More coming soon!



Round 1

Opening party

Thursday, May 7, 2015, 7-9 pm

Composition Gallery

NW 6th AVE & NW Everett ST, Storefront #102

Portland, OR 97209


Video works on display 24/7

As part of our Moving Out series, RECESS will guest curate Composition Gallery’s downtown storefront window from May through July. Here, we will present Seeing It Through, a rotating selection of video works from west coast artists. Seeing It Through will go live with a party on the night of May 7th.




After losing our headquarters in 2014, RECESS began to explore the effects of rising rental and real estate costs on arts workers in major cities along the West Coast of US and Canada, as well as how the resulting nomadic lifestyles, dispersed communities, and a lack of fixed resources shapes artistic production.


As an economical and easily circulated medium, video presents an ideal platform for experimenting with a wide range of artistic concerns and everyday experiences. The artists in Seeing It Through often engage with video as an effective means to an end. Video’s identity is bound up with the communal function of the moving image, reflecting its roots in broadcasting as well as the current state of its mobility. Inactive, watching, and waiting for something - anything - to happen, experiencing videos means seeing them through to the end.


The works that appear in the first cycle of Seeing it Through bear witness: to the melodramas of aspiration lived out in the gentrifying city, in the case of Chris Freeman and Katie Holden’s Million Dollar Homes; to the bathetic crises of everyday life mediated through celebrity culture in Lacquered Night by Hannah Piper Burns; and in Instant Coffee’s LookOut or why we look out the window, to the minor rhythms of the sidewalk. The second cycle, to launch in late May, will present Byron Peters’ collaboratively-produced Monodramas.




Chris Freeman and Katie Holden, Million Dollar Homes, 2014, HD video, 6:34.


Chris Freeman and Katie Holden pose in front of houses they could never hope to afford, briefly emulating the trope of stereotypical young homeowners. This prank, reproduced over fifteen different houses represents both a transgression and an acknowledgement of limitations, property lines are easily traversed while the financial/monetary boundaries remain closed off—the interiors of these mansions remain unseen.




Hannah Piper Burns, Lacquered Night, 2011, digital video, 1:58.


In Lacquered Night Hannah Piper Burns splices together wordless moments of the semi-scripted reality TV show “The Hills.”  Displaying instances of exasperation, distress, and sadness Burns recuperates the dramatic without drama, imparting an ominous sense of waiting for the appearance of an event.




Instant Coffee, LookOut or why we look out the window, 2012, time-lapse, 4:28.


"While we look out the window our minds slip in and out of consciousness. We see the rainfall as mist and the passing cars spray other cars. We watch the day fold into darkness, witness bodies walking by and bikes rolling past. Sometimes our minds retreat inwardly blanking out into stares. The window draws us to it, but not always for interest of looking out. At times we find ourselves there for no other reason than to gather our thoughts. The gesture of walking to the window, pulling the curtain aside at times is nothing -- unthinking without knowing why we are there. Sometimes we stay there paused until conscious returns and we remember we are bodies, present in time, in space, at our studio, 441 Powell Street, in Vancouver."*


* This video preempts an incident on July 24, 2013 in which the city of Vancouver broke its own ordinances to demolish a neighbouring building causing damages to the adjacent Ming Sun building, where Instant Coffee had its studio. All tenants were evacuated and a battle between the city, a developer, the Ming Sun Benevolent Society and its supporters began.




Chris Freeman explores issues of masculinity and success through video, photography, and performance.  He holds a BFA from Pacific Northwest College of Art and is a current MFA candidate at Portland State University.


Katie Holden is a Portland-based interdisciplinary artist whose work investigates the overlap of digital space and natural place as it relates to painting. She is a recipient of the Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Prize, has participated in the Signal Fire Artist Residency, and works as an advisory board member for Surplus Space.  She holds a BFA from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and is a current MFA Candidate at Portland State University for Contemporary Art Practice.


Hannah Piper Burns is an artist, writer, and curator currently based in Portland, Oregon after previous lives in the Bay Area and suburban/rural Maryland. Her work manifests as text, video, sound, and performance employing a rhythmic and empathetic framework to explore the vibrations of personal subjectivity against popular culture. She co-runs Compliance Division, a project space, and EFFPortland, an experimental media showcase.


Instant Coffee [IC] is a Canadian curatorial practice and artist collective based out of Vancouver and Winnipeg. Over the last fifteen years IC's extensive, service-oriented practice has focused on the intersection of the social with the aesthetic, as well as the creation of public venues for preformative interaction. Instant Coffee’s current members include Jinhan Ko, Khan Lee, Kelly Lycan and Jenifer Papararo. IC currently holds a Fieldhouse residency with City of Vancouver and will launch a publication in collaboration with Western Front, Vancouver in 2015.



Please connect...

info [at] recessart [dot] com

Thank you... Precipice Fund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and Calligram Foundation/Allie Furlotti