Typhoon - Rorschach - from the 2018 album Offerings on Roll Call Records.
Here are our picks for theater, classical music and dance performances and visual arts events for Nov. 24-30. Amy Wang | The Oregonian/OregonLive http://connect.oregonlive.com/user/awang/index.html
Alex Lahey - Every Day's The Weekend - from the 2017 album I Love You Like A Brother on Dead Oceans.
The art installation Motelscape ought to ignite a pornographic shame. by Leah St. Lawrence

The plexiglass-sculptor/dream-weaver/fantasy-maker Marina Fini has completely transformed Mount Analogue's bookstore and gallery into a fantastical neon-dripping motel room. The LA artist's installation is called, not surprisingly, Motelscape.

Fini's first Motelscape was built for Art Basel in Miami Beach, where she collaborated with three other artists to transform one room at the Miami Princess Hotel into a hot-pink oasis. At Mount Analogue's invitation, Fini has brought her trippy furniture and holographic wallpaper to a city that is nothing like Miami: Seattle.

Mount Analogue, run by Colleen Louise Barry, focuses on showcasing strange, fantastical, and inclusive small-print books and artistic expressions. You will find things here that you would not be able to find anywhere else in this city, including this installation. If you have already attended any of Mount Analogue's glitter-heavy parties, you know Barry and Fini make sense together.

Motelscape, opening alongside a photographic book release aptly titled Clean Rooms. Low Rates., is a reignition of 1960s kitsch—something we all grew out of by the early 2000s. In Seattle especially, with population growth and the construction boom, the money-mad developers have decided that what's best for us is mono-colored living pods and the normcore modernism of world-class cities. We have, for the most part, agreed with (or submitted to) this bland but LEED-approved aesthetic. But are we kidding ourselves? Is Marina Fini chuckling at our naive self-conception that we are suddenly above a heart-shaped hot tub? Her installation confronts us with our repressed need for and continued usage of plastics. It unabashedly explores this dirty little fantasy.

Given the inarguable reality of climate change and the mounting volume of plastic in our oceans, our love of the plasticky has become a fetish that ought to ignite our pornographic shame. Fini does not easily lead us to this conclusion, instead forcing a confrontation between our love of her delicious interiors and our contemporary perceptions of excess. Sometimes, art can be chewy—and this one requires some strong jaws.

All my confusion and difficulty digesting the plastics aside, Fini's new Motelscape is an impressive display of exactly what she set out to do: fully immerse and oversaturate the viewer with what can only be described as "consumer sugarcane." If you are wondering why she did this, you have arrived at exactly the point of the installation. It brings up something we would rather forget or pretend does not exist: plastic, which is the ur-stuff of consumer society. But why do we love plastic so much? Because it represents our love of short cuts, our love of neon, our love of excess and candy and no-strings sex and heart-shaped hot tubs.

But at what point is this a thumbing of the nose instead of an amplified celebration of consumerism? If you are critiquing the very thing you are creating, what risk do you run of missing the mark? Is Motelscape eerie enough, uncanny enough, uncomfortable enough to make clear which side it's on? Is the installation asking us to change our ways? Or is it asking us to accept the lurid essence of desire? As far as I can tell, this is up to you to decide.

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Hey Elbow - Quest - a 2017 single on Adrian Recordings.
GDJYB - That Day I Went To His Funeral - from the 2016 album 23:59 Before Tomorrow on Redline Music Limited.
Curtis Harding - On and On - from the 2017 album Face Your Fear on ANTI-.

A response to Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance (Nov 16-19) (Photo: Gema Galiana Photography)


call me Tiger
i hear the voice of Villa
i dig for the poor
for the destiny, for the sad, 
for the weapons
for the mistakes of the voice

the titles are alive
floating and changing 
a texture of lace and drum 
and brotherhood

a family torn, the petals still live
the luck is not dead
the eyes still see
don’t look away
the stampeded will come for you

the horizon is not an untouchable god
look into its eyes
the dead lay claim to the nightmare but they do not dream
the shadows will not lie for you at the rivers edge
a border squinting in the sun
his eyes do not leave

fear for the lives
flood the city
grab your rifle and horse
no loyalty left
the shame in the shadow
the bloody chaos

here he is
so far from god
the voice of Villa, the Tiger
we are all 
bandits here


Daemond Arrindell is a poet, playwright,  performer, and teaching artist who is moved most by art that challenges the status quo.



On the Boards Ambassadors are cultural and civic leaders who bring new voices and perspectives and share our programs with new communities. 

