For Immediate Release
Bryan Markovitz, 503 709 2034, firstname.lastname@example.org
Gavin Shettler, 503 239 5481, email@example.com
Portland, Ore. - From May 4 to June 18, 2005 the Portland Art Center presents The Resurrectory, a new installation by Liminal that converts the Portland Art Center gallery into a sordid Victorian theater of human anatomy and criminal investigation. Visitors are invited to freely explore the space during regular Center hours and during special evening hours when Liminal staff actively work in the resurrectory. More like a public facility than an art installation, The Resurrectory exhibits a body of stories about serial murderers, their victims and physicians hungry for fresh cadavers.
The Resurrectory began more than a year ago when Liminal director Bryan Markovitz learned of a series of brutal murders from 19th century Edinburgh, Scotland, that exposed a part of medical history few talk about: the trafficking and sale of cadavers to anatomy schools. Members of the Liminal ensemble and a team of collaborators, including painter Gabriel Liston and filmmaker Jim Blashfield, began using the Edinburgh stories as the root of an investigation that has since expanded to include Portland history, 19th century medicine, modern forensics, criminology and the underground cadaver trade.
More than a year of research and development led to the structure of The Resurrectory, which expands on Liminal’s interest in subverting the traditional functions of theater and installation art. “The Resurrectory is not exactly a performance, nor is it precisely an art exhibit,” says director Bryan Markovitz. “While it has qualities of theater and art, it is more like a working facility where stories of long-dead murderers, their victims and medical school physicians are resurrected in sounds, images, action and words for intense scrutiny.” Visitors will find puzzling stacks of ephemera, intricate drawings and paintings, re-enactments of murder, and a dissection with the aid of light projections and music. One of the most interesting aspects of The Resurrectory is that it can be experienced in so many ways. The visitor has the choice to decide what The Resurrectory is and what it means.
Three distinct but interconnected arenas are at the heart of the resurrectory space: the inquest, the operating theater, and the collections. Within the inquest, live performers and video projections re-commit 108 murders and follow the path of their victims to the dissecting table. In the operating theater, an anatomist dissects a cadaver with the aid of video and a live ensemble of musicians (heard through headphones provided in the space). Finally, collections of evidence, illustrations and photographs are investigated by a cataloguer struggling to document hundreds of possible crime scenarios and track them on a wall-size map of the crime scenes.
The Resurrectory represents the Portland Art Center’s commitment to installation art and site-specific projects. “We are very pleased to present Liminal,” says Portland Art Center executive director and curator Gavin Shettler. “Our goal is to provide resources and exhibition space for local artists who are creating challenging new work. The Portland Art Center’s nonprofit exhibition program is essential because it gives Portland artists a public forum and exposes Portland audiences to art that is difficult to present in traditional galleries.”
The Portland Art Center presents:
By Liminal Performance Group
May 4-June 18, 2005
Portland Art Center - 2045 SE Belmont Street, Portland, OR 97214
Installation time: The unattended resurrectory space is available for public viewing Wednesday-Saturday, Noon-6 pm. Admission during this time is free.
Performance time: Public viewing with resurrectory staff in attendance takes place every Thursday-Saturday, between the hours of 8 pm-10 pm. Admission is $6-$10, pay-what-you-can. Reservations are not required.
For more information:
Portland Art Center: www.portlandart.org, 503 239 5481
Liminal Performance Group: www.liminalgroup.org, 503 890 2993
The Resurrectory is funded with the support from the Flintridge Foundation, the Portland Art Center and individual donors.
Liminal is a nonprofit Portland-based ensemble of artists producing performance and media works. Liminal was founded in 1997 and has produced more than a dozen original projects. In 2003, Liminal received five Portland Drammy awards for its productions of The Seven Deadly Sins and Three Plays, Five Lives.
The Portland Art Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating space for Northwest artists and the community to connect. Its mission is to cultivate the vitality of the area by establishing innovative and provocative interactions between art, artists, and the community. Located in Central Southeast Portland, Oregon, our gallery provides space for unconventional, cutting-edge art, while our Resource Room and website function as a communication hub for contemporary arts in the Northwest region.