Susan Giles: Higher Than Wide

May 4, 2017

THE MISSON is pleased to announce Susan Giles’ solo exhibition Higher Than Wide at Portland ‘Pataphysical Society (PataPDX) in Portland, OR. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, May 4 from 6:00 to 8:00pm and will be on view through Saturday, June 17, 2017. An artist talk with Susan Giles will be open to the public on Saturday, May 6 at 6:30pm.

Portland ‘Pataphysical Society presents Higher Than Wide, a solo exhibition of new work by Susan Giles, curated by Avantika Bawa. Higher Than Wide is an exhibition of recent sculpture, video, and prints from Chicago-based artist Susan Giles reflecting on individual’s representational or narrative responses to iconic architecture. Visitors to monuments and landmark buildings negotiate their relationship to place through various tangible and intangible practices such as taking photos, videos, souvenirs, model making and sharing stories. These forms of engagement are a way to mediate the experience of place, to take the public image into the personal realm, and contribute to the cultural significance of architecture through meaningful social interactions.

Giles’ sculptures start from both original and open-source models of buildings. The small-scale works in this exhibition combine colored paper models or 3D prints with cast concrete forms reminiscent of shadows and viaducts. This series throws into relief the nature of spectacle architecture and the substantive concrete forms that support them.
The prints and video focus on the spontaneous hand gestures that accompany speech as people describe architectural space. While photos, videos, souvenirs and models communicate specific aspects of experience to others, gestures often convey information that operates on the periphery of our awareness. By conveying spatial-temporal information and perspective simultaneously, gestures externalize an individual’s internal conceptualization of space and reveal aspect of their experience that are not apparent through other means.
Higher Than Wide is part of a yearlong series of guest-curated exhibitions at PataPDX.


SUSAN GILES’ sculpture and video has shown in Chicago at THE MISSION, Hyde Park Art Center, the Museum of Contemporary Art, and The Renaissance Society, Mixed Greens in New York, Galeria Valle Orti in Valencia, Spain, among others. She has received several grants, including an Individual Artist Project Grant from DCASE in 2015, awards from the Illinois Arts Council in 2014 and 2009, a 2005 Louis Comfort Tiffany Award and a 1998 Fulbright Grant to Indonesia to conduct research on the intersection of tourism and culture in Bali. She was a Jackman Goldwasser Studio Resident at the Hyde Park Art Center in 2014-2015. Giles is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Contemporary Practices at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

AVANTIKA BAWA is an artist, curator and educator based in Portland, OR. Bawa has an MFA in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a BFA in the same from the Maharaja Sayajirao University of Baroda, India. She has participated in the Skowhegan, MacDowell Colony, Kochi Biennial Foundation and Djerassi residencies among others.
Bawa’s curatorial work began with a hotel room show during the Art in Chicago fair (98’) and has grown through her studio and gallery, aquaspace – a laboratory for new and multi media art. In April 2004 she was part of a team that launched Drain - Journal for Contemporary Art and Culture. www.drainmag.com. In 2014 Bawa was appointed to the board of the Oregon Arts Commission. She is currently Associate Professor of Fine Arts at Washington State University, Vancouver, WA.


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Susan Giles