Volume is one facet of photography that few artists have recognized and capitalized on. Ever wonder how many photos are taken in a day? Over a million I bet. Blue Sky director Christopher Rauschenberg has used the idea of volume in his Portland Grid Project, part of which is now on view at the Portland Art Center.
The Project In October of 1995, local photographer Christopher Rauschenberg took a pair of scissors to a standard AAA map of Portland and cut that map into 98 pieces. A group of 12 of the city’s best photographers all photographed one randomly picked square each month, using a variety of films and formats.It took nine years for this group (which included 15 photographers by the end) to finish taking pictures in all 98 Grid Sections of the city, by which time they had shown each other over 20,000 images, taken in every part of Portland.
The Exhibition The core of this exhibition combines 3000 work prints from the nine years of the first round and the first three years of the second round that will be displayed in the center of the gallery.
I have to admit that I was a little skeptical before seeing the exhibition. The randomness of it all had me a bit worried. But when you have 15 talented photographers, each with their own point of view and dedicated curators whittling down the images nearly by 90%, you end up with a very good and surprisingly insightful record of the city.