"Holding Space" @ Holocene: A Social Engagement & Evening of Performance

  • Holocene 1001 Southeast Morrison Street Portland, OR, 97214 United States

Hosted and presented by all artists of color. Curated by Stacey Tran. A night of voice / movement / poetry / music / visual installation by Portland-based artists exploring space, memory, time, lineage, and rituals of sharing. With: Intisar Abioto, Claire Barrera, Ripley Snell, Eileen Isagon Skyers, Dao Strom, Takahiro Yamamoto.

I think that when we talk about “space” in these terms we are often talking about belonging; and it is a form of belonging that is not only physical, but personal, cultural, sexual, social, aesthetic, psychological, ideological, philosophical. We are asking, ultimately, we are also challenging/testing, how much or how well we will be allowed in(to) a space—in essence: are we welcome?—to be, expose, express, share and have received, ourselves in authentic and whole displays... On February 3rd, a group of artists will be “holding space” in Portland, Oregon. The event is named for its intent to construct and claim “space” for artists of color. This reflects, at least in part, on some debates that have arisen (largely via social media) regarding the “whiteness” of “spaces”—in arenas of art and literary enterprises, namely—in the otherwise very liberal, cultured, and progressive “space” that Portland as a town is reputed to be...The most basic distillation of the question might be this: are people of color being justly represented in the “spaces” they (too) occupy? And what is just representation—what should it look like? And who is or should be responsible for curating, organizing, initiating and/or staking claim to and in those spaces?  -- from interview & reflection with Stacey Tran for diacritics.org