Each week, our regional Cliff Notes columnists Christopher Alam, Sharon Arnold, Demian DinéYazhi’, and Angella d’Avignon pick the most exciting events and exhibitions on the West Coast. BUT this week we had a scheduling conflict, so VW Associate Editor Ella Ray is popping in with some picks from Oregon.
LAURA CAMILA MEDINA: Mi Reflejo
Nationale, Portland, OR
July 15 to September 2
Laura Camila Medina’s dreamy multiform practice feeds the same corner of my brain that convinces me to buy a stuffed plushie whenever I’m at Target. When I spend time with her silky objects and glitchy images I want to listen to CDs from my childhood (3LW and Britney Spears, specifically). Mi Reflejo, the artist’s first solo show with Nationale, embraces the pitfalls and blessings of complex girlhood through Medina’s signature blend of past and present technologies—paper mache and VR are seemingly equally appraised by her.
While I am fond of many artists who embrace play as Medina does, what keeps me coming back to her work is the brave depiction of interiority. Being a girl isn’t without pain and Medina is amongst those strategizing to keep girlworlds safe.
Reflection: Who are you to your inner child?
Rebecca Marimutu: Portraits, Adhered
Blue Sky Gallery, Portland, OR
July 6 to August 12,
I’m a sucker for self portraiture, particularly when made by Black women. When it’s reallyreally good it freaks me out and causes me to think about my own image amongst the constellation of Black women who I hold closely.
I have no idea when I first encountered Rebecca Marimutu’s work, but I’ve been an IG fan girl for at least a few years now. Her images are layered, folding into themselves and repeating until the legible form gets lost within the process. With Portraits Adhered, Marimutu cracks open the self portrait while “disrupting material hierarchies.” The exhibited series was created during a period of isolation in 2021 and when viewing the works in the gallery I felt the weight of the self-image. The wheat pasted photographs, built on top of each other to the point of slippage and peeling, are both stunning and haunting in their relationship to gravity.
Reflection: When was the last time you loved a picture of yourself?