placard.jpg Last night Portland was treated to a unique march through the Pearl and across the Broadway Bridge. Dressed in white, and carrying white signs, a horde of jubilant participants re-enacted Anna Halprin’s “Blank Placard Happening.” Dealing with my own tree limb/ white board debacle, I arrived late, but luckily met up with the march along NW Lovejoy, and made a friend that was nice enough to lend me a modified pizza box.
As we marched, observers shouted at us, asking what we were doing and helpfully pointing out that we had forgotten to mark up our signs. The curiosity and occasional obnoxiousness led me to question what the point of the performance was. At first I was led to think that we were protesting everything, and advocating nothing, but afterwards I came to a two-part conclusion. First, the white blankness seems to advocate not just political peace, but a Buddhist-like joyful emptiness. But blankness, when observed, provides (or tempts?) an opportunity to insert meanings, or, even better: issues.
Whether these manifested issues, or the need to manifest issues, are examined, or if that’s even the point, are obviously up for debate, but that is the hope of one guy, on the bridge, carrying a borrowed pizza box.
- Abe Ingle