The Portland Grid Project
Main Gallery, Portland Art Center
Portland OR Apr 5-27, 2007
David Potter, J8 [Main Gallery, Portland Art Center, OR, Apr 5-27]
The Portland Grid Project represents the culmination of an ambitious plan that began in 1995. Christopher Rauschenberg, son of Robert Rauschenberg and an artist with the Elizabeth Leach Gallery, organized a group of 15 photographers to document the city of Portland square-by-square. A street map of Portland was cut into 98 sections and photographed one month at a time by a group of changing participants. Many are members of the Blue Sky Gallery. A total of 21 photographers were involved in creating the estimated 20,000 prints generated by the project. Seven curators from different institutions then organized the images into individually focused shows to create an overall exhibition of 3000 works.
For the photographers, there were no requirements other than to consistently photograph the designated grid section. The unintended commonality was the lack of a human subject in most pieces. Instead, a tension between nature and structure is represented in the quiet streets, moody skylines, industrials neighborhoods, backyards and waterways that compose this photographic essay of Portland.