Lydia Bell’s TBA Report
September 18, 2013
It’s embarrassing to say as a Portland native, but this year was my first TBA Festival–the festival put on annually by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA). Judy Hussie-Taylor and I arrived Thursday night and a mini Institute for Curatorial Practice in Performance (ICPP) reunion commenced in the beer garden, with students and faculty past and present. Yes, the beer garden–complete with gourmet food truck. As I overheard someone say, young artists used to move to New York and make art; now they move to Portland and make food.
In between food cart stops, I was able to catch some great shows, including work by Lola Arias, Meow Meow, The Julie Ruin, and my long-time band crush, The Blow. A highlight for me was Judy and Trajal Harrell’s Saturday afternoon conversation, “Church Bells & High Heels” in which they discussed Trajal’s Judson Church is Ringing in Harlem project. It was fascinating to hear the thinking behind Trajal’s “sizing” structure of the series, including his reference of David Hammons’ Bliz-aard Ball Sale (1983). Judy and I presented on the Judson Now book later in the day, particularly addressing the relationship between Judson artists and the West Coast.