Before it was an art gallery, North Portland’s Disjecta was a bowling alley.
These days the lanes, pins and tournaments are distant echoes. But when guest curator Josephine Zarkovich stepped into the gallery, she took on a challenge tougher than a 7-10 split. Instead of luxuriating in all that space and filling it with multiple artists for every show, she decided that at least one of her exhibits would be a single artist with a single installation covering some 12,000 square feet.
She commissioned Chris Fraser. “The first time I stepped into Disjecta’s space,” remembers Zarkovich, “I knew he could do something amazing with it. I knew it was going to be challenging, and that we were going to be doing something new, but I have a lot of faith both in Fraser as an artist and in Disjecta as an institution.”
Any visitor to Disjecta through March 3rd can literally see why. Fraser’s installation, In Passing, uses light and architecture to create delirious moments of optical diffusion. Fraser has meticulously hung three colored lamps in an open space, then surrounded the space with a tunnel that lets light through in dramatic ways.
Zarkovich says that Fraser is not a sculptor as much as he is a photographer. He has built a camera obscura we can walk through, allowing us to experience the relationship between light, space and shape in very intentional, and frankly pretty cool, ways.
Art Beat’s Katrina Sarson and Lynne Clendenin filmed a show at Disjecta, and, as you can see from these pictures, they had a great time rediscovering their own relationship with light and space.
Josephine Zarkovich won a national competition to become the second Curator-in-Residence at Disjecta, a year-long honor. Based in Corvallis, she’s curated exhibitions throughout California and Oregon, especially in the Bay Area where she received her Master’s in Curatorial Practice from California College of the Arts. Her next exhibit, Space is the Place, features four culturally diverse artists working loosely within the realm of Afrofuturism, and opens on March 23rd.
Leave your bowling shoes at home.