Now I know what it would look like to take the bar band from One-Eyed Jacks and place them in a lab where experiments are being conducted on the feelings of plants.

Oregon Painting Society at The Works
Posted by: Seth Nehil
Oregon Painting Society are an exercise in cognitive dissonance, which is delicious. Let’s start with the name. Sure, they live in Oregon, and they are a society of sorts, and some of them do make paintings, but this doesn’t begin to explain the full scope of the group. And then there’s the stage covered in people, houseplants, microphones, boxes and various instruments. Two people are in strange costumes and stand stiffly at 90 degree angles, chanting lines like some outer-space Robert Ashley opera, circa 2050. How does a witches coven envelop a deconstructed doo-wop ballad? “Why must I be a teenager in Love…?” “Ancient Teenager…” How does a New Age CGI desert sunset transform into a warbled solo psychedelic distorto-blues? How does a Woolly Mammoth swarm around in zombie-fried aerobics-instructor mode while Slaves croon? I can only answer – it just does, in sudden turns and spasms. “Points on a Circle. Earth as Game Board.”
Oregon Painting Society display the joys and collisions of collective creation. Competing and divergent aesthetics gloriously coexist, producing an energy which could result in gallery installations or tweaky stage shows or video works, or (we can hope) recordings, publications, etc. Each of these artists has one or more separate identities and projects, and in OPS they crash and comingle their ideas, merging and morphing. There’s no attempt to dissolve identities, but rather to let them co-exist within a weird universe. It was impossible to get a footing. I was constantly swept off my feet. My feet were made out of blocks of swiss cheese, and I was repeatedly saved by a St. Bernard with a Rum cask. In a final burst of fractal star-sweeps and choral sighs, I slid down the formica mountain and landed in a pile of sparkles. I’m ready for the next ride!

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