How do you take pictures of somebody in a way that brings them to the table instead of putting them on the menu? – Sharita Towne
Our City in Stereo, a project led by artist Sharita Towne, combines the old medium of stereo views with stereo interviews to explore the topic of gentrification in Portland, Oregon. The project relies heavily on community collaboration and site-specific conversation, featuring extensive interviews with local residents—teachers, artists, organizers, and local business owners. In this way, viewers can see in depth, but also hear in depth how gentrification operates and the ways in which people contend with it. This combination brings us to a third depth—a conceptual depth—in a rapidly changing city.
Towne is concerned with the care-taking obligations of the photographer, but also with the exploitative potential of the medium. Within her practice she works collaboratively in research, education, print media, video, and socially engaged art projects at concentration camp memorials in Germany, at Saharawi Refugee camps in Algeria, in Brazil, Chile, Spain, Palestine, and gentrifying cities like Portland. Her work takes place in museums, schools, print shops, community centers, neighborhoods, and within her own family.
The Our City in Stereo exhibition at Newspace Center for Photography invites viewers to engage with stereography in different forms, spanning from early twentieth-century stereoscopic viewers to modern-day stereo technology. Visitors will also have the opportunity to hear stories and testimonials by Portland residents who have witnessed and experienced firsthand the changes to their immediate surroundings, and contribute their own experiences and points of view into an interactive timeline. Our City in Stereo will release a tri-weekly podcast throughout the exhibition. This exhibition is a culmination of Towne’s joint residency at Newspace and c3:initiative, concerned with gentrification in Portland.
Newspace Center for Photography is located at 1632 SE 10th Ave, Portland, OR.
Gallery hours: Monday – Thursday 10:00am-9:30pm; Friday – Sunday 10:00am-6:00pm.