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or was it Lilly?

or was it Lilly?

I returned home from camping yesterday to find this glorious sculpture in the kitchen.  Aside from the fact that certain four-legged creatures should NOT be on the counter, I felt this particular piece deserved a blog post.  Norman periodically creates works of art using toilet paper rolls (as seen in my first blog post), but apparently he has moved on to a new paper medium.  The shape of the paper evokes a cascading waterfall, perhaps symbolizing Norman’s desire to explore the great outdoors.  Or he could be thirsty.

Lilly (pictured below with Norman) may be collaborating with the artist on these projects, although it is hard to say as they tend to be very secretive about their artistic endeavors.


Partners in Crime?


San Francisco photographer Larry Sultan will be speaking tonight at PSU as part of the MFA program’s Monday night lecture series.  His documentary work focuses on subjects such as his family over the span of a few decades in “Pictures From Home,” as well as the San Fernando Valley pornography film industry in “The Valley.”  Sultan’s early work in collaboration with  Mike Mandel also explored found documentary photos from various government and corporate sectors in the U.S. in “Evidence.” For more info, check out his bio page here.

The event starts at 7:30 in Shattuck Hall Annex, 1914 SW Park Ave., Room 198 on the PSU campus.  It is free and open to the public.

Tonight I went to a lecture as a part in the Contemporary Indigenous Artist Lecture Series at the Portland Art Museum.  The featured artist, Nicholas Galanin, presented a wide range of work commenting on the role of indigenous tradition in his art and how his own Tlingit and Aleut histories have been shaped by outsiders through literature and other media.

The pieces he presented that I found especially beautiful were his profile and head or mask-like sculptures made up of book pages or other papers.  To see some of these works, please visit Galanin’s website, or better yet, his flickr site, which contains larger pictures for viewing.

Another project that interested me was Who We Are, which is comprised of about 25,000 previously photographed artifacts from Native American coastal tribes that had been previously recorded on laser disk (apparently the best technology at this point in time).  Galanin runs all of these images quickly on a fifteen minute loop, moving beyond the objects themselves.  As explained on his website,  “[t]he speed of the piece, and its overload of images, evokes the superficiality of contemporary life, in which complex phenomena are reduced to sound-bytes or media spots…Fascinating though they are, the flickering transformations create a disturbing sense of moving all too fast, with forms melting into each other at a rate that defies comprehension or control.”

Although thought-provoking, I left the lecture unsatisfied.  I probably just wanted to see a larger body of work that delved even deeper into the themes Galanin had already started to investigate.  He mentioned that he might want to move to Portland after this visit, so maybe I can watch his work continue to evolve in my own backyard.  You never know.


Today Norman made a sculpture.  I’m not sure what exactly inspired this creation but I have a feeling that the sentiments behind it were similar to those involved in his “Pee-ing on Piles of Clean Clothes” performances from last week.  He has not yet titled this piece.


And here is a detail of the upper portion:


He is an angsty fellow to be sure.

Norman also finds an outlet for creative expression through writing…or typing, rather.  Sometimes I leave my laptop running and open he takes these opportunities to open up Microsoft word or some other text program like Notepad (it has happened due to his tricky footwork) and then write.  Here is his latest entry from a few weeks ago:




It must be cat code.