The Pain Quotidian.
HQHQ, Portland, Oregon
January 9 — February 1 2015
Ex: Andrea Crespo, Santiago Leyba, Carlos Reyes, Chloe Seibert, Flannery Silva, Eric Veit, Andrew Norman Wilson
Pub: Felix Bernstein, Allison Brainard, Anne Boyer, Francesca Capone + Kristen Mueller, Ian Hatcher, Gil Lawson, Wendy Lotterman, Trisha Low
Named for a specific Le Pain Quotidien in New York: a little hut on a traffic island at 14th Street, where one big avenue forks in two. It greets subway riders on their way to the Kiehl’s store, the Chelsea galleries, and the waterfront. On still winter days it emits the smells of its bread. Some smells float down to the new Whitney building, and others waft all the way up to the defunct women’s prison. But they all start at the Le Pain, where customers compact into a wool-lined wreath so that each may eat their daily bread.
Once, I saw THE ANGRIEST DOG IN THE WORLD here. He was splayed out, staring toward but not at the Le Pain. I know his work. “He does not eat, he does not sleep, he can barely growl ... Bound so tightly with tension and anger, he approaches a state of rigor mortis.” I didn’t approach him. The morning rush left him a perimeter as they came and went, and all the while he was as he had always been: seething.
That damn dog. What you can’t quite see in his comics, but which you can in the flesh, is that his stasis is so vibratory. It’s steaming off of him. He’s a vessel for a pain that’s not occasional but the insistent solute in which he steeps. He’s opaque, sure, but sometimes that’s right. Struck dumb so deep that the source can’t be spoken. And what we have left to grasp, then, are inscrutable signals leaking through a mute material valve.
In the show in Portland, one could expect:
A shell, a tea, an aluminum backpack, popcorn prints, trans-cinnamaldehyde (C9H8O), ballet barres, some linens and grommets, clipboards, DSM-V fan art, a smoke bomb fantasy, a curling match, a fabric lid and a concrete spill.