Converge 45

Prototypes. Gif: Omnivore.

August 16, 2021
August 25–October 9, 2021

Prototypes is a physical container for the discussions, debates, reflections, and questions posed by Converge 45’s Portland’s Monuments & Memorials Project (PMMP) which for the past eight months has brought people together to consider the conditions and impacts of public monuments, including those that have been removed and those that should be built.

Gathered into a 5,000-square-foot space in Northwest Portland, this exhibition assembles over 40 artists, displaying a mixture of artworks, projects, and proposals. Prototypes highlights Oregon artists engaged in the national reckoning of our markers of history that compound racial injustice and social inequity. The exhibition contextualizes their work within past reflections on critical history within our shifting relationship to the violence of the American experiment. Also included in Prototypes is a selection of ideas shared with Converge 45 through its Open Call, which collected ideas for new and re-envisioned monuments and memorials. We asked respondents: What is an appropriate monument or memorial for this time and place? What monument or memorial would you want in your neighborhood?

A broad cross-section of the community has submitted ideas and proposals: Indigenous tribal communities, artists, disabilities rights activists, neighborhood associations, and other groups and individual community members.

During the six-week exhibition there will be online and public events that dive deeper into specific topics and perspectives regarding civic memory and the markers of the past, present, and future. Including, a virtual film festival from August 27–September 6, 2021, organized by Roland Dahwen: artist, filmmaker, and the Cooley Gallery at Reed College 2020–21 artist-in-residence, presented in collaboration with the Cooley Gallery and Converge 45.  

Artists include: Natalie Ball, Lisa Bates & Roshani Thakore, Sandow Birk, Jodie Cavalier, Roland Dahwen, Misha Davydov, Tannaz Farsi, Steph Littlebird Fogel, Linda Hutchins, Garrick Imatani, Baseera Khan, Malia Jensen, Jaleesa Johnston, Nate Lewis, Malik Lovette, rubén garcía marrufo, Alan Michelson, Raul J. Mendez, Tabitha Nikolai, Deborah Oropallo and Andy Rappaport, Jess Perlitz, Trevino Brings Plenty, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Gregory Sholette, Sara Siestreem, Melanie Stevens, Vanport Mosaic with Laura Lo Forti & Linda Wysong, Vo Vo, Marie Watt, Paula Wilson, Linda Wysong with Angela Moos in collaboration with Kenton Community, Linda Wysong with Christy Gifford, Lynn Yarne, anonymous.  

Prototypes is sponsored by The Specht Companies. 


August 27–September 6
FROM AFAR II is a virtual film festival that reflects on personal and national memory; monumentalism; and collective inheritance. These five films question the ways we produce—and are subjugated by—the recursive images that saturate everyday life. The festival is organized by Roland Dahwen (artist, filmmaker, and the Cooley’s 2020–21 artist-in-residence) and supported by Cooley curator Stephanie Snyder. FROM AFAR II is a program of the Cooley Gallery, presented in collaboration with Converge 45. The films are free and on-demand, through a special partnership with Northwest Film Forum, Seattle.

Toppled Monuments Archive (TMA) intro session
Thursday, September 23, 6pm

TMA intro sessions are for prospective collective members and people interested in learning more about what TMA does and how. 

Conversation on form, function, and the selection committee
Monday, September 27, 6:30pm

As conceptions of public art have changed, so have modes of selection. This conversation explores some of the constraints, tensions and hopes for monuments & memorials. Moderated by Lisa Bates, PhD, Director of the Center for Urban Studies at Portland State University.

Portland’s Monuments & Memorials Project is an initiative of Converge 45, with guidance from Converge 45’s Curatorial Committee and the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) Public Art Committee, co-organized by Mack McFarland and Jess Perlitz. 

Portland’s Monuments & Memorials Project is made possible by a grant from The Ford Family Foundation and additional support from the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) and the Cooley Memorial Art Gallery at Reed College.

RSVP for Prototypes
Converge 45
August 16, 2021

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