“Music That Makes Us”

Disjecta connects to Kenton with music as the medium

For her last show at Disjecta, curator Chiara Giovando reaches out to the musicians of the Kenton neighborhood

By Grace Kook-Anderson

For the past several months, Chiara Giovando has used her curator-in-residence position at Disjecta to bring Portland, national, and international artists together. In her final exhibition, however, Giovando concludes her residency by focusing on her North Portland neighborhood, Kenton, originally a company town founded by Swift Meat Packing company, before it was absorbed by the City of Portland in 1915.

At Disjecta, Giovando has created an overarching theme of sound and the ephemeral qualities in art that push toward materiality. In her first exhibition, Book of Scores, Giovando invited artists to explore the idea of a score or the act of scoring—both as musical form and action—interpreting process as symbol. Contact Expo by DLS Solutions (Downtown Light and Sound Solution) explored how environment becomes sculpture, shifting form and perception. In her most recent exhibition A Mortal Song, two artists at different points in their career were brought together to explore music as an inherently challenging medium and subject. They dealt with the more emotional connections bound in music.


“The Music That Makes Us” at Disjecta/Photo by Worksighted

Continuing with the broad theme of sound, Giovando has collaborated with the Social Practice MFA Program at Portland State University—Emma Colburn, Roz Crews, Amanda Leigh Evans, Emily Fitzgerald, Harrell Fletcher, Lauren Moran, Anke Schuettler, Renee Sills, and Kimberly Sutherland. Together, they partnered with community members who maintain a musical practice. The Music That Makes Us aims to establish a music hub in the neighborhood at Disjecta—a site some local residents are still not familiar with.


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