Ed Ruscha: Recent Paintings at Portland Art Museum

I wish I was kidding when I said that:

A: Ed Ruscha was featured in the last Gap catalog that came to my house.

B: The Portland Art Museum acquired and hung five new paintings by Ed Ruscha, but doesn't mention it in any museum literature, schedule, or web site.

C: PAM has a ludicrous admissions policy that requires visitors to pay for special exhibitions even if they don't care to see them.

D: PAM is following up the Meiji exhibit with a Grandma Moses show (I really wish I was kidding here).

E: When I asked where the Ed Ruscha paintings were, two docents gave me the exact same answer: "The who?"

I am glad I am not kidding when I say that:

A: Ed Ruscha is master of the anagram and punchline, and is the best fucking painter alive today!

B: Like Bob Dylan and Lee Friedlander, he shows no signs of slowing down or lightening up, even though he has nothing left to prove.

C: In the farthest, highest corner of the Portland Art Museum, there are five incredible new paintings by Ruscha.

D: Apparently, nobody has any idea they are there.

CHAS BOWIE

Performance Anxiety

REVIEW: John Moran and Eva Müller at Ohm, Sept 21, 2002

Nobody puts the "fartsy" back in "artsy" like New York performance artists, as was evidenced by John Moran and Eva Müller's appearance at Club Ohm last Friday. Moran, who hawked his CDs mid-performance and informed the audience that he once apprenticed under Phillip Glass, is a composer of the digital-sampler variety, cutting and pasting bits of TV commercials, emotional outbursts, and music-box tinklings into psychological soundscapes. Unfortunately, his live show consists of Muller & Moran lip-syncing and acting out these looping, drawn-out sound collages. There were imaginary Charlie Manson rants, the mimicking of retarded youth, Jack Benny sketches minus the punchlines, and even a brief kung-fu sequence. Incredibly, the artists acted like what they were doing was serious business, rather than well-executed goofiness. I mean, just how seriously do you have to take yourself to travel around the country lip-syncing "Would you like to super-size your order?" 132 times while a grown man croons "O Danny Boy," and still not act like you have the best damn job on the planet? CHAS BOWIE

Opening: The Bulb Show: An Exhibition of Energy and Ideas

Orlo Exhibition Space, Saturday Sept 28

Art and politics should converge more often. Though some people in this town are trying (like losing city council candidate Christian Gunther), for the most part, politicians are a bunch of artless creeps. But in a valiant effort by the dudes at Orlo, art by notable folks such as damali ayo, Steev Hise, Meg Rowe and Heidi Schwegler will be side-by-side with art by certain candidates for Metro Council and the House (sure it's a total PR ploy, but give 'em credit for trying). Aside from all the good stuff that is happening here (the amazing opening "gala," with music, a suggestion box, and energy experts, happens on Oct 3), Republican candidate for House District 48, Mike Wrathell, submitted his own actual portrait of Dick Cheney. Now that is some crazy shit. JULIANNE SHEPHERD