Pacific Northwest College of Art
Museum of Contemporary Craft

Found in: Exhibitions

If You Were Asking the Right Questions You Would Know the Answer in Advance

Apr 7, 2011 – Apr 30, 2011



Manuel Izquierdo Gallery presents If You Were Asking the Right Questions You Would Know the Answer in Advance, a solo exhibition of work by Liam Drain ’07. This exhibition’s title paraphrases a Soviet commissar’s response to a journalist whose questions began to exceed the limits of acceptable inquiry. He could have simply said, “You cannot ask these questions,” or, “I cannot answer these questions,” but by his odd turn of phrase, he implied something stranger than he probably intended. There is an analogy in the genre of literature concerned with the interpretation of dreams, where certain dreamt images or sensations are determined in an encyclopedic fashion by the author as standing for something about the dreamer. In other words, the interpretation preceeds the dream, or the answer preceeds the question.

With this dissonance in the background, If You Were Asking the Right Questions includes works inspired by the European decorative arts and a series of generic structures raising miniature flags to half-mast. The uniform blackness of most of this work is a way of evening out, a way of excising their forms from the world (in the way that shadows can be said to exist and not exist or a silhouette is and is not a portrait). Alongside these works are a series of instruction manuals of arcane purpose encased in ceramic containers.



Stagecraft Building
Manuel Izquierdo Gallery
1302 NW Kearney St
Portland, OR, 97209   [map]

Free and open to the public (during normal building hours)


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