soon our bodies will be buildings

Tessa Bolsover

February 25, 2017
Viewable from outside 1605 E. Madison Street
Look South

In times of grief I turn to the idea of the body as a collection of materials. Our bodies exist for only a brief moment: a coincidence of molecules, soon to disseminate into countless other forms.

(I dropped a stone into a lake and for a moment, where the two surfaces met, a sound existed—)

Composed of found footage, text, and personal videos, soon our bodies will be other buildings is a meditation on the transient nature of matter and the constant cycles of molecular and contextual re-formation.

Drawing from the musical technique of phasing — similar to choral rounds — two video sequences loop at different tempos, so that the relationship between frames are realigned with each repetition. Over time, the piece is split open and reconfigured so that we can see it in its various possible forms.

Image Info: soon our bodies will be other buildings (found footage still), video, 2017

A heartbeat, heard from a distance

Maggie Carson Romano’s Essay in response to Chantal Anderson’s exhibit ‘Rivers’

Images by Chantal Anderson

From the entryway of Vignettes, I was met with sounds of rushing water and far off, a distant drumming, which as I entered the room, revealed itself as a heartbeat, collapsing the space I had begun to imagine. We know, inherently, that a heartbeat is never heard from a distance. The sound then shifted back to the rushing of water as my eyes focused on the light source in the room, a video projection of an almost kaleidoscopic, shifting gaze of rushing water. The frame rested my view up river and framed it with channels of water flowing backward at its edges, the perspective occasionally shifting me closer to the water. The heartbeat returned.

This was where Chantal Anderson had unfolded her record of the conflict at Standing Rock on the walls and windows of Vignettes. I had arrived with only a surface, faceless understanding of the protest, that the Standing Rock Sioux tribe was protecting the cleanliness & sacredness of the river from being threatened by a new route of the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline.

In the room adjacent to the video, I was given faces. Black and white film photographs lined the walls depicting the perilous landscape of Standing Rock. I found myself meeting eyes with a woman as she braided her hair. I paused with a family on their way to fill a water jug. I observed broken reeds rising above moving water. I found myself transported without having trespassed into this sacred space. Here, Chantal informed me through the gaze of her subjects with careful intention. Her photographs spoke of their trust and permission for me know their stories. I was not a voyeur, instead, the figures in the images arrested me while they conveyed their purpose through the details of their surroundings.

The scenes before me described a truthful nativity that clears notions of the historically reduced, distanced, simplified Native American by situating them within a destabilized norm, one that looks far different than my reality and yet, provides compelling moments of cultural overlap, that once noticed cannot be ignored. The hood of a mustang appears in the edge of one frame, the silhouette of a port-a-potty looms on the horizon in another, placing the figures in the foreground here, not in some far off land but here in our shared world.

I felt a current of potent sacredness running through her photographs – presenting the rare value of physical purity in an emerging post-truth era that disregards historical promises. This work reminded me that when the core values held by one people is disregarded by another, profanity threatens the roots of our shared humanity, the strength of a foundation and a promise of a shared future. The protest at Standing Rock has been a request for the preservation of human, environmental, religious and historical rights — all stemming from the sacredness of water. Chantal’s aim was to illuminate this by reminding us of its universal value, allowing the river to play it’s many roles throughout the show.

This protest can be seen as the dawn of an awakening. As our nation rediscovers the value of protest, we must sharpen our tongues not only to be heard, but to fill the space created by ignorance with empathy and education. Empathy cannot be reached without first finding understanding. It is not enough to gather, truth must be used to collapse space. Chantal’s work brought each of these elements together, drawing connections that allow their purpose and struggle to become ours, connecting us with the strength of a natural emotional force.

As I left the show, I paused to observe the looping projection of the river, as it shone out into the night from a window above. I saw it as a marquee announcing the presence of a movement maintaining force – slow, constant, and powerful. The sound of the river was still in my ears as I walked up the hill, and then, also, a heartbeat.

Illuminated Manuscripts

Kat Humphrey

February 19–23, 2017

Each night for five nights, new text viewable in a window


“It’s common advice for writers to write what they want to read. These texts are offerings of words from dream, thought, and conversation that I enjoy revisiting, and would appreciate coming upon illuminated in a night window.”—KH

Kat Humphrey has a history with signs, and with visual art and text. She studied American Sign Language for many years and worked as an art therapist at the New Mexico School for the Deaf Preschool. She participated as a writer in a collaborative show of women writers and visual artists—Voices and Visions—in two galleries in Santa Fe and Las Cruces, New Mexico. She had a four-month solo show of photographs of fading signs on brick buildings at the former American Advertising Museum in Portland, Oregon. She earned a Master of Art Education / Art Therapy degree from the University of New Mexico. She has exhibited text-based and non-text-based art, and her writing has appeared in publications including the Seattle Gay News, the Raven Chronicles, and the forthcoming anthology Poets Against Hate. She has taught creative writing (poetry and prose poetry) in Seattle through Writers in the Schools and the former program Powerful Writers, and as an intern in New Mexico at ArtStreet, a program of Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless. She has curated art shows and a related short lecture series. Over the past year and a half, she has been performing personal stories through the monthly storytelling series Fresh Ground Stories.


More about traditional illuminated manuscripts here.

Sunday dusk–Monday dawn:

Monday dusk–Tuesday dawn:

Above text used with permission of a friend and her quoted father.

Tuesday dusk–Wednesday dawn:

Wednesday dusk–Thursday dawn:

Photographs above by Sierra Stinson

Thursday dusk–Friday dawn:

Photographs above by Robert Wade

Soft Logics

Soft Logics
New Work by Melina Bishop

February 9, 2017
507 E. Mercer Street

In the essay Folds, Fragments, Surfaces: Towards a Poetics of Cloth, Pennina Barnett writes:

“What if the poetics of cloth were composed of ‘soft logics’, modes of thought that twist and turn and stretch and fold? And in this movement new encounters were made, beyond the constraints of binaries? The binary offers two possibilities, ‘either/or’; ‘soft logics’ offer multiple possibilities. They are the realm of the “and/and”, where anything can happen. Binaries exclude; ‘soft logics’ are ‘to think without excluding’— yet one is not set against the other, (that would miss the point). And if ‘soft’ suggests an elastic surface, a tensile quality that yields to pressure, this is not a weakness; for ‘an object that gives in is actually stronger than one that resists, because it also permits the opportunity to be oneself in a new way.”

Using Barnett’s “soft logics” as a conceptual backbone, this body of work by Portland-based artist Melina Bishop seeks to compress the space between binaries such as flexible/structural, domestic/institutional, conceptual/formal, traditional/contemporary, personal/universal, discarding the “either/or” and adopting the “and/and.” Using handwoven and embroidered textiles made while on residency in Blönduós, Iceland in combination with found materials and traditional “fine-art” media, Soft Logics is a site-specific installation of sculptural forms and artifacts. It requests a stretching and folding of preconceptions and imposed limitations, and provides answers not to the question of “what is?” but “what could be?”