Visual Art » Art

Let's Entertain

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The Portland Art Museum
1219 SW Park Ave, 226-2811
Opens July 7

How shocking, how scandalous: Art involving nudity. Let's Move On.

Let's Entertain promises a spicy smorgasbord of multi-sensory fun. Fresh from the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Let's Entertain is an international collection of over 80 artists offering reflections on our entertainment-savvy, consumerist society. Sculpture, painting, video, installation, sound, the internet, fashion, and interactive games will fill the hallowed halls of PAM with blissfully contemporary and relevant work.

With impressive effort, curator Philipe Vergne gathered an array of artists with distinct languages--some of which are usual suspects from the art world, including Cindy Sherman. She is represented in Let's Entertain by her seminal work, "Untitled Film Stills" (1977-1980). Sherman produced a group of black & white photographs that feature herself masquerading as generic female characters from 1940's and '50s Hollywood. Through the work Sherman tackles the feminine identity with intelligence and wit. A great opportunity is presented for viewing, as the entire body of work will be displayed.

Also on hand is work from the late Leigh Bowery. The performance artist, fashion designer, and nightclub sensation is honored in the exhibition Ruined Clothes (1988), an installation consisting of several costumes he planned to exhibit, randomly placed on the floor. Additionally, Bowery's film Death in Vegas (1994) will be screened. Bowery reimagines Elvis Presley's final hours, peering into celebrity and the excess culture surrounding it.

A rather clever member of the Let's Entertain roster is Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. In "Stadio" (1991), Cattelan created an extra-long foosball table that allows 11 player teams to compete.

During its unveiling, Cattlelan had an Italian football team compete with a group of Senegalese immigrants. His intentions for the piece involve a comment on the Italian obsession with football, as well as illustrating the contemporary conflict in Italy regarding immigration. The aforementioned are vastly different creatures, an indicator of the exhibition's overall nuance.

Ignore any prudery you may foster and check this one out; it won't be long before the show is gone and the museum returns to its conservative roots.

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