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(Courtesy of Portland Art Museum)
Portland Art Museum
Published: 08 October 2018

Portland Art Museum has installed two banners designed by artists Carrie Mae Weems and Trevor Paglen in the museum's outdoor courtyard.

Hosting the banners is part of PAM's partnership in The 50 State Initiative of For Freedoms, the artist platform for civic engagement co-founded by Hank Willis Thomas, whose first major retrospective debuts at PAM next year.

For Freedoms is an artist-led platform for civic engagement, discourse, and direct action for artists in the United States, and the initiative is a network of artists and institutional partners who will produce nationwide public art installations, exhibitions, and local community dialogues in order to inject nuanced, artistic thinking into public discourse. Visitors and passersby will see two artist-created banner installations that use the tools of art and advertising to encourage civic engagement.

Carrie Mae Weems -- originally from Portland -- created “Vote and Continue to Dream” using a photograph she took at the January 2017 Women’s March in Washington, D.C. The smiling face belongs to the writer and performance poet Sapphire. Weems also contributed a billboard image to For Freedoms’ 2016 campaign and is very active in this year’s push. 

The date “November 6, 2018” is the work of Trevor Paglen and is created in the signature style of conceptual artist On Kawara, who was known for his date paintings, works that depicted only the calendar date of the day he painted it. While Kawara’s work is about the present moment fading into the past, Paglen looks into the future with the reminder of this important day on the horizon. His work often examines the invisible structures of data, politics, and economies. 

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