Saturday, May 2, 2009

what is it

In this, the first solo endeavor to grace the space of Portland's Worksound Gallery, Bethany Ides investigates both the fixed and transient properties of a proper name, in this case: Lindsay. Entering into written form in 731 as an amalgamation of syllables culled from across the spectrum of Germanic languages, Lindisi initially referred to a geographic province. As the name transformed over time, so did its function. The name that first indicated the boundaries of a particularly soggy portion of Britain, later summarized a patrilineal chain of ancestry stemming from the region, and eventually rose to prominence as the 42nd most popular female name in the US during the 1980's.

Approx L draws an index of this development. The gallery is divided into 3 stages of Lindsay-ness: L Exactitude; Adaptations of L; and, L Beside Itself (adrift, at sea). Surprisingly evasive, the proper name slips away from specificity at every turn. It means this person or this place, comes from this tree and is symbolized by this fabric; appears in toys, in photo albums, phone books. But the more the traveler wanders, the clearer the realization becomes that the destination is, itself, the inability to arrive.

Spearheaded by multimedia artist Bethany Ides, Approx L is cumulative project involving performance, curation, installation, sound and video. Aiding in the process are approximately 15 participants from across the US and Canada all born with (some variant spelling of) the name, plus a coterie of non-natural L[indsay]s who have adopted transitional monikers for the project. One piece on display, entitled "L, Spelled," is, in effect, a show-within-the-show of works on paper by artists Lindsay Benedict, Lindsey Brown and Lindsay Page.

Bethany Ides is the author of several poetry chapbooks, including Approximate L [Cosa Nostra Editions, 2009] and Indeed, Insist (a mystery) [Ugly Duckling Presse, 2005]. Her solo performance work has been presented at venues such as The Brooklyn Museum, PS122 and the Bowery Poetry Club in New York, and at Gallery Homeland, Nocturnal, SoundVision and Disjecta in Portland, OR. With an MFA from Bard College, Ides teaches art theory, time-based art and writing at Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Approx L is sponsored in part by a generous grant from the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) as well as in-kind support from Lansing Linoleums.

Opening reception: May 8, 7 - 10:30 pm
GOLDEN RETRIEVER (Jonathan Sielaff + Matt Carlson) plays at 9.

Opening weekend events co-hosted with visiting artist, Lindsay Benedict:
SATURDAY + SUNDAY, 12:30 - 5:30 pm
Sign-up sheets will be posted at the opening & on the blog site.

Tours held throughout.

Closes: May 29.

No comments: