Two Pittsburgh artists seek pairs or groups of Portland locals to participate in city-wide art project, We Were Here. We Were Here is a tour of places throughout Portland, Oregon where intimately connected friends, lovers, relations, and other significant partners first met. On Sunday, May 15, the pairs will share a dance in the location where they first met, with musical accompaniment, while sharing the story of their relationship with the public.
If you have an interesting story about meeting a parent/child, friend, spouse, or just about anyone who’s had a great impact on you, they would like to hear from you! Please contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
We Were Here is a project of Dawn Weleski (http://www.conflictkitchen.org and http://www.busstopopera.com) and M. Callen (http://m-callen.com) and will take place during the Open Engagement Symposium (http://openengagement.info/), a symposium of socially-engaged art work, May 13-15, 2011.
We Were Here is a tour of places throughout Portland, Oregon where intimately connected friends, lovers, and relations first met. On Sunday, May 15, twenty sets of Portland residents will return to these places to share the story of their relationship with the public while dancing to musical accompaniment.
-are engaged in a meaningful relationship with each other (friends, siblings, children, family, partners, exes, mentors, pretty much anyone that’s had a significant impact on you)
-met somewhere in/around Portland
-are open to dancing with each other and sharing their story
-are comfortable engaging with the public
-are available on Sunday, May 15 to participate (late morning/afternoon)
Through discussion with the participants, we will work out a musical accompaniment (either live or recorded) that is appropriate for each of the participants’ stories, as well as any props or other elements that might be vital to your experience.
We Were Here is a tour of places throughout Portland, Oregon where intimately connected friends, lovers, and relations first met. Over the course of two days, twenty sets of Portland residents will return to these places to share the story of their relationship with the public while dancing to musical accompaniment. The dancing sets will highlight a variety of relationships, including parents and children, widow(er)s and their lost loved ones, and mentors and students.
We Were Here utilizes social geography to offer an experience of the city through some of the most memorable moments of the people who live there. An account of seemingly cosmological phenomena that inexplicably brings individuals together, the project explores Portland through the relationships that it sows. Place informs our relationships and those relationships, in turn, color our environment and sense of belonging in a city. While we choose to return to certain places habitually, first meeting places are fateful. We meet potential somebodies in the most quotidian of places: outside our broken down cars, in hospital elevators, in the doorways of buildings we pass through every day. By reuniting sets of people at the place of their first encounter, We Were Here celebrates everyday public spaces in Portland neighborhoods as markers of personal significance. In turn, the stories of these fateful places form a nuanced and intimate notion of the city’s identity.