Alert: Short bragging-in-the-name-of-encouragement to follow. Ahem. I went to the 52nd International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in, well, Venice, this past summer. It was my second time there, and it was awesome. There was a weird futuristic house for Illy Coffee that turned from a shipping container into a fully furnished, Dwell-type living space with white plastic furniture, and there was a long room full of hanging neon sculpture and piles of rugs that was mysteriously the only room where photos were off limits, and then a room with huge glossy pictures of dead birds, and also a room with a cow sculpture in a shack that represented something about Islam and America…and so on. And so on. And so on.
The Biennale fills several blocks worth of gallery space with art from every nation, and I can’t remember much of it. But one piece that I can remember is the tiny portraits of American soldiers killed in Iraq, stacked floor to ceiling in one of the big exhibition halls. It stopped everyone in their tracks, American or otherwise. It was the work of Emily Prince, and she’s here for PMMNLS tonight. Each portrait is drawn from a photo of the soldier, and the work was laid out geographically in the shape of the USA. Prince interviewed the family of some of the soldiers and wrote quotes from the interviews on the cards. According to PICA’s info she has drawn more than 4,000 portraits, and it is, alas, a work in progress. You should go see this lecture.
Info:
* 5th Avenue Cinema
* 510 SW Hall St
* Portland OR , Map
* Free Admission
* Mon . Feb 11 . 7:30-8:30 pm (at the corner of SW 5th & Hall on the PSU Campus)
PICA info on the artist:

http://pica.org/programs/detail.aspx?eventid=312

–Carissa Wodehouse
Freelance writer, PICA enthusiast, member.