The Ambassador Writers Corps is a team of experienced writers and artists who develop responsive and critical content around On the Boards performances or write about specific issues in our creative and civic community.

Tags: Daemond ArrindellAmbassador ProjectAmbassador Writers CorpsPancho Villa From a Safe DistanceCategories: Performance Reviews


A review of Pancho Villa From a Safe Distance (Nov 16-19) (Photo: Gema Galiana Photography)


I hear voices he said,
With a toothy smile.
A boy, 19, in the northwest corner of Mexico.

We all hear voices.

Some of us, coughing
In the choking smear of forest fires
Of summer, hear voices like Elon Musk
from space
calling us to a life
away from our blue planet.

I hear voices, he said,
As he recalled the fright of his parents
A boy, 19, in a plaid shirt, in the northwest corner of Mexico.

We all hear voices.

Some of us, moaning,
Through the nightmares
That we did not dare to admit 
During our day,
Hear voices,
Asking us to parachute out
Of the ride we are strapped to.

I hear voices he said,
And I have to find money to go there,
For that’s where he is from, the northwest corner of Mexico.

We all hear voices.

Some of us, stilled 
Into a moment of clarity,
Hear voices, 
that let us
Glimpse a world beyond duality
Where all clocks have stopped
And life is eternal.

I hear voices, he said, 
As he took out a shovel and dug the earth
In the northwest corner of Mexico.
We all hear voices.

Some of us, 
Hear voices, 
Of our ancestors,
Asking us to avenge a wrong
Committed aeons earlier
Or to overflow with gratitude
For some past good deed performed 
By some old great-grand aunt,
Who looks up at the flowers 
With her glassy eyes,
And offers a crooked smile.

We all hear voices. 

A boy in Mexico,
19, in a plaid shirt, hears voices.
The voice of Pancho Villa
Calling on him, 
To keep on dreaming, 
To never give up,
To not be cowed into submission and hopelessness
By the succession of bad governments 
Or despair over those who sip lemonade 
Across the border in Texas,
And strain their eyes through binoculars,
Or enjoy the humiliation of another defeated body,
Reveling in soulless, primal bloodlust,
Enjoying the bloodletting 
In the coliseum 
They think, is Mexico. 


Koushik Ghosh is an economist/poet/writer who is deeply interested in transnational issues, and the areas of social choice and justice. 


On the Boards Ambassadors are cultural and civic leaders who bring new voices and perspectives and share our programs with new communities. 

The Ambassador Writers Corps is a team of experienced writers and artists who develop responsive and critical content around On the Boards performances or write about specific issues in our creative and civic community.

Tags: Koushik GhoshAmbassador ProjectAmbassador Writers CorpsPancho Villa From a Safe DistanceCategories: Performance Reviews
Portland Center Stage offers a new holiday production that pairs Truman Capote's "A Christmas Memory" and an original music presentation, "Winter Song." Lee Williams | Special to The Oregonian/OregonLive http://connect.oregonlive.com/user/leewilliams1/index.html
Tickets for next spring's Portland shows were selling out as people frustrated by the crashing website decided to stand in line to buy tickets. Stephanie Yao Long | The Oregonian/OregonLive http://connect.oregonlive.com/user/syao/index.html

On the Boards’ new Artistic Director Rachel Cook brings long involvement in national and international art, connections to critical discourse, and deep commitment to investing in Seattle’s community of artists.

After a six-month search, On the Boards is delighted to welcome Rachel Cook as its fourth Artistic Director. “We had an incredibly talented pool of applicants—from Seattle and all over,” said OtB Executive Director Betsey Brock. “Rachel truly inspired us to think about how her experience and expertise would help us grow, build on what we’ve got, while pushing us in different directions. In our interview process, it felt like her questions led to new possibilities. I can’t wait to welcome her to OtB and to Seattle.” 

The search process, chaired by OtB Board President Ruth Keating Lockwood, involved artists, staff, legacy supporters, and funders in close collaboration. Many candidates and community members involved remarked on the transparency and clarity around the search. “We’re so excited to welcome Rachel!” exclaimed Lockwood, “She brings a history of impassioned work in contemporary performance and visual art. It’s rare to find a curator so equally conversant in both – I can already see a future for cool partnerships in our community.” 

“I am absolutely thrilled to be joining On the Boards as the new Artistic Director,” said Rachel. “The leadership team, staff, board, and artistic community in Seattle is inspiring in its support and dedication to experimental artistic practices and I’m honored by the opportunity to be a part of that energy. I am eager to begin getting to know everyone better and initiate collaborations with artists and the community to further re-imagine how a contemporary performing arts organization can contribute to the critical discourse about art and the world we live in today.”

