The Schneider Museum of Art (SMA) at Southern Oregon University is presenting an inspiring exhibition, Selections from Portland2012: A Biennial of Contemporary Art which includes artists representing a broad range of contemporary practice with varying approaches from craft traditions installation, photography, painting and film/video. One participating artist, Ariana Jacob, representing an emerging form of “social practice” art, will set up her pop-up tent in Ashland and Medford to engage in political conversations with residents with conservative political viewpoints. Jacob will present her findings and insights at a lecture on Thursday evening on the Southern Oregon University campus.
As a response to the polarizing political divide in our country, participating artist Ariana Jacob has toured the United States to gather a better understanding of both conservative beliefs as well as her own, as an idealist with socialist leanings and a penchant for questioning herself.
As part of the Portland2012 exhibition, Jacob will host public conversation sessions inviting conservative and libertarian people to talk with her about their own political perspectives. These conversations, which will take place at the inside of an American flag pop-up tent, investigate the crucial but tenuous possibility of civic dialogue. During these sessions, the artist will instigate a range of discussions where she assumes the role of listener, questioner and learner. She states, “I would like to talk with people on a personal level to try to better understand this gaping divide in American perceptions of our political reality. Just to be clear, I am doing this because I want to listen and learn. I am not out to debate or critique other people’s political views – I am curious, questioning and I want to understand.”
Ariana Jacob’s pop-up tent conversations will take place on Wednesday, October 3 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM in front of Stevenson Union on the Southern Oregon University campusand from 4:00 to 6:00 PM at the Plaza in downtown Ashland. On Thursday, October 4 from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Jacob’s conversations will be held at Vogel Plaza next to the Craterian Theater in downtown Medford.
Ariana Jacob will hold a lecture on Thursday, October 4 at 5:30 PM at the Meese Auditorium at the Center for the Visual Arts at Southern Oregon University. In this contentious election year, Jacob’s interpretation of political views expressed during her tour across the country will be most insightful.
Portland2012: A Biennial of Contemporary Art was conceived of and produced by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center in Portland, Oregon and curated by Prudence F. Roberts. It is the second installment of the biennial—following Portland201