Installation view: Jamie Isenstein : Will Return, 2013. Photo by Evan LaLonde.

Jamie Isenstein : Will Return

Image Gallery Exhibition File Catalog

August 27 - October 20, 2013

Jamie Isenstein : Will Return is an exhibition, an occasion, and a publication. For the past fifteen years, Portland native and Reed College alumna Jamie Isenstein has created objects, drawings, mixed-media sculptures and installations that engage the artist’s body as an artistic medium—a subject of humor, theatricality, and historical representation. In keeping with the tragicomic slapstick of turn-of-the-century vaudeville, Isenstein explores the subjectivity of the marginalized individual—the bit-player, the human prop, the butt of the joke, the wisenheimer who gets the last laugh. At times, Isenstein’s humor veers toward the bittersweet and the melancholic. The jokes and wordplay embedded in her work materialize the pain of others, confronting us with life’s most essential predicaments: mortality, particularly. Perhaps more than any other object, Isenstein uses the common “Will Return” sign as a means for expanding the relationship between artist and spectator, and artist and artwork. The sign embodies the inevitable moment when both artist and spectator will no longer return. Or will they? Like all good magicians, Isenstein keeps her secrets close, so don’t ask.

Tuesday, September 17 at 12:30 pm, Artist Talk at Portland Institute of Contemporary Art
Public conversation between Jamie Isenstein and Stephanie Snyder, moderated by PICA visual art curator Kristan Kennedy. PICA is located at 415 SW 10th St. #300. 

Thursday, September 19 at 6:00 pm, Public Reception & Catalog Release Party
Hosted at the Cooley Gallery. Free and open to the public.

Jamie Isenstein was born in Portland, OR in 1975, and lives and works in New York City. She received a BA in Art from Reed College and an MFA from Columbia University. She has presented her work in numerous exhibitions, including: as It is what it is. Or is it?, Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, TX (2012); MakeUp, A Palazzo Gallery, Brescia, Italy (2012); Liverpool Biennial: Touched, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool, UK (2010); Marina Abramovic Presents, Manchester International Festival, Manchester, UK (2009); One Minute More, The Kitchen, New York (2009); Hammer Projects: Jamie Isenstein: This Way to The Egress, The Hammer Museum of Art, Los Angeles (2007); Greater New York 2005, PS1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2005). Her work is represented by Andrew Kreps Gallery in New York and Meyer Riegger in Berlin/Karlsruhe, Germany.

Full color, 130-page catalog published by the Cooley Gallery with texts by Reed College alumni: Jamie Isenstein, Graham M. Jones, Stephanie Snyder, and David Velasco. Catalog concept and design by Heather Watkins. Catalog available September 17 at the Cooley Gallery, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, and the Reed College Bookstore.

Jamie Isenstein : Will Return
is part the PICA 2013 Time-Based Art Festival (TBA).