of visually reactive materials and its rewarding to follow artists as they come into their own. The gallery is only open by appointment so contact: floating.gallery.pdx@gmail.com

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Then there is the Chicken Coop Contemporary… literally a chicken coop. Also by appointment only so contact: srijonchow@gmail.com