Tuesday's late night TBA fare began with a bang at Washington High School with Terrifying Women. The ambiguously advertised event promised "a video, comedy, performance, live, streaming, extravaganza" featuring Sarah Johnson, Kathleen Keogh, Angela Fair, Tanya Smith, Wendy Haynes, Diana Joy and Alicia McDaid. SEE FULL PERFORMANCE REVIEW
It's worth including an excerpt from the Facebook invite, which read:
A lot of people ask me "What do you mean by "terrifying?" And I say, "You know, like, kind of crazy but, like, good crazy? Most of the time?" Are you a terrifying woman? Or have you ever been terrified of a woman? IS TERRIFYING WOMEN FOR YOU? 1. Have you ever been told you are "too sensitive" or "too intense" yet often accused of being "too reserved" or "independent"? 2. Has anyone ever said, "You're crazy," or "What the fuck are you talking about? Can we please go to sleep now?" to you? 3. Have any mental or holistic health care professionals ever noted that "your moods seem to get in the way of your life"? or that "you feel a lot"? 4. Have you ever had an unsolicited spiritual experience? 5. Do you experience rage? Do you express it? 6. Have you ever confused love and sex? 7. Have you ever asked someone to "define obsessive"? 8. Have you ever habitually used any drugs or refused to take any drugs? 9. Have you ever been told that you vibrate at a high frequency or that you're "smart"? 10. Have you ever felt an overwhelming sense of love and joy that made you cry tears of gratitude even though you knew you would most likely experience gut wrenching pain and anguish at least one more time that day? If you answered "yes" to any of these questions, you should definitely come see our show. If you answered "no" to all of these questions, you're a liar.
("And liars should come to the show, too!!!!" adds Kathleen Keogh in response.) The official press release described the event thusly:
"It's the Vagina Monologues on nitrous oxide wearing strap-on penises. Don't be scared, be terrified."

 

Okay, so that was enough to pique my curiosity (and apparently the curiosity of many others; the auditorium was standing room only at start time). The festivities began with a group breathing exercise led by the bleached-blonde MC, Alicia McDaid, who then proceeded to pee -- or something like it -- onto the stage, perhaps setting the tone for an evening of absurd antics. She then led her audience on a self-depricating photo tour of her recent hair exploits before going on to introduce the rest of the all-girl cast, three of whom appeared via video chat, each repping their own persona. Diana Joy, most memorably, was clad in football shoulder pads, with Blade Runner-inspired Daryl Hannah hair (wig?), and freaky pitched down voice. Basically anything she said throughout the course of the night coasted on the hilarity of her hyper-masculinity. As for her other two on-screen counterparts, each was funny, or adorable and disappointing in her own distinct way. The effect was a sort of "choose your avatar" scenario for the audience.

 

Looking Through The Glass
When I first wrote about the work of Sydney, Australia's Mark Whalen years ago, I was fascinated by his use of bright pinks and blues in angular ways that can't possibly exist in "real life". Now, in 2012, Whalen has taken those same tendencies and brought them into a Homer Simpson-meets-3D-world level of trippiness, as parabolic three-dimensional grids cross with graph paper lines and shapes in various stages of dimension transformation. Lankier versions of the same characters Whalen used before traverse his far out illustrated environments in varying chaotic states. Some are being swallowed up by giant golden chess pieces; some engaging in ritualistic sacrifices; others falling down stairs and holding up basketballs on royal pedastals. More on Whalen soon. For now, enjoy these works, for a modern M.C. Escher-esque take on pattern and space, as swabbed in bright colors, humor, perversions, and rituals.
(8 IMAGES TOTAL)

 

At the start, I am paired with a stranger. We are the only two participants for this iteration of the piece. An assistant equips each of us with headphones and an iPod Nano. We follow her up Multnomah County Central Library’s grand staircase. She motions for us to take our seats at a table in a public reading room. Before us lay twin stacks of three books: Blindness by José Saramago, The Notebook, The Proof, and The Third Lie by Agota Kristof, and When We Were Orphans by Kazuo Ishiguro. We sit in silence for two minutes. Then a hushed voice with a British accent comes through the headphones and reveals the library to be “dedicated to the collection of sounds.”
SEE FULL PERFORMANCE REVIEW

 

Andrew Dickson is neither licensed nor experienced as a life coach. He simply believes that no one is broken or requires fixing; everyone just needs a little help to bring their own answers out. He encourages us to see the life coaching process as a catalyst for working on our own lives. Dickson humorously launches each Life Coach session with a disclaimer reminding his audience they didn’t pay anything to attend, so they shouldn’t be too judgmental if they’re not terribly entertained. Life Coach lacks the energy and humor of Dickson’s previous TBA performances. Yet while not particularly amusing, Life Coach may be one of TBA’s most genuine and truly interactive offerings.
SEE FULL PERFORMANCE REVIEW

 

Portland's greatest interdisciplinary festival, TBA Festival, is back in 2012 with some of the most diverse and impressive programming it's had in years. Check out our picks in dance, theatre, performance, and music for a what's what in local talent and international ideas.

