|Take five: The ever-changing
Pearl District, half a decade later.
5 years of Critical i
All things must pass
it has been five great years writing more than 60 somewhat experimental
pieces for nwdrizzle.com.
Critical i has accomplished a lot in that time. But now, due to
a large number of writing gigs both on the net and in print, I feel
it is a time for change.
Critical i (notice the capital on the critical and lowercase on
i) has always been a sort of experimental testing ground for what
I perceived as a hole in visual-arts coverage in Portland and beyond.
It's been a good run and I've received a lot of excellent feedback,
both internationally and locally, because of it. I'm grateful and
thank you, readers. As a recap, here are a few of my personal favorites:
May 2001: The Pearl District: Urban Pastiche or Incubator of Insight
This was my second article and I suppose it got a lot of attention
because I called the district the most expensive ghost town in America.
It has changed a lot and has become more than pastiche. Still, it
needs some serious signature designs. To date, only the Weiden+Kennedy
building can claim any kind of greatness. Well, let me second-guess
that: I like PNCA's building as well. Let's hope they find a way
to stay there. As for the galleries, things are still progressing
and some of the younger galleries need to make certain they don't
become too conservative. A mix of adventurous and bankable is the
best way. Portland is changing so fast that being too formulaic
might hurt the health of what is a young collector scene.
August 2001: Death, pestilence & politics in Portland galleries
I have always liked this Heidi Schwegler review and people should
look her up again.
April 2002: Art and threat: untaming humanism
January 2003: Eyeing the Portland art scene: Potential hullabaloo
I think we all knew 2003 would be a good art year but it
was even better and more infuriating than expected. The funny thing
is that 2004 was actually better.
October 2004: Critiquing the critics
I'm still annoyed with much of the so-called art writing
out there, but some of these things needed to be said and things
are better now. How? Well, nobody is actually shocked when a meaningful
or even perceptive review is written here now. Portland reads a
lot; why should we put up with irrelevant art writing?
June 2005: A
tale of two institutions
All of this needed to be said. Has anyone learned anything?
I think PICA has somewhat; in a meeting a month or so ago they made
it clear that they understand they have to earn people's trust again.
Overall, I wrote Critical i as a wake-up call and, to a certain
degree, I can say the scene has gotten out of its jammies, showered
up and is still deciding which belt to wear with the outfit it has
chosen. That said, I'm proud of the purposeful polemics in Critical
i; no apologies it was necessary. I have many projects now
and you'll be seeing them online and in magazines. I'm even working
on my book as well (still).
I think it's time for the big dance and I can't say how indebted
I am to my readers, fans, enemies and those rare ones who managed
to stay ambivalent. It's been very gratifying work and I must also
thank the nwdrizzle editorial staff, Mark and Kathy Anderson (no
relation). Without you this couldn't have happened.
It's a cliché, but endings are beginnings as well.
One more time thank you, readers!