ÜberPortrait

Put an umlaut in the title, and any arts exhibition—or heavy metal band—automatically becomes more interesting. “ÜberPortrait” packages together three local and eight international artists to intentionally fractured effect. One decapitated head is the size of a Smart car. Multiple busts are rendered in a dozen-plus styles of traditional china patterns. Human faces are grafted onto taxidermy coyotes and hyenas. In a video installation, a button-covered dancer has an abacus for a face. From Seattle, Margot Quan Knight depicts suburban settings faceted in a mirrored quilt, while Dan Webb sequentially whittles a block of wood into a bust, a skull, and beyond. The point being that there are all different manners of human representation—the über-conceit that links these 11 disparate styles. The most interesting being Peruvian artist Kukuli Velarde’s fake museum display of pre-Columbian pottery figures, called Plunder Me, Baby. Tagged with yellowed, typewritten curator’s cards (also translated from the Spanish), these echt-archaeological finds are angry, grotesque, recriminatory little demons. One, named Chola de Mierda, is identified as being “Socially resentful. She believes she is an equal. Dismissible.” It’s not an individual being represented here, but an entire cultural dynamic. BRIAN MILLER

June 16-Oct. 18, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., 2009

 
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