by Victor Maldonado
Ask a librarian what a book is and they may tell you that a book is a shifting construct conforming to the desires of its readers: stele, scroll, illuminated text, bound folios, maybe even a portable document file accessible through an electronic device. Ask a student and his response may be that books are machines for ideas—like dream catchers but for ideas. Ask a poet and you will hear, “A vessel, a vehicle and a vector.”
Michael Zheng (SF) did two installations and a performance at the opening concerning the “Distance Between Us,” the name of one of the installation pieces, and about bridging it, or not, via communication. Most easily digested was “Hear Hear,” the familiar tin-can telephone that ran from wall to wall in the back space.
You have one, two, three chances to see MGM Grand (Vanessa Anspaugh, Biba Bell, Jmy Leary) while they’re in Portland. Chance number one to see their “Oneness: Making It With Love” is this Sunday, September 26 at 7 PM at Performance Works NorthWest (4625 SE 67th) w/ short new work “Combo #2″ by Linda Austin with Jin Camou and Esther LaPointe. $5–15 suggested donation.
Begin at the end, when everyone you know comes on stage. Stop, one hand on hip, turn. This is the Big Finish. It is odd and deadpan and very Woolly Mammoth Comes To Dinner. Recall the herd of extras on chairs who earlier in “She is Ourselves,” Woolly’s performance at PICA’s TBA:10 Festival, hopped lurchingly across the stage. Say something about The Slaves’ score and how brilliantly it laid a sonic ground, created tension, and when necessary, let the rhythm hit ‘em.