Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Exhibition: Paper Scissors ROCK (2003)

Paper Scissors ROCK: 25 Years of Northwest Punk Poster Design was an exhibition that I curated at the Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) in Portland. I was living in Portland at the time and contracting for Jim Fricke at Experience Music Project helping to correct and edit transcripts for his hip-hop book Yes Yes Y'all. Other than that, I was taking a few design classes at PNCA and decided to pitch the idea of a Northwest punk-focused poster show to the school. At first I was thinking it would be a show that would solely focus on three individuals that, to me, defined more than any others, the "look" of PNW graphics in the 1980s and 1990s. Art Chantry, Jeff Kleinsmith, and Mike King.

I pitched this idea to PNCA and they liked it. My friend Dave Rosencrans, who was a curator at EMP at the time, liked it as well, and pitched the idea to his superiors. The thought was that EMP could "own" the show, pay for it, and use materials from its vast collection, but that I would have curatorial control. To better fit with EMP's mission, Dave and I changed the focus of the show to be more of a historical overview of the last 25 years of design in the NW. From there it was a go.

The show was a hit at PNCA at then it travelled to EMP, where it was displayed in a slightly different configuration. I was rehired at EMP at the time, so I was able to have a lot of control as to how the exhibition was displayed in the new venue. My favorite part, however, was adding an ambient soundtrack of Muzak-inspired Grunge hits called Grunge Lite, which seemed to universally bug everyone in the gallery (thus serving its purpose.)

PSR exhibition poster (below) by Mike King, 3 colors, 20" x 26", screen printed by the PNCA printmaking students.

Paper Scissors ROCK at EMP (below):