Pacific Northwest College of Art Presents Untraceable, Featuring Work of: Nubar Alexanian, Hans Haacke, Adam Helms, Natasha Mayers, Walid Raad and Susan Seubert '92

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Untraceable is an exhibition of artists' responses to political control, violence and torture, inspired by the work of Reed College political science professor Darius Rejali, an internationally recognized expert on modern torture and the author of Torture and Democracy (Princeton, 2007). It explores political violence and oppression, specifically the symbolism and psychology of torture. The group exhibition runs February 28 - March 28 at Pacific Northwest College of Art's Feldman Gallery, which is open to the public daily from 9am-9pm.

Untraceable is an exhibition of artists' responses to political control, violence and torture curated by Stephanie Snyder, Curator, Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, and inspired by the work of Reed College political science professor Darius Rejali, an internationally recognized expert on modern torture and the author of the recently published Torture and Democracy (Princeton, 2007).

Featuring a wide range of media including painting, photography, sculpture and film, Untraceable explores the politics of power, disguise, and internalized trauma that characterize modern torture and political oppression.

Untraceable includes New York artist Adam Helms's large-scale photographic installations of both contemporary and historical victims and perpetrators of violence, and a series of psychological portraits of political rebels. Helms explores the romantic, seductive aspects of outlaw culture and the photographic tradition of the Memento Mori in relationship to modern political violence.

Common Dreams artist Natasha Mayers exhibits a constructed series of ornamental wallpaper patterns based on media images of the war in Iraq and the torture of detainees at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base; Hans Haacke exhibits Mission Accomplished, a sculptural installation incorporating a lithograph of a ripped American flag printed in Portland at Mahaffey Fine Art and published by the Cooley Gallery. In Haacke's newest sculpture, the blue starred portion of the American flag is divided into two disenfranchised pieces, with one half regally framed and mounted on the wall while the other half lies on the floor wedged underneath the legs of a disused and degraded parlor couch.

Atlas Group founder Walid Raad exhibits the film "Hostage: The Bachar Tapes," this groundbreaking film explores the psycho-cultural and sexual aspects of hostage confinement and the cultural politics that come into play in situations of extreme power and cultural difference.

Portland photographer Susan Seubert, '92, PNCA alumna, exhibits "100 Cheerleaders," a monumental series of tinplate photographic prints exploring properties of the now infamous imagery from Abu Ghraib. Seubert's serial images reference early cinema and print-based animation technologies such as flip books. The images are constructed using toys and fabric, simple materials that act as metaphors for the banality of violence.

Also included is the work of Boston-based documentary photographer Nubar Alexanian, a long-time creative partner of Oscar-winning director Errol Morris ("Fast, Cheap and Out of Control"), who uses Morris's film sets as the backdrop for many of his photos. Their most recent collaboration was on the set of the film "Standard Operating Procedure", a searing documentary about the prisoner abuse scandal at Iraq's Abu Ghraib jail.

Visting Artists Nubar Alexanian and Adam Helms will hold lectures in conjunction with the exhibition that will be open to the public. Nubar Alexanian will give an artist talk February 28 at 12:30 in PNCA's photo studio; Adam Helms's artist talk is on February 29 at 12:30 in Room 125.

The group exhibition is curated by Stephanie Snyder, Curator, Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, with contributions by Stuart Horodner, Curator, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Atlanta, Georgia and Mack McFarland, Exhibitions Coordinator, Pacific Northwest College of Art.

Untraceable is part of Cultures in Conflict, a series of exhibitions and related lectures featuring leading-edge artists, each of whom is dealing with facets of cultural discord in their work. PNCA thanks the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and the Oregon Arts Commission for their generous support for Cultures in Conflict.

The Feldman Gallery + Project Space is free and open to the public from 9am-9pm daily.

PNCA:
Since its founding in 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), has become a leader in innovative educational programming that connects students to a global perspective in the visual arts. Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in Communication Design, Illustration, Intermedia, General Fine Arts, Painting, Photography, Printmaking and Sculpture. In addition, the College offers a mentor-based MFA in Visual Studies that allows students to create a studio-centered curriculum to support their personal artistic vision. PNCA has the oldest continuously running community arts education program in the Northwest. Located on an award-winning campus in the heart of the Pearl district, PNCA is actively involved in Portland's cultural programming through exhibitions and a vibrant public program of lectures and visiting artists from around the world.

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