On the Boards welcomes Cook as its fourth Artistic Director as it celebrates its 40th Anniversary. The 2017–2018 season was curated by Lane Czaplinski, who served as OtB’s Artistic Director for fifteen years, and launched OntheBoards.tv.  

Choreographer Heather Kravas, whose visions of beauty premiered last March at OtB, said, “I am thrilled that Rachel’s compelling, courageous, and generous curatorial voice is joining our vibrant community. I was so struck by her ideas about shifting existing structures so that we may experience different perspectives—as artists and audiences. I eagerly look forward to contemplating the precarious, beautiful risks of performance that her coming seasons will invite to On the Boards.”

“Rachel is one of those rare individuals who excels at both the day-to-day brass tacks that keep an organization running, and the philosophical questioning that is so vital to keeping an organization from becoming mired in business as usual,” said writer Claudia La Rocco, who is currently an artist-in-residence at On the Boards as part of a three-year Doris Duke grant to create context around contemporary performance. “The stakes for making artistic organizations relevant in our society feel really high right now. Rachel is keenly aware of those stakes; I’m excited to see what sorts of magic and mischief she’ll make in Seattle.” 

Rachel comes to OtB from her position as Curator at DiverseWorks in Houston, Texas. Cook joined DiverseWorks as Assistant Curator in August 2012, and was promoted to Associate Curator in August 2013, and Curator in January 2016. Major accomplishments include the commissioning of French artist Julien Previeux’s first staged dance work, What Shall We Do Next? (2016) and the organization of the group exhibition of the same name, featuring Previeux, Kristin Lucas, Danielle Dean, and Versace Versace Versace; and the commissioning and presentation of multidisciplinary performance projects including Takahiro Yamamoto’s Direct Path to Detour (2017), Wura-Natasha Ogunji’s House of Wahala (2017), Meg Wolfe’s New Faithful Disco (2016), taisha paggett’s The School for the Movement of the Technicolor People (2016), Tahni Holt’s Duet Love (2015), and Dean Moss’s johnbrown (2015). During her five-year tenure she also revitalized the Artist Advisory Board, developed and organized the Diverse Discourse visiting curators series, and managed The Idea Fund re-granting program. A native of Houston, Cook has played an integral role in the identity and overall artistic programming of DiverseWorks. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the National Performance Network.

Prior to joining DiverseWorks, Cook worked for dOCUMENTA(13)’s publication team, and was a fellow for the International Studio & Curatorial Program in  New York. Cook holds a MA from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College and a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute.  Last year she received a Curatorial Fellowship from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts to research  a series of  Walker Evans’ photographs from the African Negro Art  exhibition at  MoMA  in 1935.   

Rachel will begin her work at On the Boards in January 2018.


On the Boards’ season is supported by the Boeing Company, Microsoft, ArtsFund, and the Tulalip Tribe Charitable Fund. Programs at On the Boards have major support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Tags: Rachel CookOtB staffCategories: OtB Dispatch
Shenandoah Davis - Orbit - from the 2017 album Souvenirs on Plume Records.
Here are our picks for theater, classical music and dance performances and visual arts events for Nov. 17-23. Amy Wang | The Oregonian/OregonLive http://connect.oregonlive.com/user/awang/index.html
Before firing Matthew Halls from Bach Festival, the University of Oregon received complaints alleging he behaved inappropriately. At least three of the unnamed female complainants were Bach Festival performers, newly released records from the university show. Eugene Register-Guard http://connect.oregonlive.com/user/register-guard/index.html
Metz - Cellophane - from the 2017 album Strange Peace on Sub Pop.
A painting of Christ by the Renaissance master Leonardo da Vinci sold for a record $450 million (380 million euros) at auction on Wednesday, smashing previous records for artworks sold at auction or privately. Associated Press http://connect.oregonlive.com/user/apnationaldesk/index.html
L.A. Witch - Baby In Blue Jeans - from the 2017 album L.A. Witch on Suicide Squeeze Records.
Chris Coleman, who has led Portland's largest theater company since 1999, plans to take a similar role with the Denver Center for the Performing Arts' Theatre Company. Amy Wang | The Oregonian/OregonLive http://connect.oregonlive.com/user/awang/index.html
Gordi - Heaven I Know - from the 2017 album Reservoir on Jagjaguwar.


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Museum of Northwest Art


The Museum of Northwest Art connects people with the art, diverse cultures and environments of the Northwest. 



MoNA collects and exhibits contemporary art from across the Northwest, including Alaska, British Columbia, California, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington.