Unimpressionable’s artists shared their work at Studio 34 on August 19th and 20th. Below are some shots from the show. A special thanks to Matt Nelson and Lizzie Anderson for their support, Yesway and Helen Lee for the amazing live music, and to Philip Krohn for the space!
About the Project:
How does one create comfort and home in an impersonal place, devoid of human warmth? In what ways do we organize in isolating circumstances? While on the road working as a union organizer, artist and curator Erin Johnson invited Bay Area and Portland-based artists into her hotel room—which was too close to her comfortable apartment for her to want to stay in—to create work that addresses these questions. The projects these artists created make up Unimpressionable: A Hotel Artist-in-Residency, a curatorial project in which the constraints of working for only a single night in a bland hotel room gave rise, intentional or inadvertent, to commentary on isolation and sterility.
Each of the artists in the Hotel Residency program had a scheduled 24-hour time period in Johnson’s hotel room to make as well as document their piece. After documenting their process,each artist contributed to the collective by assisting the hotel staff to return the temporary gallery-hotel room to its original, uninflected state. The documentation, critical due to the temporary nature of the project and the difficulty of bringing an audience to the work, stands alone as an impression of what was created.
The work in this Hotel Artist-in-Residency ranges from dance performances to photo shoots to video installation. Varied in terms of media and content, several pieces focused on or attended to the eerie and uncomfortable parts of their surroundings. Ultimately, the hotel room acted as a surprising incubator for collaboration and experimentation: A collective strain of inquiry emerged although many of the artists did not know each other and were given little information about what their peers were working on.