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Vanessa Renwick
at PDX Across the Hall, Portland, Oregon
Recommendation by Richard Speer


Vanessa Renwick, 'Woodswoman' video still from 'as easy as falling off a log,' 2010, video installation

Continuing through November 27, 2010

Filmmaker and installation artist Vanessa Renwick is known for genre-bending, media-mixing exhibitions that use inelegant materials to conjure elegant visions of nature and humankind's place within it. In "as easy as falling off a log" she composes a hymn to the beauty and mystery of the Pacific Northwest with work she conceptualized during a residency in the wilds of central Oregon.  In a darkened gallery, viewers are beckoned to recline on blankets and beanbags amidst a mound of chopped wood and watch film footage of waterfalls, trees, and sylvan landscapes.

Another film, which viewers watch while sitting on a cozy sofa, uses text to relate anecdotes surrounding Anne LaBastille's book, "WOODSWOMAN." The narrative unfurls as the artist's own copy of the book slowly burns in a wood stove. Renwick's virtuosity with diverse media is evident in neon pieces, a cleverly modified bumper sticker, immaculate landscape photographs, and a burned log gorgeously repurposed as hanging sculpture. Throughout the show, the artist's reverence for nature coalesces to mesmerizing effect.

PDX Across the Hall

PDX Contemporary Art

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