home school: The shape of memory


Sat Feb 04 2023 at 05:00 pm to 08:00 pm


Oregon Contemporary | Portland, OR

home school: The shape of memory
27 January 2023 – 19 March 2023
Reception on 4 February 2023, 5–8pm
Talk with curators manuel arturo abreu and Victoria Anne Reis at 6pm
home school and Oregon Contemporary proudly present The shape of memory, on view 27 Jan – 19. Mar 2023. The second show in home school’s curatorial residency includes works by Star Feliz, Deborah-Joyce Holman, Dozie Kanu, Nkhensani Mkhari, Portland Backyard Art Group, and MODUS. Exploring the slippage between symbol and sigil, the works in the show comprise still and moving image, sculpture, and installation.
In From the ashes (a chiasmus) and Untitled 1-4 from the series Floor Maps, Star Feliz acts as a decolonial experimental archaeologist. Interested in destabilizing the Romantic’s legacy of conquest that reverberates within Land Art, they create a world where the rebellious cartographies of the 17th Century Caribbean come alive with small gestures using the iconographies of Dominican Vodú and contemporary aesthetics of countercultural resistance. As a medicine person trained in various healing arts, Feliz is continually tracing their ancestral knowledge systems that evade the Archive. With painted stonelore and collective prophecies, this interdimensional portal serves to ignite our understanding of humanity’s shared fate with the earth.
The Portland Backyard Art Group uses found materials and the outdoors to make space for the reclamation of memory, childhood, and more. They present a number of pieces from their NE Portland home, where they worked for 3 years.
In the first physical exhibition of the series of works Untitled (in refusal), 2021, commissioned by the Athens Biennale and included in the catalog for the 7th Athens Biennale: Eclipse, Deborah-Joyce Holman renders asemic or illegible writing in a seemingly subtractive process over a sumptuous background of oil pastel on paper with deep red and orange hues. Certain moments and contexts converge near legibility before returning to the warm embrace of the pictorial. The framed series explores, as such, the intimacy of opacity as a gesture of refusal while still seeking to document the moment.
In The Songs They Sing, 2021, Johanesburg-based artist Nkhensani Mkhari knits together an ongoing audiovisual collage documenting civil unrest in post apartheid South Africa and its intersections with the coloniality of meaning. The video explores themes surrounding inherited oppression and renegotiated spaces. Here the anarchic noise of revolt becomes a silent melody sounded by the viewer. Dozie Kanu, born in Houston and currently living and working in Portugal, demonstrates the flickering kinship of form and feeling–poetic objects and the ways they activate our imagination– in his sculpture Abject Twin (2021). Resting gently against the wall, the repurposed bed headboard invites us to wonder: who is the version of us that walks in our dreams? MODUS presents, in interactive installation rather than workshop form, the third iteration of his proposal exploring the overlap between layered graffiti writing and asemic gesture (writing without semantic content). The audience is invited to contribute to the living palimpsest by means of water-based spray paint, and as layers of meaning pile on closer toward illegibility, the line between visuality and letter-form blurs ever more.
On your swirl around the world you accumulate yourself. You turn your senses inward, catch glimpses of the palimpsest, the erasures, the edits, the propensity for layering, for drawing connections, the endless depths. You find your way, building gradually like candy floss. In your search for meaning, memory is held in moments, bound or braided together, sometimes caught and beaded in shimmering tangles. In these moments the gaze explodes. The motion is full of promises– kept, broken, hidden, forgotten, et cetera. The artists provide the chance to stand among their offerings-up to our shared world, to contemplate where you fit in, how to activate your benevolent enmeshment. In bringing these works together we hope to give you clues to the future.

Where is it happening?

Oregon Contemporary, 8371 N Interstate Ave,Portland,OR,United States, Portland, United States

Event Location & Nearby Stays:

Oregon Contemporary

Host or Publisher Oregon Contemporary

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