In The Dregs, Brandy Cochrane and Paul Middendorf take the remains of an estate sale to create an homage to and portrait of a family that has passed into history. In The Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things, Anna Gray and Ryan Wilson Paulsen, whose apartment was lost to fire in 2008, think about experiences in the months that followed and their pending return to a new dwelling at their old address.
The Dregs is an exhibition about two people, their home and the evidence it provided of the lives they lived. Larry F. (1931-2007) lived with his parents Elsie and Ross. Larry attended Fernwood Elementary and Grant High School, and worked at the Meier & Frank department store for many years. The family home was a mirror-image duplex on NE 21st Avenue and Stanton Street, built in 1923 in Portland’s Irvington neighborhood. From the beginning, the family lived on one side and rented out the other. After Ross died, Elsie and Larry continued to live in the home together. Eventually Larry lived there alone, occasionally with a roommate, surrounded by the kinds of things that can accumulate over several lifetimes. Cochrane and Middendorf’s intent is to “honor the story of a unique Portland family…the details of one man and his small family in a big house, and the family’s various undertakings and guests – a story told from the history-rich ephemera left behind.”
Gallery 2: The Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things
The Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things will be presented in the Art Gym’s Gallery 2 project space. Around the perimeter of the room, several objects salvaged from the house fire Anna Gray and Ryan Wilson Paulsen survived are slightly altered, will be embedded in the gallery walls. In the center of the room a large wooden crate, partially filled with packing boxes, will hold two projections: one, a still image, of an empty chair in an empty room, and the other the phrases of a subtly animated poem. The photograph was taken the day the two originally moved into the Cable Avenue house.
Although these have been months of waiting and limbo, the two artists, who work collaboratively and are now married, have also been very active. Gray and Paulsen participated in eleven exhibitions in 2009, including an exhibition at PDX Contemporary Art in Portland. They are currently MFA candidates at Portland State University and are expecting a child about the time of the opening of the Marylhurst show.
Curated by: Terri Hopkins
On View: January 11 – February 11, 2010