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Not Total by Rindon Johnson, Jonathan Gonzalez, and manuel arturo abreu

Cascade Paragon Gallery

Not Total exhibition publicity image

manuel arturo abreu, Herramienta, 2016, aluminum can, soursop juice, tallow candle.
Image courtesy of the artist and AA|LA Gallery.

Not Total, an exhibition of sculpture and video by Rindon Johnson, Jonathan Gonzalez, & manuel arturo abreu
  • Exhibition Dates: November 8 – December 14, 2019
  • Opening Reception: Friday, November 8, 2019, 5 – 8 pm
  • Poetry Reading and Performances: Friday, November 15, 4 pm
  • Gallery Hours:
    • Wednesdays – Fridays, 12 – 7 pm
    • Saturdays, 12 – 5 pm
    • The Paragon Gallery will be closed Thursday and Friday, Nov. 28 and 29.
    • If you would like to schedule a visit outside of the open hours, please contact us at cascade.gallery@pcc.edu[opens in new window]. We welcome school groups.

Paragon Arts Gallery at PCC Cascade and home school present “Not Total,” an exhibition of sculpture and video by Rindon Johnson, Jonathan Gonzalez, and manuel arturo abreu. Please join us for an opening reception on Friday, November 8, 2019 from 5 – 8 p.m. Join us the following week for a poetry reading and performances on Friday, November 15, 2019 at 4 p.m. (see below for details).

I believe that the images of a char­acter and action are always refracted in the minds of people, a certain refraction or distortion occurs, and this signifies for me that the artist or the writer does not really possess this subjective purity that one imagines [she] possesses. It seems to me that his vision is fashioned by all sorts of things, small things that happen to [her], perhaps the kind of food [she] eats, the kind of landscape which [she] remembers, and the kind of landscape in which [she] lives, I mean things that have to do with [her] emotional life all sorts of circumstances, curious prejudices. I mean, various things, we have to go very deep back into the ancestral past and therefore, there is, it seems to me, a certain impurity, in the artist’s vision, and I therefore, have striven all the time to make character, landscape and myth, agents of each other, possibly involuntary agents of each other, because I don’t believe in the self-suffic­iency of the artist, I don’t believe in self-sufficient models, I think the self-sufficient model is an illusion, and I know that the fashionable novel does incline towards this self-sufficiency because it is easy to read something where one finds oneself quickly in a facile way. But it seems to me that life is not like this, that this refraction occurs, this distortion occurs, and one has to somehow find a way of doing this in a novel, I think that while it has one disadvantage in that it makes for difficulty, it has an enormous advantage in that it encourages what I would call – the open mind – where one knows that what is happening, is not dogmatic, it is not final, it is not total, new possibilities can emerge, new things can happen.

(Wilson Harris, transcribed interview from “Africa, West Indies and United States Black artists and writers, 1962-1967” conference, OCLC No. 813436589)

abreu's work untitled gonzalez's performance

Images: manuel arturo abreu. Untitled (Herramienta), 2019, digital photograph; Jonathan Gonzalez. Promotional content for Lucifer Landing I, 2019, multimedia conceptual performance.

Poetry & Performance
by manuel arturo abreu & Jonathan González

Friday, November 15th starting at 4 p.m. (Continuous performance until approximately 8 p.m., please feel free to drop in.)

You are invited to join us for a special presentation in conjunction with our current exhibition, Not Total curated by home school. This event is free and open to the public.

The evening begins at 4 p.m. with an introduction and poetry reading by manuel arturo abreu. The reading will be immediately followed by Weather, a durational performance and documentation by visiting artist Jonathan González, based in New York City, as part of extended programming by home school.


is a performance in four acts.

It is a simulated landscape of eccentric juxtapositions collectively forming a site of contemporary wilderness.

It is an identity of its own — breathing through choreographic gesture, video, sculpture, and audio recording. The work reckons with representations of Nature, Individualism, and Capital in Anthropocentric time.

It asks, “what is the wild?”

Referring to William Pope L.’s words, “there is no other ontology than the stage, staging, and being staged,” Jonathan Gonzalez contemplates the stage as an extension of contemporary life. As a soloist, or in collaboration with manuel abreu, or in communion with gallery staff and visitors, they traverse the setting of technical elements, objects, and other subjects to be claimed by an augmenting theatrical climate. Excavating Enlightenment’s ideology of the Human – of Man – against documents of climate change – amongst narratives of traditions to create a tide in which the performer must weather.


About the artists:

Rindon Johnson is an artist and writer. His sculptures and videos have been exhibited at museums and galleries in Europe, the US and Australia. He is the author of Nobody Sleeps Better Than White People (Inpatient Press, 2016), the virtual reality book, Meet in the Corner (Publishing-House.Me, 2017) and most recently, Shade the King (Capricious, 2017). He has an MFA in Sculpture from Bard College. Johnson’s writing and sculptures have been published by Artforum, Cultured, The New Museum and Rhizome – among others.


Jonathan González is an artist making at the intersections of performance and collaborative interdisciplinary practices based in their native New York City. Previously, an LMCC Workspace Resident, Maggie Allesee National Center for Choreography Fellow, Jerome Foundation Fellow, and NARS Foundation International Resident, their writings include “Maroonage: Elaborations on Performance, the Stage, and Staying Alive,” Contact Quarterly, vol. 44.2: and “Black Bodies/White Boxes,” Dancing While Black digital journal. Recent works include Lucifer Landing (MoMA PS1 & Abrons Arts Center), Illusion Procedures (Studio Museum in Harlem/Park Avenue Armory), and Obeah adapted for 8mm film.


manuel arturo abreu (b. 1991, Santo Domingo) is a poet and artist from the Bronx. They work with what is at hand in a process of magical thinking, with attention to ritual aspects of aesthetics. Recent projects include work with the Studio Museum in Harlem; Veronica, Seattle; Critical Path, Sydney; the Center for Afrofuturist Studies, Iowa City; Yaby, Madrid. They compose club-feasible worship music as Tabor Dark, and co-facilitate home school, a free pop-up art school.


About home school:

home school is a free pop-up art school in Portland, Oregon run by Victoria Anne Reis and manuel arturo abreu. They provide welcoming contexts for critical engagement with contemporary art and its issues. Their multimedia curriculum follows a pedagogy that honors the casual rigor of the etymology of “school,” from the Greek “shkole” meaning “spare time, leisure, idleness, rest.” In its fourth year of curriculum, home school has received support from the Precipice Fund, the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts, Allie Furlotti / the Calligram Foundation, a Rhizome Net Art microgrant, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, the Cooley Gallery, and a 2019 artist residency with Yale Union.

home school logo


About Paragon Arts Gallery:

Paragon Arts Gallery is an educational showcase committed to exhibiting work of high artistic quality. Our versatile gallery is located at 815 North Killingsworth, at PCC’s Cascade Campus in Portland, Oregon. Mindful of our role as a member of the Humboldt community, we are especially committed to engaging community members in our space.