On portland

Some short, experimental pieces of writing that serve to contextualise our post-MA Fine Art collaborative project, that goes by the name ‘portland’. Working with 7 other artists from around the world, we aim to publish a zine every month working together and individually, creating our own platform for our practices and our own community.

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Portland Issue 1, September 2019

1.

Portland is a place both haunted and unwanted.

2.

8 artists, 7 cities, 6 countries, 5 languages, 2 continents, 1 place. Portland.

3.

Portland is a group of 8 artists collaborating on an experimental publishing, writing and visual arts project, exploring experiences of connection and isolation within geographical displacement and global art practices.

4.

Picture a town where we all live. A population of 12,400, 8, or none. A town of echoing spaces and disappearing memories. A place we carry with us across the world. A place we are losing day by day, falling into the sea, drowning in our fading words.

5.

Portland is a place where we try to reach each other.

5.1

We have built our own place and called it Portland.

6.

Memories, dreams, rituals, journeys, identities, powers, places, spaces, moments, names.

7.

A wide grey sea. An island that’s not an island. A whole/a hole. An echo, a laugh, a shout, an empty room. A letter, a memory of a touch. The air is full of ghosts and dead languages, breathing in stone-dust and salt.

8.

Portland as a word is generic and functional. It describes a piece of land, and a port. However, Portland as a name and what that name has been attached to is not as clear-cut. The original Portland is a land-tied island off the coast of Dorset. It is a battleship, a prison, a quarry; an island that is in the process of being quarried into the sea, and disappearing. Portland is the name given to the stone quarried at the island, bright white limestone taken to London to erect capitalist, imperial British structures, such as the Bank of England, St Paul’s and Tate Britain. Portland is also the name of a US city, known for technological innovation, polyamory and rain. Portland is a disappearing place, a changing place, a place open to being rebuilt.

9.

This project takes many forms; our work includes painting, photography, concepts, text, sound, archives, found objects, sculpture and more. Our work can be made by one, two, several or all of us. Our work can be found in the forms of books, zines, scrolls, letters, social media, film, games, group chats or our memories. Our work may be lost, buried, sold, transported across land and sea, exhibited or listened to.

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