Of the many themes rippling throughout the innovative performances that make up the Time-Based Art Festival, one that stands out this year is focused on memory: what we remember, how we remember, and who will remember the present (if we have a future).
We're now at the halfway mark of the 10-day extravaganza filled with performances, workshops and installations developed by brilliant artists, both homegrown and from around the globe. Longtime patrons, academics and even newcomers to the world of contemporary art are sure to find something that moves them. But since getting to every spectacle and show is almost impossible, we've picked the five events scheduled for TBA's second week that should challenge what you think you know and might just leave you a better person for having experienced them.
San Cha's gloriously melodramatic discography mixes ranchera music with pop as well as Mexican and American rock. The singer-songwriter's stage name is both a play on the title for male saints and the Spanish word for "mistress," and her stage outfits border on performance pieces themselves. Once seen as a joke in elitist Bay Area bars, San Cha's artistry defines the present moment. Though her latest album, La Luz de la Esperanza, isn't out for another month, you can listen to new single "Levanta Dolores," which feels like it's relishing its own sadness. Lumber Room, 419 NW 9th Ave., pica.org. 7 pm Wednesday, Sept. 11. Free.
Looking for Tiger Lily
Anthony Hudson centers white actress Sondra Lee's portrayal of Tiger Lily in the 1960 TV movie Peter Pan in a personal pop culture and history analysis, similar to the 2009 documentary Reel Injun. The solo performance, with Hudson making appearances as drag clown Carla Rossi, will feature video projections, an interrogation of blood quantum tests, and Cher's album Half-Breed. Looking for Tiger Lily is more earnest than campy: Hudson's storytelling is a multimedia historical exercise in vulnerability. Portland Institute for Contemporary Art Annex, 15 NE Hancock St., pica.org. 6:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, Sept. 12-14. $16 for members, $20 general admission.
Feeling of Home
Gentrification isn't solely a Portland problem, yet the city is stained by a history of racist atrocities, ranging from Vanport to Japanese internment camps to the dislocation of Portland's black neighborhoods. For those reasons and more, Y.B.G Portland and Playdate's Feeling of Home makes space for black and brown residents to unite and re-establish community at a crucial time. Expect installations, projections, music and food at this late-night event that's meant to spread joy and help heal. Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, 15 NE Hancock St., pica.org. 10:30 pm Saturday, Sept. 14. $5-$15.
Remember the Star, Takashi Makino's Memento Stella
Avant-garde filmmaker Takashi Makino invites the audience to project its own meanings onto his structure- and narrative-free cinematic works while defying the commercial model. The abstract imagery, which often resembles organic textures, is the result of his footage layered together until it is something entirely new, with accompanying soundtracks that meet you where you are. Memento Stella is Makino's reminder that we live among stars. Depending on who you are, that's either comforting or terrifying. OMSI, 1945 SE Water Ave., pica.org. 4:30 pm Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 14-15. $8 for members, $10 general admission.
After nearly two solid weeks of compelling, challenging performances, Requiem won't end TBA with a bang, but more of a haunting ASMR whisper. Experimental musician Nivhek (Liz Harris, best known as Grouper) uses soothing, hypnotic tones to create soundscapes from beyond the veil. Harris is joined by guest musicians and artists, including Los Angeles' Dicky Bahto and Brooklyn's January Hunt, for a night of eclectic sounds and images. Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, 15 NE Hancock St., pica.org. 6:30 pm Sunday, Sept. 15. $16 for members, $20 general admission.