Intriguing, Intelligent, Interactive Installations: “Social Being” at Maude Kerns Art Center
This is Sandy Brown Jensen, and you’re listening to Viz City, KLCC’s Arts Review Program. I am sitting in the curtained off stage at the Maude Kerns Art Center watching bubbles blowing down the Willamette River. I’m perched on a so-called Limbic Loveseat being encouraged to relax and space out.
This is one of many interactive and thoughtful installations at Maude Kern's current and very unusual and fun exhibit called “Social Being,” the brainchild of Kathleen Caprario, Sandra Honda, Mei-Ling Lee, Charly Swing and Kerry Weeks. The artists were invited to re-imagine the various gallery spaces, and I think you’ll enjoy being surprised by them.
The concept is examining our social beingness through a variety of female lenses.
I think I’ll leave the concept explanations at that, preferring to give you a sense of the variety of installations. For example, there’s another very different video in the Salon Gallery. “The Lighted Window” is a sort of performance to the narrated story of a young girl who wanders around outdoors at night wondering about the different people living behind “the lighted windows” of her neighborhood.
While watching and listening, you can enjoy poetry on the walls and think about the intriguing related art. All of it is intertwined.
When you find yourself back out in the main gallery, you’ll see a mysterious red closet with no door but with moving projected images you can glimpse going on inside.
You’ll find a corner with mirrors and butcher paper where you can draw yourself and deal with all the thoughts and emotions that bubble up around self-imaging.
Perhaps the most striking is a wall of 240 black tags, part of an installation by Sandra Honda relating to the Japanese relocation camps of WWII.
I just wanted to give you an idea of how different this show is physically to experience and to encourage you to show up ready to engage with a variety of themes and spaces. Kudos to Maude Kerns Art Center curators for starting 2022 with this exuberant exhibition.