Things that have to do with fire
February 18 – April 01, 2021
(Portland, OR) Fuller Rosen Gallery is pleased to present Things that have to do with fire, a solo show of new work by Portland-based artist Vo Vo. Their newest series of video, print and large-scale textile banners focus on the social, racial and environmental upheaval during the summer of 2020. Led by the ideals of Black Lives Matter, Antifa and their own background as a radical educator, Vo’s solo show investigates the multitudes of activism and is a call for social justice and global solidarity.
Come with curiosity. Approach with openness.
Opening weekend February 18 – 21, 12-5 pm.
Virtual workshop and artist talk with Vo Vo March 13, 5-6pm.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a viewing appointment or stop by during open gallery hours.
As a 14-year-old I was radicalized by a free contemporary art exhibition downtown. It was a compendium of John Pilger’s journalistic and film work, enlightening me on environmental justice, Indigenous sovereignty, global border conflicts, war reportage, and corporate exploitation. A hand had reached in and switched on the light. Whilst in no way comparing my meagre blip with the gargantuan reach of Pilger’s work, I similarly seek to open an awareness with questions, analysis, knowledge and curiosity; with the hope of reaching towards a trauma-informed, disability justice, harm reduction, and transformative ideal. With the hope that it can plant seeds of learning, discomfort, expansion, conflict, and exploration.
A recent immigrant to the States and a kid of Vietnamese refugees, I often witness the centering of the United States in any dialogue around oppression. Anti-Blackness, militarism, imperialism, colonization, capitalism, racism, environmental degradation and the pandemic are all global problems we face. Don’t let the media crud machine convince you these are only “American issues.” Opening up to international solidarity means gathering insight to creative, inspiring, and proven strategies to create better worlds.
Anarchists and anti-fascists have been constructed as puerile, unthinking neanderthals whilst we seek to end exploitation and abuse of state power; by doing and building
We don’t do it for kicks, we do this out of necessity.
We hold a multitude of experiences and perspectives; we are philosophers, builders, teachers, social workers, mutual aid providers, carers, retail and service industry workers, union organizers, health workers, academics, immigrants, refugees, BIPOC, parents, grandparents, students, and young people. We are compelled by a desire for justice and fueled by the astonishment caused by oppressive and repressive violences. Many critics have come from a spirit of protectionism, bringing in property relations and capitalism as a “tsk tsk” response. We ask people to move away from individualistic and materialistic concerns, and towards collective concerns of the basic human rights for communities to stay alive; to thrive with dignity and feel connectedness and belonging.
This past year, these diametrically opposing weights at each end of the scale have appeared in many forms: debates over mask-wearing, conflict around providing lifesaving financial aid, how we as a society prioritize an abstract economy, convenience and instant gratification over the lived realities and safety of our workers; resulting in the subsequent continued spread of a vicious global pandemic. We find ourselves calling for a unity when again dominant colonial culture and whitewashed liberalism seeks to decide that point of unity.
Consider the questions posed here today. Consider how your actions were to change if you looked beyond your personal, or domestic, needs and experience. Consider tangible steps you can take towards furthering people power, and social and racial justice.
Vo Vo (they/them/theirs) is a radical educator of 11 years in over 20 countries in inclusion, racial justice, intercultural communication, Trauma-Informed Care, De-escalation and Restorative Justice. They have trained staff and board members from over 300 organizations in OR and WA since immigrating to the US in 2014. Editor of an internationally renowned publication, speaker, curator, artist and musician who has exhibited and toured in Australia, Germany, Indonesia, The Netherlands, Singapore, Croatia, Mexico, Finland, Denmark, New Zealand, Vietnam, Sweden, Malaysia, and the UnitedStates. They have curated for IntersectFest: A Festival For and By People Of Color, now in its sixth year. It has featured over 200 Black, Indigenous, and POC artists, including dancers, poets, filmmakers, curators, visual artists and more.
Vo Vo primarily works in textiles, embroidery, weaving, and furniture. Their installations seek to interrogate power dynamics and structural oppression while challenging histories and realities of imperialism, white supremacy, and colonization. They continue to explore support strategies and models of community care within a post traumatic social landscape, focusing on the resilience of BIPOC, LGBTQIA2S+ and disabled communities.
Fuller Rosen Gallery was founded in 2018 by artists EM Fuller (she/her) and BriAnna Rosen (she/her) as a collaborative curatorial project. The gallery exhibits regional and national artists who address urgent, contemporary issues. Fuller Rosen Gallery is located at 1928 NW Lovejoy St. in Portland, OR and is ADA accessible. The gallery is open Thursday – Sunday from 12 to 5 PM and by appointment.
Please do not visit the gallery if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have been in contact with someone who is experiencing symptoms, and/or has tested positive for COVID-19
Maximum 4 guests allowed inside gallery
Maintain a minimum 6-foot distance from one another
Wear an effective face mask at all times
Please be courteous to our neighbors and maintain social distancing