Sam Green & Yo La Tengo - The Love Song Of R. Buckminster Fuller

Wednesday, September 12th @ 6:30pm and 8:30pm @ Washington High School (SE Stark, Between 12th and 14th, Portland, OR 97214) $20 Members / $25 General Filmmaker Sam Green executes a "live documentary" witha live score by Yo La Tengo, as Green cues images and narrates a film that explores the utopian ethos of theorist and idea-weaver R. Buckminster Fuller. - VIVIAN HUA

 

See all PERFORMANCE-related picks

 

Nora Chipumire - Miriam

Friday, September 7th, 8:30pm Saturday, September 8th, 8:30pm Portland State University: Lincoln Performance Hall (1620 SW Park, Portland, OR 97201) $20 Members / $25 General Zimbabwe-born choreographer Nora Chipaumire and dancer Okwui Okpokwasili explore what it is to be feminine, personally and in society. Chipaumire's style is both rigid and delicate, befitting of true feminine ideals. - VIVIAN HUA

 

See all DANCE-related picks

 

Brainstorm / Sahel Sounds - Global And Mobile Pop

Monday, September 10th @ 10:30pm @ Washington High School (SE Stark, Between 12th and 14th, Portland, OR 97214) $5 Members / $7 General Local hyperpop band Brainstorm and African-inspired label Sahel Sounds curate an evening of projections, media, music performances, and more in a diverse celebration of cultural influences.This comes after Sahel Sounds and Brainstorm's collaboration and 7", where Brainstorm covered the music of Mdou Moctar. - VIVIAN HUA

 

See all MUSIC-related picks

 

Perforations

Perforations, a series of four works by Serbian and Croatian artists, got off to a bad start when TBA representatives walked through the audience line warning the show may induce claustrophobia and requires standing. For people already waiting in line to get in, this was irritating to hear.
World-renowned photographers Claudia Rogge and Spencer Tunick possess artistic visions large enough to fill city blocks. By orchestrating large-scale installations, they create visual interpretations of order and chaos, comprised not of inanimate objects, but of human beings obediently adhering to another's direction and vision. Rogge and Tunick's props at times engage actively like sentient beings and at others detach like stones. And despite the fact that they are frequently unclothed, the sheer number of individuals involved and the overarching aesthetic quality of each photograph makes every human component important only inasmuch as it forms a significant piece of the whole.
(12 IMAGES TOTAL)

 

Claudia Rogge

These images below are primarily from Rogge's 2007 - 2008 series, Dividuum.

Spencer Tunick

A smattering of images from Tunick's Wilderness, Adornment, and Large-Scale installation series.

 

The collaged work of Nicholas Lockyer and Nick Paliughi caught my eye on the same day. Though their styles are different -- with Paliughi's works a bit more ornate and Lockyer's a bit more lo-fi -- the two embrace similar color palettes and compositional tendencies that make even the busiest of moments of each piece feel like negative space in contrast to their focal points (not to mention the obvious double Nick appeal). Recurring themes of humanity and nature also seem to play a fine and entertaining role with both, though Lockyer's pieces feel darker and more humorously perverse, and Paliughi's more whimsical and playful.
(16 IMAGES TOTAL)

 

Nick Paliughli

Paliughli claims to have been making hand-cut collages since "he fell out of a barn broke his ribs. The ribs healed but the urge to make collages did not." Humorous.

 

Nicholas Lockyer

The closest thing I could find to a bio was his friend calling him an "image poet" in this "magical" image. It speaks well for him.

 

Obscured male and female forms face off in these alternating works from Patty Carroll, obscuring the female form draped with patterns, and Matthew Stone, abstracting the male form with contortion. Regardless of its content, a sense of royalty and fluttering grace is pervasive in Stone's Optimism As Cultural Rebellion, which flows like angel robes in religiously significant Renaissance-era classics. Draped Women, Carroll's series of draped, anonymous women, is more self-contained -- exploring spaces shared not with partners, but singular individuals and their relationships to domesticity. Domesticity is displayed like a prison, in contrast to the balance between freedom and constriction in Stone's pieces, with ornate though purely suffocating aesthetics. Nonetheless, Carroll's vision bears some similarity to Stone's, as she reveals in the following statement: "This series has references to draped statues from the Renaissance, nuns in habits, women wearing the burka, the Virgin Mary, priests robes, and ancient Greek and Roman dress, among others. Hopefully, I am bringing humor to pathos."
(10 IMAGES TOTAL)

Matthew Stone

UK photographer Matthew Stone is self-described on his website as an artist and a shaman, who utilizes numerous artistic disciplines to recreate the role of an artist in the 21st century.

Patty Carroll

Patty Carroll is a Chicago-based photographer and teacher with an interest in documenting human interests and pecularities.

 

San Francisco artist Alexis Arnold loves to explore unpredictable three-dimensional sculptures. With previous works centered around everything from training bra nets to faux-lawn upholstered decorations, her more recent Past Of Our Future and The Crystallized Book Series sees Arnold mixing scientific experimentation with everyday objects. Combining Borax crystals with things near and dear to human hearts, like vintage furniture and weathered books, Arnold grows wonderfully organic forms out of objects both malleable and solid, invoking nostalgia all along the way. As Arnold says herself in the following interview, "Time (and its physical/visual presence) is an ever-present concept in my work, as well as a large factor in crystal growth" -- and it is this idea that adds even more importance to the past in her sculptures, as it contrasts with the present.
"Certain things they should stay the way they are. You ought to be able to stick them in one of those big glass cases and just leave them alone. I know that's impossible, but it's too bad anyway." -- J.D. Salinger - Catcher In The Rye