David Eckard’s “Float”
The wait’s almost over. It would be impossible to overstate how much I’ve been anticipating David Eckard’s piece “Float.” You should know by now that Eckard employs sometimes ultilitarian, sometimes baroque sculpture in performance that has components of work, duration, and lately text. But that will sound dry in comparison to the vision of Eckard in white coveralls atop his “Podium” that he’d wheeled into place, unfolded, set up (including hanging white swag) and mounted to deliver a quasi-populist-political speech (complete with politician-appropriate hand gestures) at various locations on the streets of Portland at TBA 04 (has it been that long?). When he finished, he’d fold it up and roll it quietly away. The Podium itself now stands in the Portland Art Museum as part of the 2006 Oregon Biennial.
For Gallery Homeland’s Scratching the Surface, Eckard recently constructed metal armature around his body lit with candles for his piece “Widow’s Walk,” performed on the Eastbank Esplanade. This sense of drama harkens back to his epic Tournament (lumens) performed (and installed) at Marylhurst University. And it’s this operatic sense of spectacle that Eckard evokes for “Float.” He’s created a fifteen-foot high, four-legged, floating platform adorned with lace and fire and wired for sound from which he’ll deliver a text-based performance as he floats down the Willamette River from the Hawthorne Bridge tomorrow (Thursday) evening at dusk (around 7:45 or 8).
You’ll kick yourself if you miss this one.
–Lisa Radon