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Beth Sorensen
Office of Communications

Vanessa Renwick's "Patriot Act" featured in new Case Works exhibition

The new Case Works exhibition explores personal and constitutional liberties in post 9/11 America

PORTLAND, OR (March 16, 2004) - Patriot Act, a new multimedia work by Portland artist Vanessa Renwick, is an impassioned and sublime installation exploring the shifting personal and constitutional liberties in the United States. This latest Case Works exhibition is on view from April 10 through June 13, 2004, on the main floor of the Eric V. Hauser Memorial Library at Reed College.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. The Hauser Memorial Library is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Sunday.

Opening reception : Renwick's installation opens Saturday, April 10, 2004 , with a reception in the Hauser library lobby, 8 p.m.

Artist talk, reading and book signing: Renwick discusses her recent work, followed by "Rising Up and Rising Down" author William T. Vollmann reading from his story "The Red X," based on events in Renwick's artistic life. Saturday May 1, 2004, 4 p.m. in the US Bank Room of the first floor of the Multnomah County Central Library, 801 SW 10th at Taylor, in downtown Portland.   Vollmann's reading is followed by a 6 p.m. book signing at Reading Frenzy, 921 SW Oak Street in downtown Portland.

Patriot Act
Patriot Act, Renwick's newest work, consists of neon words installed in the library cases. The words emanate a meditative, ethereal glow and shift in and out of legibility depending upon your perspective. Reference copies of the USA Patriot Act and the Library Bill of Rights, among other documents, are on hand.

"Renwick's work is exemplary both for its conceptual power and its unusual use of materials," comments Stephanie Snyder, director of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery and curator of the exhibition. "Renwick's work embodies what's best about Portland: a personal and peculiar vision based on lived experience - not hype - that Renwick uses to address the challenges, absurdities and beauty of life at this moment."

Renwick is known locally as the 2003 Core Sample artist who exhibited the installation "Hunting Requires Optimism" at the Belmont Space. Renwick's work reflects an interest in place, relationships between bodies and landscapes, and all sorts of borders. Working in experimental and documentary forms, she produces films, videos, and installations that explore the possibility of poetry in contemporary society, while sometimes providing a vicious, satirical commentary on that society.

For more information on Vanessa Renwick and her work, visit her website at .

Case Works
Cooley Gallery director Snyder initiated the Case Works program in 2004 as a means for exhibiting outstanding small-scale works by some of the region's best artists. The cases are sited in Reed's Library, in the center of the first floor reading room. John and Betty Gray donated the cases to Reed. When not featuring contemporary art, the cases display small-scale sculptures--such as exemplary Pre-Columbian artifacts--that were also generous gifts to Reed from the Gray family. Case Work's inaugural exhibition season is dedicated to Betty Gray's many achievements on behalf of the arts at Reed.

For more information or to receive images from the exhibition, please contact Beth Sorensen, office of communications, at 503/777-7574 or at .

Reed College, in Portland, Oregon, is an undergraduate institution of the liberal arts and sciences dedicated to sustaining the highest intellectual standards in the country. With an enrollment of about 1,360 students, Reed ranks third in the undergraduate origins of Ph.D.s in the United States and second in the number of Rhodes scholars from a liberal arts college (31 since 1915). For more information visit

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