IT’S BIG. VERY BIG. And if you want to take the whole thing in, Matt Stangel writes for ArtsWatch readers, you’re going to have to ramble all over the state of Oregon. In his opening report, Portland2016: Disjecta goes gigantic, Stangel points out the sheer massiveness of this year’s Disjecta Oregon biennial art show. Curated by Michelle Grabner, who was also co-curator of the 2014 Whitney Biennial, this latest Oregon biennial of contemporary art takes the word “Oregon” seriously, spreading the art around to 25 spaces, 15 of them outside of Portland, in locations including the Schneider Museum of Art in Ashland, Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts on the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, in Pendleton, La Grande, Astoria, and elsewhere. And Grabner mixes things up: several Portland artists showing in venues across the state, several state artists bringing their work to Portland. What’s more, many of the artists have created pieces specifically for the spaces they were assigned.

"The Silva Field Guide to Birds of a Parallel Future," digital image of imaginary avians, dimensions variable, 2014–2015, Portland2016/ Image courtesy of the artist, Rick Silva.

“The Silva Field Guide to Birds of a Parallel Future,” digital image of imaginary avians, dimensions variable, 2014–2015, Portland2016/ Image courtesy of the artist, Rick Silva.

Even in Portland, you’ll need to travel to several venues to see what’s in the biennial. But a single visit to Disjecta’s home space in North Portland will grant you a look at one piece of work by each of the 106 artists whose studios Grabner visited – a decision viewed as inclusive by some onlookers and needlessly unfocused by others. Stangel writes: “Though a bit overwhelming, bringing everyone together in one place seems to be a practical remedy to the geographical largeness of this year’s exhibition—which presents a sizable travel ask of any one person who wants to see everything. So, this bouquet of artwork serves as an invitation to find something you like and, perhaps, explore it further at a satellite location.”


Ectoplasm in the City: The new “Ghostbusters”

This female-led reboot of the comedy classic has good intentions, but how well does it realize its feminist mission?


Since Sony greenlit the “Ghostbusters” reboot back in the fall of 2014, the uproar regarding director Paul Feig’s decision to cast an all-female team of Ghostbusters controlled the conversation and nearly drowned out any mention of the film’s potential. Because much of the Internet’s issue with the franchise’s reboot centered on misogynistic outrage, little attention was paid to the possibility that this well-intentioned, estrogen-inspired reboot could be misguided in its “feminist” stance.

Now, nearly two years later, “Ghostbusters” is upon us. In addition, an all-female reimagining of “Ocean’s Eleven,” led by Sandra Bullock, is in the works. Though the increase in female-led casts demonstrates a shift in Hollywood’s marketing, simply plugging in women into previously masculine films, proves about as progressive as remaking “The First Wives Club” with Channing Tatum, Adam Scott and Steve Carell. Or opening a chain of chicken shacks, hiring tan, chiseled, men to wear fitted cut-offs, and naming it Ding Dongs.  Cinema should not reduce itself to the level of the WNBA, wherein women perform a game designed by and for men with, paradoxically, increased scrutiny and blatant disinterest.


Oregon ArtsWatch Archives