Jacob Sorenson’s “A Landscape” installation at the Portland Building runs from April 29 – May 24th

From Jacob Sorenson’s new temporary installation, A Landscape. (Photo: Keith  Lachowicz)

Project Background: “Is Bigfoot real? I hope so, but I’m pessimistic.” This quote from Jacob Sorenson might serve as a tagline for his installation which opens April 29th at the Portland Building Installation Space. Sorenson, known for his elaborately designed and elegantly constructed kinetic sculptures, will present a nature-circus landscape in the space that embodies the human tendency to ideologically and physically manipulate the environment. To the right a silhouette-like sculpture of a majestic tree-line, but augmented with Las Vegas style chase lights to better define the trees. To the left a device designed to reproduce the beautiful sunset we all hope for at the end of a day…only with a few extra colors and a repeat cycle. And finally, in the back, obscured by the tree-line, look for the occasional appearance of a certain large creature rumored to frequent in the area.

“The void between nature and culture is hazy…what is nature? And more perplexing, what is wilderness? Ideas conjured by our society in the 19th century, or concepts that came about as we found comfort, central heating and cars? Life is created in laboratories, engineers control landscapes, and “wild” space is parceled into quadrants. Cueing into our nature cliché I’ve found that certain tendencies persist, foremost a culture that is trying desperately to make nature look awesome, and I’d like to do the same. How much better would the tree-line be if it glowed? What if we could add new colors to an amazing sunset/sunrise? And what if Bigfoot made regular appearances? It would be…terrible, but let’s investigate.”

The artist fully expects the installation to ask more questions than it answers as it explores both the objection to artificial nature and the reality of our constant wilderness intervention. Sorenson’s bizarre landscape draws on an impulse buried somewhere in the depths of humanity and begins a complex, thoughtful conversation about an outdated ideology.

About the Artist: Jacob Sorenson lives in Tigard, Oregon. He received his BFA from Oregon College of Art and Craft, and his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition to numerous exhibitions in Oregon and Virginia, he teaches classes on woodworking and electro-mechanical devices at OCAC.

Viewing Hours & Location: 7 am to 6 pm, Monday – Friday. The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland.

For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space series, including images, proposals and statements for all the installations since 1994, go to www.racc.org/installationspace.