Social Forms: Art as Global Citizenship

Social Forms: Art as Global Citizenship

Converge 45

Richard Mosse, Broken Spectre. Installation view, 180 Strand. Courtesy of Jack Hems.

March 1, 2023
Social Forms: Art as Global Citizenship
Fall 2023 edition of Converge 45 biennial
August 24, 2023
Converge 45
Portland, Oregon
United States
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Converge 45, the Portland-based, non-profit arts organization is proud to announce the artist list for the upcoming iteration of its biennial program. Opening across the Portland metro area on August 24, 2023, this citywide exhibition will feature the work of more than 50 artists and artist collectives in partnership with more than 15 museums, cultural spaces, and public sites.

Organized by writer and curator Christian Viveros-Fauné, Social Forms centers on the idea of art-as-a-social-form: contemporary and historical artworks that take the measure of their era in order to respond directly to the challenges of their time. Grounded in the current socio-political landscape as well as in regional and global histories, this expansive exhibition asks us to consider global power shifts taking place in contemporary society. Social Forms: Art as Global Citizenship is designed to promote increased citizenship during a period of political polarization and retrenchment of civil liberties—where citizenship is a term used not to denote privileged political status but to propose a more inclusive category of belonging in the world.

Many of the artists featured in Converge 45’s biennial are exhibiting or producing major new works. Marie Watt, a key Pacific Northwest artist who is a member of the Seneca Nation, will display a major new public artwork for the city of Portland. Richard Mosse will launch the US debut of his major new film and photographic project, Broken Spectre—filmed in remote parts of the Brazilian Amazon, this immersive installation charts the ongoing degradation of “the world’s lungs,” and is the result of three years of careful documentation of environmental crimes using a range of scientific imaging technologies.

Another highlight will be Malcolm Peacock’s profoundly affecting sculptural installation that explores themes of safety for Black individuals, especially as these relate to the history of Portland. The biennial will also feature a mini-survey of the work of the late painter and printmaker Hung Liu—the Chinese-American artist who foregrounded immigrants, the working class, women and marginalized and misrepresented communities in her groundbreaking work; an exhibition of the rarely seen canvases of Black painter, poet and writer Jesse Murry, curated by painter Lisa Yuskavage and critic Jarrett Earnest; and an important historical exhibition of art-as-a-social-form drawn entirely from the collection of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation.

The program will also present the work of Frieze’s Impact Prize winner, Narsiso Martinez, whose groundbreaking artworks spotlight the precarious experiences of marginalized and misrepresented immigrant communities in the US and abroad.

The artists participating in Social Forms represent a range of practices and media, including painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, textile, printmaking, installation, sound and film, as well as projects that emphasize collaboration with local communities and cultural organizations. Audiences can expect an array of solo and group presentations which unite local, national, and international creative perspectives to examine themes of ecological degradation, indigeneity, displacement, race and representation, migration, and intergenerational dialogues.

Read the complete artist list here.

In collaboration with a dynamic community of artists, organizations, galleries, corporate partners, alternative venues and a guest curator, Converge 45 develops a citywide exhibition across the metropolitan area every two years. Outside of the biennial program, the organization works in continued collaboration with community partners to support Portland’s creative ecosystem by promoting the work of artists & organizations in the Pacific Northwest and improving access to broader art discourses within our communities.

Key partners and presenting venues for the upcoming biennial program include: Blue Sky Gallery, Cooley Gallery at Reed College, Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Portland State University, Lewis & Clark College, Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, Oregon Contemporary, Feldman Gallery at Pacific Northwest College of Art, Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, Parallax Art Center, Stelo Arts, Portland Art Museum, Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, ILY2, Portland Japanese Garden, and SE Cooper Contemporary.

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Converge 45
March 1, 2023

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