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.

 

The Miracles Club latest music video for "The Wheel" works the most surprising of effects upon theatrical costumes and full body paint, as if to drive home the fact that one needs not take contemporary dance or house music too seriously. Directed by long-time band collaborator Judah Switzer and set in a digital environment crafted by glitch wizard Brenna Murphy, "The Wheel" intersects a powerful core of Portland dancers, musicians, and visual artists into one eyebrow-raising, off-kilter music video that is centered around mythological symbolism and the tarot. The Miracles Club vocalist Honey Owens speaks about the video in the Q&A to follow, and we discuss the symbolism of its tarot references.
"'The Wheel' was written about The Wheel of Fortune Tarot card, so when we were thinking of a concept for the video, [band member] Rafael [Fauria] suggested that we literally reproduce the tarot card in video form." -- Honey Owens, of The Miracles Club

 

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

 

Everything the rainbow light touches in this music video for Onuinu's "Ice Palace" turns to psychedelic flourish and ethereal whimsy. A lack of contrast and many a post-production effect create a piece that is half sensual and half digitized, a well-paired visual aid for Onuinu's music, which possesses those same qualities. Director Andrew Sloan and choreographer Jin Camou discuss the visual decisions and the mentality that led to the final creation of "Ice Palace", in the following Q&A. Onuinu's "Ice Palace" will also be featured at REDEFINE magazine's Motion & Movement In Music Video panel at Bumbershoot and MusicfestNW 2012. SEE FULL DETAILS
"This is a very sexy song. The images are meant to combine to create a visual aphrodisiac for the viewer; alone, an orange might not be that sexy, but when you bounce it around next to a pomegranate, a flaming house, and some nice looking women, suddenly the meaning of the orange changes." -- Andrew Sloan, Director of Onuinu's "Ice Palace"

 

Portland's Golden Retriever opened their record release show for Occupied with the Unspoken not with a performance, but with the music video for their latest single, "Canopy". Directed by Jeff Guay and shot throughout the Pacific Northwest, the music video is a slow-paced meditation on man in nature. As trees blew in light wind, water rippled black, and most strikingly, a pink-blue cloud very lightly floated its way across the projected sky, a roomful of strangers was forced to take a slow moment, a collective breath, in reverence to nature.

 

August 1st, 2012 @ Holocene, Portland
Portland artist Ian Michael Anderson's latest collection of gouache paintings contrast earth tones and light pink hues with symbolic imagery, to powerful and striking visual effect. In Anderson's own words, his paintings aim to address chaos and conflicts in life as well as order, to help him gain insight into their distinct natures. He explains by saying, "... Dualistic narratives take shape [and] opposing forces are typically revealed: Life and death, good and evil, man and beast, predator and prey, war and peace. These dreamlike and often nightmarish fables reflect an outward and subconscious view of man and his destructive role in this world. Through this lens, my own place in these mostly impossible scenarios can be triangulated, and I am on my way to resolving the confrontation and understanding the need for such destruction." You can see these pieces in person on First Thursday, May 3rd, at Backspace Gallery and Cafe (115 NW 5th Ave) in Portland, and read a brief Q&A with Anderson below.

 

LUCY YIM AND JIN CAMOU If your name is Jeff Diteman, you might be a Portland artist that has spent two years secretly crafting a series of oil paintings, waiting patiently until the opportune time and place to debut the complete collection of works. Now ready to be unveiled is Diteman's...

Gallery Hijinks' upcoming show will feature the work of Long Beach's Treasure Frey and Portland's Kyle Benjamin Jorgensen. Like many shows these days, both artists will be united by their explorations of shape and form. They are decidedly different, however; Frey's pieces are fascinating in the way they contrast with...

Our third-annual album cover art feature uses interviews with artists and musicians to highlight the philosophical, thematic, and conceptual significance of great album cover artwork. THE BREAKDOWN    12 Collage + 14 Digital Illustration, Drawing, Design + 19 Illustration, Painting, Drawing + 8 Black And White Photography + 22 Color Photography + 6 Deluxe Packaging + 10 Fashion, Sculpture, Installation _____________________________    91 Album Covers For 2011 Best Of 2011 Album Cover Art

Apteka - Gargoyle Days
Despite never having met one another, Portland designer Dylan McConnell and Chicago's Apteka have grown a well-fitting artistic relationship through the years. McConnell's album cover for Gargoyle Days may be their most gripping collaboration yet.

