Tuesday Smillie, Thief, 2018. Mixed media: textiles, spray paint, and fake flowers, 62 x 101.2 in. (Text: Yannis Ritsos, Monochords, trans. Paul Merchant, rev. ed. [Portland, OR: Tavern Books, 2017], p. 10.) Photo by Mario Gallucci.

The Autopoets: Roland Dahwen, Tuesday Smillie, Paul Mpagi Sepuya

Image Gallery Exhibition File

September 3 - October 6, 2019

The Cooley Gallery, Reed College and Converge 45 are pleased to present The Autopoets, the first exhibition of Facing Between Centers, Artistic Director Lisa Dent's three-year program that engages artworks as complex forms of aesthetic, cultural, and political choice. Dent explores how artist networks provide engagement and support, yet each artist makes work based on careful aesthetic and technical decisions, informed by multiple artistic and cultural communities. These interests are shared by co-curator Stephanie Snyder, who is invested in the work of artists such as Gregg Bordowitz and Wynne Greenwood, who use collage—combining moving image, material, and live performance—to crack the mirror between self and society, unleashing political and spiritual revelation. The exhibition title evokes the biological concept of autopoiesis and artists who create and recreate their own, evolving life-poetics outside of convention. 

On view Tuesday, September 3—Sunday, October 6, 12:00—5:00 pm at the Cooley Gallery
The exhibition is free and open to the public, Tuesday—Sunday every week. 

Saturday, August 10, 12:00—1:15 pm, Reception at the Cooley

Saturday, August 10, 1:30—3:00 pm, Panel discussion and luncheon in the Student Union

Co-curators Lisa Dent and Stephanie Snyder, and artists Roland Dahwen and Tuesday Smillie will discuss the exhibition. 

Roland Dahwen is a filmmaker and photographer whose work explores migration, race, and memory. For Converge 45, Dahwen exhibits a new film-based installation entitled Overseas that employs collage in various storytelling forms. The films in Overseas were created during the artist’s recent trip to Cuba. In Dahwen’s work, sound, image, and texture express a poetics of self in constant negotiation with ritual and history. In 2013, Dahwen founded Patuá Films, a studio and production house based in Portland, Oregon that creates films, installations, and music videos in collaboration with a wide range of interdisciplinary artists, musicians, and writers. Overseas is commissioned by the Cooley Gallery, and is part of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s 2019 Time-Based Art Festival. 

Roland's experimental and documentary films and installations have been shown widely at institutions including: the California Institute of the Arts; the Portland Art Museum; the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art Festival; Northwest Film Center; and galleries and film festivals in Brazil, Cuba, and the United States. In 2018, he received an Oregon Media Arts Fellowship, and was an artist-in-residence in the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art's Creative Exchange Lab. He currently lives and works in Portland, OR. 

Paul Mpagi Sepuya’s photographs combine formal portraiture, elements of storytelling, and homoerotic imagery. His collaged-based photographs often include camera lenses and mirrors that lift the veil of his studio practice and highlight the works’ artifice and self-actuation. Sepuya’s images feature muses, friends, lovers and self-portraits in complex tangles and fragments that resonate with restraint, intimacy, and desire. His first museum solo exhibition is on view at the Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis, MO (May 17 – Aug 18, 2019) and his photographs are included in the seventy-ninth Whitney Biennial (May 17–September 22, 2019). An image from his series “Darkroom Mirrors” (2017) was featured on the cover of Artforum magazine, March 2019. 

Paul received his MFA from the University of California Los Angeles in 2016, and a BFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts in 2004. His work has been exhibited at: the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Studio Museum in Harlem; Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis; and the Artist Institute, New York. Public collections include: Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; International Center of Photography, New York; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; and the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA and is represented by Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles, CA and Team Gallery, NY.

Tuesday Smillie is an interdisciplinary artist whose works address trans-feminist politics, binaries of inclusion and exclusion, and the relationship between individuals and groups. Her large, collaged textiles function as protest banners while also acting as citational fields for literary and personal texts. In other works in the exhibition, Smillie explores an imaginary of reading and gender performance in her ongoing series of watercolors depicting various editions of Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1969 novel The Left Hand of Darkness. Her work is currently featured in the exhibition “Nobody Promised You Tomorrow: Art 50 Years After Stonewall,” at the Brooklyn Museum, NY, commemorating the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising. Smillie will be an artist in residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation in Captiva, FL in 2020. 

Tuesday was born in Boston, Massachusetts and moved to Portland, Oregon in 2001, where she received her BFA from Oregon College of Art & Craft in 2007. Her work has been shown across the United States and Canada, including recent solo exhibitions at the Rose Art Museum in Waltham, MA, Participant Inc., New York, NY, Haverford College, Haverford, PA, and group exhibitions at the New Museum, NY, Artist Space, NY, Rubin Museum, New York, NY, and Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, Fort Worth, TX. In 2014 Smillie was named the first resident artist by the Museum of Trans Hirstory & Art (MOTHA). Her work has been featured in Artforum; the Boston Globe; and New York Magazine, and she has lectured at Cornell University, Ithaca and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. 

Converge 45 is a nonprofit organization that provides a curatorial platform for the visual arts in Portland and the surrounding region. Through annual programming led by a Guest Artistic Director in collaboration with cultural partners, the organization supports the region’s arts ecology and expands the conversation around contemporary art. The 2019 – 2021 Artistic Director is Lisa Dent.