The Saturday Series:
Monumental Gestures in the Public Sphere
With Ralph Pugay, Christopher Michlig,
John Zerzan and Harrell Fletcher
Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 6pm
Portland State University, Shattuck Hall Annex Lecture Hall
1914 SW Park Avenue
Alternating venues, Portland2014: A Biennial of Contemporary Art, will host a series of conversations, performances, screenings and workshops each Saturday during the run of the Biennial, at various sites across the city. All events are free and open to the public. "Monumental Gestures in the Public Sphere" is a conversation about the nature of of public art and social practice held between Ralph Pugay, Christopher Michlig and John Zerzan, as moderated by Harrell Fletcher. This discussion marks the first in the Saturday Series.
Harrell Fletcher is an Associate Professor of Art and Social Practice at Portland State University. Fletcher has produced a variety of socially engaged collaborative and interdisciplinary projects since the early 1990s. His work has been shown at SFMOMA, the de Young Museum, the Berkeley Art Museum, the Wattis Institute, and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area, The Drawing Center, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Sculpture Center, The Wrong Gallery, Apex Art, and Smackmellon in NYC, DiverseWorks and Aurora Picture show in Houston, TX, PICA in Portland, OR, CoCA and The Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, WA, Signal in Malmo, Sweden, Domain de Kerguehennec in France, The Tate Modern in London, and the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. He was a participant in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. From 2002 to 2009 Fletcher co-produced Learning To Love You More, a participatory website with Miranda July.
Born in the Philippines, Ralph Pugay is an artist living and working in Portland. His work has been exhibited at venues including Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond VA), Grounds for Sculpture (Hamilton NJ), Salt Lake Art Center (Salt Lake City UT), The TBA Time-Based Arts Festival (Portland OR), Rocksbox Contemporary Fine Art (Portland OR), Ditch Projects (Springfield OR), Webb Art Gallery, Texas, FFDG (San Francisco, Vox Populi, Philadelphia, Center on Contemporary Art (Seattle WA), New American Paintings Exhibition-in-Print, and Rhode Island School of Design (Providence RI). Writings about his work have been featured in the Wall Street Journal and Beautiful Decay. He is a recipient of grants and awards from institutions such as the Joan Mitchell Foundation, International Sculpture Center, and Regional Arts and Culture Council. Most recently, Pugay received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission. He earned his MFA in Contemporary Studio Practice from Portland State University in 2010 and was a resident at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2013.
Eugene-based Christopher Michlig is an artist making work in a wide range of media, primarily focusing on the manipulation of public formats of communication to explore, expose and upend the aesthetics of urban space. His work has been exhibited internationally, most recently in one-person exhibitions at Marine Contemporary, Los Angeles; VOLTA 8, Basel, Switzerland; Galleria Giuseppe, Pero, Milan; and devening projects + editions, Chicago. His work has been published and reviewed in a number of publications. Michlig received an MFA in Sculpture from Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California, in 2007. He is currently Assistant Professor of art at the University of Oregon.
John Zerzan is an American anarchist and primitivist philosopher and author. His works criticize agricultural civilization as inherently oppressive, and advocate drawing upon the ways of life of hunter-gatherers as an inspiration for what a free society should look like. Some subjects of his criticism include domestication, language, symbolic thought (such as mathematics and art) and the concept of time. His five major books are Elements of Refusal (1988), Future Primitive and Other Essays (1994), Running on Emptiness (2002), Against Civilization: Readings and Reflections (2005), and Twilight of the Machines (2008).
Presented by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland2014 is a major biennial exhibition celebrating artists who are defining and advancing contemporary art practices. Curated by Los Angeles-based Amanda Hunt, Portland2014 runs from March 8 through April 27, 2014. Exhibition venues include Disjecta’s 6,000-square-foot gallery space in North Portland; Upfor Gallery in the Pearl District; White Box, University of Oregon in Portland in Old Town/China Town; and The Best Art Gallery in Portland on Northeast Alberta Street. These more traditional environs will be complemented by a series of public artworks, including billboards and interactive sculpture, and a Saturday Series consisting of public lectures, performance and panels to engage diverse audiences and create new contexts for dialogue throughout the city.
Founded in 2000, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center builds ambitious programs that promote artists and engage communities. These dynamic programs showcase new work and fuel collaborations between artists, curators and viewers that impact and intervene in the larger contemporary arts dialogue. Disjecta exacts equal rigor from local and national artists, while keenly recognizing and supporting the talent of the region.
Curator Amanda Hunt is based in Los Angeles, where she is Curator at Large for LA><ART. She has worked at various galleries and institutions including Whitechapel Gallery, London; Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York; the Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco; and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Hunt worked on two major arts initiatives in Los Angeles in 2012, including the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival, co-produced by LA><ART and the Getty Research Institute, and Made in L.A. 2012, the first Los Angeles biennial organized by the Hammer Museum in collaboration with LA><ART. Hunt is a graduate of the Curatorial Practice program at California College of the Arts, San Francisco.