At first there are just a few people on the Hawthorne Bridge, loitering here and there against the railing, looking off into the water below. There are plenty of boats: canoes, kayaks, and a green motorboat with “sheriff” stenciled on the side. But so far, no music-playing, artist-powered boat on blue barrels. I’m standing with my 2 1/2-year-old son, who has insisted on wearing his lion suit, when a man approaches and crouches down beside us. He tells us he’s an artist, that he doesn’t speak English very well, and he pets my son’s mane appreciatively. I see his PICA badge and ask when he’ll perform. He pages through my TBA catalog and stops at Vivarium Studio/Philippe Quesne. “Ziss one,” he says. “Ah,” I say, “are you Philippe Quesnes?”(referring to the artist described on page 21 in the catalog). “No,” he answers. “I am ziss man,” and points to the photo of a man covered completely in feathers. He kisses my son and then me tenderly on the tops of our heads and disappears into the crowd..
And that’s why I love the TBA festival. Right about the time Rudolphe Auté (aforementioned feathered artist) disappears, the March Fourth marching band arrives complete with shimmying Sissyboys in mini-skirts and platform boots, a geriatric dance team in sequins, twirling batons, and a whole lot of Portland people following along behind, feeling the energy. By the time David Eckard floats up on his installation/welded barrel boat/music-&-poetry-playing-barge, the moon is full and the bridges and cityscape are lit. What a perfect start to the Time-Based Art Festival.
posted by: L. Moulton
The Vivarium Studio/Philippe Quesne performances are: Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 9 p.m. (PSU, Lincoln Hall).