Portland’s Museum of Contemporary Art Manufractures My Face

The Museum of Contemporary Craft doesn’t exactly sound like the most exciting museum in the world, but thanks to its current Manuf®actured exhibit, it just about is. The show contains the work of many artists from around the world, and it is a study on “the conspicuous transformation of everyday objects.” One can expect the manipulation of everything from plastic army soldiers to lipstick tubes. These brightly colored three-dimensional works are guaranteed to entertain even the most stoic of art critics.

Régis Mayot is a French artist who mines trash bins for plastic containers and rids them of everything not necessary for structural stability. The resulting shells are reognizably similar to their original forms, yet stand alone as oddly shaped turns and lines of plastic.

Harriette Estel Berman uses tin cans to craft sculptures resembling teacups. The final products, laden with Milky Way, M&M, and other food brands, are delicately stacked and cleverly magnetized to create visually appealing pieces that don’t stray too far from a tea party in Alice In Wonderland.

Livia Marin uses 2,214 tubes of lipstick to create spires of browns, reds, and pinks in Ficciones de un uso. This sprawling piece is immediately eye-catching upon one’s entrance into the Museum of Contemporary Craft, but fight your urge to take photos… they’re not allowed.

This piece is an ultimate example of “more than meets the eye.” Upon initial inspection, Devorah Sperber‘s After Warhol is just a bunch of spools of multi-colored thread arranged on the wall. Closer inspection through an acrylic sphere shows the viewer that the piece is in fact a Campbell’s Soup can, reminiscent of Warhol’s work.

This show is now on display at the Portland Museum of Contemporary Craft until January 4th, 2009. Want to see mass produced items turned on their heads? Look no further.

Written by
Vee Hua 華婷婷

Vee Hua 華婷婷 (they/them) is a writer, filmmaker, and organizer with semi-nomadic tendencies. Much of their work unifies their metaphysical interests with their belief that art can positively transform the self and society. They are the Editor-in-Chief of REDEFINE, Interim Managing Editor of South Seattle Emerald, and Co-Chair of the Seattle Arts Commission. They also previously served as the Executive Director of the interdisciplinary community hub, Northwest Film Forum, where they played a key role in making the space more welcoming and accessible for diverse audiences.

Vee has two narrative short films. Searching Skies (2017) touches on Syrian refugee resettlement in the United States; with it, they helped co-organize The Seventh Art Stand, a national film and civil rights discussion series against Islamophobia. Reckless Spirits (2022) is a metaphysical, multi-lingual POC buddy comedy for a bleak new era, in anticipation of a feature-length project.

Vee is passionate about cultural space, the environment, and finding ways to covertly and overtly disrupt oppressive structures. They also regularly share observational human stories through their storytelling newsletter, RAMBLIN’ WITH VEE!, and are pursuing a Master’s in Tribal Resource and Environmental Stewardship under the Native American Studies Department at the University of Minnesota.

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[…] After that we walked around for a bit and then decided to check out the Portland First Thursday Art Walk. It was actually quite excellent. Had heard things about it being sub-par or too hoity-toity and what not, but I enjoyed myself thoroughly. Here’s coverage I wrote on the Museum of Contemporary Art, which had the most AWESOME exhibit … […]

Written by Vee Hua 華婷婷
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