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At TBA 14, ideas take center stage

Annual festival draws cutting-edge artists from around the world Sept. 11-21


Photo Credit: TBA PHOTO COURTESY OF: JEFF SUGG - Cynthia Hopkins' 'A Living Documentary.'Somewhere between shocking and thought-provoking lies the Time-Based Art Festival, the 12th annual, 10-day collection of

cutting-edge performance and visual arts by the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.

From Sept. 11 through 21 at various venues, there’ll be live performances, visual installations, concerts, experiments in music and film, and provisional galleries in unexpected places — all outside conventional boundaries, a platform for curious exchanges.

The Works at Fashion Tech, 2010 S.E. Eighth Ave., will be the hub of activity for TBA 14. It’s the place for artists to wind down and will offer 10 nights of rock shows, dancing, drag balls, installations, sonic experiments, food (TBA Kitchen with Liz Calderon and Jake Sheffield and others), mock reality TV shows and more. An outdoor bar opens nightly at 9:30 p.m.

The TBA 14 Institute offers visitors an opportunity to meet the artists with conversations, gallery tours, immersive workshops, Field Guide sessions, and curated Festival Flights.

Complete information, including a blog, can be found at www.pica.org. The TBA folks have partnered with artist

Miranda July on her new Somebody app, which launched in August. The gist of it: Somebody users write messages, then choose a fellow Somebody user, a total stranger, to deliver it. July sees it “as a far-reaching public art project, inciting performance and conversation about the value of inefficiency and risk.” For details: somebodyapp.com.

For TBA 14 tickets, see pica.org, call 503-224-7422 or visit the PICA office at 415 S.W. 10th Ave., Suite 300. General ticket options are many: The Works Pass ($60), Flex Pass ($150), Immersion Pass ($250), Patron Pass ($500). PICA memberships are available, ranging from $35 to $5,000, and mean less expensive ticketing.

Angela Mattox, artistic director, leads the creative team at PICA.

Some of the highlights, with descriptions by PICA:

Photo Credit: TBA PHOTO COURTESY OF: SARAH RACE - Tanya Tagaq's concert with 'Nanook of the North.'• Tanya Tagaq (Canada), concert with “Nanook of the North” (Sept. 12-13): A concert for film, Inuit throat singer and tour de force vocalist Tagaq

reclaims the controversial silent film “Nanook of the North.” Tagaq’s authentic sense of the Arctic creates a powerful soundscape of emotion and pulsing vocals against the backdrop of the film’s racially charged clichés. Tagaq frames the vintage semidocumentary of an Inuk family in a revealing contemporary light.

• Cynthia Hopkins (New York City), “A Living Documentary” (Sept. 15-16): It’s a raw comedic reflection on the trials of earning a living as a professional theater artist in the 21st century. Intertwining elements of musical comedy,

documentary, and fiction, Hopkins’ newest theater work intersperses autobiography with portrayals of semifictional comedic characters.

Photo Credit: TBA PHOTO COURTESY OF: LUCIA EGGENHOFFER - Mammalian Diving Reflex's 'All the Sex I've Ever Had.'• Mammalian Diving Reflex (Toronto), “All the Sex I’ve Ever Had” (Sept. 17-20): Returning to TBA, Mammalian directs a group of elderly Portlanders to plunge into provocative uncharted waters with this vulnerable and humorous work that uses their real-life sex stories to examine intimacy, age, youth-obsessed culture, and sex.

Photo Credit: TBA PHOTO COURTESY OF: BEA BORGERS - Antoine Defoort/Halory Goerger's 'Germinal.'• Halory Goerger and Antoine Defoort (France), “Germinal” (Sept. 18-19): They create one of the most talked-about recent works of contemporary international theater. Germinal asks, “If we had the opportunity to start the world from scratch, how would we do it?” This work smartly dismantles theatrical conventions as a metaphor for human evolution.

• chelfitsch (Japan), “Ground and Floor” (Sept. 19-21): chelfitsch and acclaimed playwright Toshiki Okada take the audience on an in-depth exploration into theater, music and the dreamlike realms of fiction. Influenced by the devastating Tohoku Earthquake of 2011 and the resulting impacts on Japanese society, “Ground and Floor” is a narrative of the dead and the living played out on the stage of a “Japan in the not-too-distant future.”