Monday, November 3, 2008
PDX Art features: "Appendix Project Space" interview with Josh Pavlacky
Hi Richard, thanks for the interest.
came about as word vomit,
instigated by the fact
that the alley could be seen
quite literally as Alberta's appendix.
We liked the numerous meanings of the word:
supplementary material, a projection,
an aeronautics tube that controls
the intake of buoyant gases,
all wonderful descriptions
of a DIY project space.
The Appendix is then of course a vestigial organ, mostly forgotten except for those of us with the traumatic memory of its removal--the metaphor is just sopping isn't it?
The name thus gives us a versatile starting point for a number of ways to visualize and conceptualize the role of the space: biologically, literarily, mechanically. Plus we can stick pieces of shit to bigger shit around the city and pretend we're being conceptual. Which we are of course.
Mission and Vision, argh,
as loathe as I am to cut and paste, I'm going to do so with the mission statement, because if I make something new up my other two halfs may object.
I can add a list of random words that may assist in the construction of a vision though:
naked drawing parties, interventions, garage membranes, performance pieces, modular stages, salon shows, constructed forests, mappings, sculpture workshops, spoken word slams, time-based projects, peer-reviews, movie nights, masochistic dinners,
and to conclude:
"Appendix Project Space works to bring artists and community members together to explore the intersection of community, art, and, urbanity in Portland.
We provide a space for the production, presentation and critical discussion of art and urban programming, as well as social and creative events that cultivate artistic vigor and collaboration."
Well, I myself handle most of the overhead technicalities like recruiting artists, building weird structures, planting trees etc.
But in short, I'm from Portland, and I convinced my Wesleyan studio mate Zack Davis and housemate Ledah Wilcox to move out here to suckle from Portland's growing art scene.
We found this house by sheer charm, and I went from entertaining the idea of maybe starting an artist's collective to running a project space in about month.
The location demanded it.
We moved in June 1st and had our first show that Last Thursday with the help of some cheap drywall and a rota-tiller. Zack and I are both visual artists, with myself being of an urbanist slant, which is why I'm so interested in playing with the physical space and the alley to Alberta. It's this secret path with a prize at the end, and I get to experiment with both the prize and the entrance.
Ledah makes documentaries, so far about weird kids with tools, but maybe about us soon. Still weird kids with tools.
October's show was a little different in that we had a guest aka friend curator, so I didn't even see most of the work before it went up, but prior to that it's been ourselves and friends.
I'm a control/quality freak, so I'm debating the guest curation aspect of the space, but it gives me some time off to make my own art and work on the space, so you'll probably see more curators take a shot at it.
My long-term vision of artist participation is a group of artists who meet once a month, discuss what they've been working on and receive critical feedback, and then as a group pick a show based on the available work.
As for finding the artists...
the typical networking rigamarole is of great assistance. If I meet someone I like with a good head on their shoulders I arrange a studio visit and go from there.
As for commonalities.
I prefer artists that use their art as a process of intellectual exploration, meaning, I like artists whose work shows a clear progression of ideas over time. I'm not into art projects, one liners, hipster art and ilk. Other than than I have no caveats.
Oy, I'm trying to establish what's next at the moment.
Last Thursday falls on Thanksgiving and then Christmas, so it'll be an experiment.
Expect to see some presence at First Thursday in December, maybe a fundraising party at some point, and then a resumption of regular Last Thursday events come January.
In the meantime, I'm in the process of hunting for an intern who loves to do things for free.
When that manifests, expect limited regular hours, I'd like to let people come back and look a little closer without the bustle, and maybe take some art home...
Also, as a teaser: expect to start hearing about a vanishing storefront sometime soon.