QUOTES FROM: DYLAN MCCONNELL, DESIGNER ADAM LUCAS, APTEKA'S GUITARIST AND VOCALIST THEMES & CONCEPTS "We had worked with a sorta paranoid, dark op-art theme in the past for posters and albums (with a brief interlude of lopping off girls' heads). High contrast and fluid -- that's what I was going for." - Dylan McConnell COLLABORATION "We've been working with Dylan pretty much since the band formed. He's done all our cover art, and most all of our show posters so far. Things clicked from the beginning. He just has a knack of taking what we're doing musically and expressing it in a visual way. The funniest part is that we've never really met. He lives in Portland, and we're in Chicago. A mutual friend turned us on to him, but we've never had the chance to meet in person. It's all been through email. Which is kind of a weird way to communicate artistic intentions, but somehow it works, and he’s become this mysterious fifth member of the group." - Adam Lucas Record Label Carpark Records The Artists Design - Dylan McConnell Mediums & Materials Collage, Digital, Typography (hand-drawn)

Our third-annual album cover art feature uses interviews with artists and musicians to highlight the philosophical, thematic, and conceptual significance of great album cover artwork. THE BREAKDOWN    12 Collage + 14 Digital Illustration, Drawing, Design + 19 Illustration, Painting, Drawing + 8 Black And White Photography + 22 Color Photography + 6 Deluxe Packaging + 10 Fashion,...

Xhurch, a repurposed church in North Portland, has decided to take last year's live reenactment of the Nativity one step out of the terrestrial and into a more cosmic direction, with this year's Alien Nativity. See full slideshow of last year's Nativity. Last year's Nativity had the usual characters -- Mary, Joseph,...

AJ Fosik moved to Portland about a year ago, but he's been too busy to leave his studio and enjoy all the things his new home has to offer. Fosik is no stranger to working at a breakneck pace, and when I was attempting to arrange a studio visit, the only time that worked for both of us happened to be on a Saturday morning. This was less than ideal as I was down in Portland on a blitzkrieg visit in which I was attempting to cram about three months worth of old friends and bourbon into five days, and Fosik had been out the night before celebrating the purchase of a new house. Upon arriving at his tucked-away studio in the industrial hills by Forest park, we were both relieved to discover that we were on the same page in that we were both feeling... uh... slightly less than articulate.
Fosik is an affable curmudgeon who has made a very deliberate decision to not engage the art world on its typical terms. He is first and foremost a craftsman, and he puts more stock in practice than theory. While there are telltale racks of spraypaint and scattered pieces of paper in Fosik's workspace, the studio is more woodshop than anything else, and he tells me that he is self-taught. "I'm probably a bad woodworker," he shrugs and jokes self-effacingly. "Anyone who does fine woodworking would look at these and be disgusted by them."

While it is true that Fosik isn't employing the use of dovetail joints, one cannot help but feel a deep respect for the craftsmanship that goes into the construction of his statuesque pieces. Fosik's sculptures are rich testaments to the power of his obsessive curiosity. Fiercely looming eyes and wide, howling jaws rest upon psychedelic waves of carefully overlapped wooden shingles, and rearing bodies stand in mid-lunge towards the viewer. With a color palette that shares more than a passing affinity with safety paint from a construction site, Fosik's creations are anything but subtle, and they demand the full attention and involved interaction of their audience. Many of Fosik's pieces are vaguely threatening, and his compositions feature larger-than-life animistic figures wielding guns and mallets, their limbs extended to rend and tear, gaping maws set to devour. Fosik cultivated his building abilities in response to the fact that he was raised in a family with no interest in making things. "It's really weird," he says. "I have no artists in my family whatsoever... My dad can't even use a screwdriver. I was definitely one of those kids who took everything apart and destroyed everything I owned trying to figure out how it worked."

This sense of trial and error construction has clearly paid off. Fosik's pieces draw from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, and he assimilates religious iconography that nods equally to Asian deities and African tribal patterns. Fosik explains he is intentionally going for this blended effect; having no religious background himself, he has always been curious about what he sees as the absurdity of religious zealotry. His goal is to reference a diverse range of religions without evoking any particular faith, and he delights in the subsequent interpretations his viewers insist upon. While he clearly puts a great deal of thought into his work, Fosik has a perverse, Gonzo-esque refusal to talk about the ideas that inform his finished pieces. He instead prefers to discuss the religious, shamanistic overtones as part of a running joke he is playing on his viewers. "That's the whole point," he explains. "[Religion is] all a sham, but I'm being up front about it and putting it out on the table. I enjoy that aspect of it; it's the old switcheroo!"

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