"The Book is a Body that Bends" is an exhibition of new works by Anna Gray + Ryan Wilson Paulsen that reflects their preoccupation with books. From photographic color fields depicting the dyed fore-edges of pulp paperbacks, to drawings of broken spines and warped pages, and sculptural tomes made from cement and bound paper, the works in the exhibition are about the book as a physical object and a metaphor for the body.
Made in parallel to a process of becoming informed about trauma, Gray & Paulsen’s exhibition explores the ways the body holds a history (visible or invisible) of past suffering—how it accrues vulnerabilities and constructs protections against the realities of being in the world. Both hard-edged and soft, open and bound, ghostly and bodied, their pieces depict books that have been damaged by use, by the market, by water or air yet remain beautiful in their singularity.
With the knowledge that coming to terms with traumatic experience necessitates a certain kind of literacy and collective regard, Gray & Paulsen have organized a series of public discussions during the month of June. Join us and three guest artists to talk about embodiment after trauma, healthy rage, and the connection between economic precarity, health and identity. Snacks, beverages, and takeaways created by each guest artist will be provided.
All discussions will take place from 11:30-1pm
PDX CONTEMPORARY ART
925 NW Flanders
Portland, OR 97209
Keep the Rage Tender with Emily Squires
Saturday, June 9th
Centered on the question: Is rage healthy? this discussion will explore the relationship between rage, health, and daily life and is informed by the book of poems titled Salt by Nayyirah Waheed and the work of the art collective What Would an HIV Doula Do?.
Emily Squires is an artist and educator, currently serving as the Education & Engagement Specialist at the Sexual & Gender Minority Resource Center (SMYRC) in Portland, OR. Her multidisciplinary and collaborative art practice and political work investigates themes such as voice, participation, belonging, and love.
Embodiment After Trauma with Rachel Hines
Saturday, June 16th
Rachel Hines will lead a discussion starting from the question "How do we receive care after trauma?". The discussion will be informed by her own personal research and book, Self Care Manual, as well as by an episode of the podcast On Being that she found pivotal in her own recovery: How Trauma Lodges in the Body with psychiatrist and author Bessel van der Kolk.
Listen to the interview with Bessel van der Kolk here
Rachel Hines is a feminist artist and educator based in Portland. Her work explores the relationships between the inner Self, the exterior body, and the separate other. She currently teaches art at Portland State University and yoga at Root Whole Body. rachelhines.com
We don’t need full time jobs to be full people with Ariana Jacob
Saturday, June 23rd
How does unstable work impact your health, emotional life and sense of belonging? So many of us now basically depend on the gig economy, piecing together part-time, temporary jobs to get by. As our work lives become precarious how do we learn to live in ways that don’t perpetuate personally insecurity but instead provide new ways of belonging together?
Let’s try getting grounded in who we are to ourselves and to each other in this world that's moving towards not needing most of us in its work force. Among other texts and ideas, this discussion is informed by James Bogg's text The Outsiders from The American Revolution: Pages From a Negro Worker's Notebook, Chapter 4.
Ariana Jacob makes artwork that uses conversation to explore political and personal interdependence and disconnection. Prior to working as an artist and academic Ariana managed a farmers’ market, worked in a cabinet shop, co-ran a secret cafe out of her apartment, and fished for salmon commercially. While being an artist and academic Ariana also does union organizing and group facilitation, alongside being a partner, friend, family member and wonderer. Ariana currently teaches in the Social Practice MFA Program at Portland State University and is the Chair of Bargaining for PSUFA Adjunct Faculty Union.