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In latest artwork, PCC’s Evertt Beidler becomes ‘man of steel’

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Portland Community College video producer Erik Fauske really has to watch what he says around sculpture metals instructor Evertt Beidler. Especially when the two have just completed a video project showcasing Beidler’s art.

“I told him, ‘Hey, maybe next time do something where you’re magnetic and you’re stuck to the wall,’” said Fauske. “I was joking. And six months later he came to me and said, ‘Ah, I got this new project. I’m going to be metallic and magnetic.’”

And so Beidler’s new art piece and film, “Magnesis,” was born.

“Magnesis” is Beidler’s latest public performance video project and is premiering online now. The piece itself is a custom steel business suit that is equipped with a series of electromagnets. Fauske helped develop and shoot Beidler’s performance wearing the suit as he explored themes and ideas while walking downtown, the airport and local parks. In total, Beidler scored $10,000 worth of grants provided by the PCC Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission and the Regional Arts & Culture Council to fund this project. He is showing “Magnesis” at film festivals all over the world like in Spain.

In total, Beidler scored $10,000 worth of grants provided by the PCC Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission and the Regional Arts & Culture Council to fund this project.

In total, Beidler scored $10,000 worth of grants provided by the PCC Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission and the Regional Arts & Culture Council to fund this project.

“There was a lot going on,” said Beidler, who teaches at the Sylvania Campus. “This project really tries to blend the object, film and the performance. I’m proud of it.”

The project’s theme can be interpreted in many ways, but the aim of the artist at first was to create a sense he was invincible with the armor on. But after filming, new meanings took over such as being entrapped, vulnerable or restrained.

It took Beidler, who works as a part-time welder producing armored vehicle components for Service Steel, nine months to fabricate the steel suit. He said he had to seek out help from PCC instructors Pat Kraft (Machine Manufacturing Technology Program), Mike Farrell (Electronic Engineering Technology) and Mike Rasmussen (Welding Technology) to iron out complications in construction. The parts he needed to make it didn’t exist, he said, and Beidler had to fabricate everything.

Add in 24 hours of rigorous film shooting with a crew of 14 (mostly PCC students and staff) at five Portland locations, Beidler was physically drained. The shoot days were intense and produced lots of footage that he personally edited into the film.

The film shows Beidler moving through Portland while wearing the cumbersome steel suit. Expressionless, the artist makes his way through life, unable to burst from his suit of armor. There were issues during filming, such as people’s luggage getting into shots at the airport or a guy in a gorilla suit wearing a Santa hat stealing a few moments of a scene. Behind the camera, though, it was an ordeal for Beidler.

“Once I was in the suit I stayed in it until we were finished for the day,” he said. “When I got tired they would get me up on the palate, put me against the metal stops and turn the magnets on. Then I could at least pull my body away from inside the suit and rest.”

Fauske, who would transport Beidler dressed in his armor in the back of his car to locations, agreed.

“He suffers for his art,” he added. “There is always a pain element to his work.”

But the pain has created a nice gain in “Magnesis.” A project that really struck a personal chord with the artist known for interactive art pieces like “Moves Manager” in 2011 that won him the Ox-Bow Residency Award at ArtPrize 2011 in Grand Rapids, Mich.

“It was hard for me to watch it initially because it’s like looking in a mirror,” Beidler said. “I liked it, but it really talks about issues I’m feeling. I think where I am is really kind of where the video ends – he still has his briefcase, but is stripped down completely. There’s still this willingness to hold on to some of those things and the future is uncertain.”

One thing is for certain – Erik Fauske plans to keep quiet this time.

  • In total, Beidler scored $10,000 worth of grants provided by the PCC Foundation, Oregon Arts Commission and the Regional Arts & Culture Council to fund this project.

About James Hill

James G. Hill, an award-winning journalist and public relations writer, has been the Communications Specialist for the Office of Public Affairs at Portland Community College since November of 1999. A graduate of Portland State University, J... more »

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x by Jenny Beidler 4 years ago

An artist is always a person of few words. This article helps me to understand better his level of creative intensity and how PCC is a helpful, collaborative environment — that should make the college proud.

x by Seth R. 4 years ago

Whoa, the animation totally freaked me out. We, done!

x by Cassandra Banton 4 years ago

From an artistic perspective: provocative and beautifully exhibited.
From a student perspective: another testament to the quality of instructors we are fortunate to learn from at PCC.

x by Nathan Brent 4 years ago

A clever depiction of the adaptive complexity involved with meeting evolutionary conditions known as survival. My interest began to wane after a minute so I fast forwarded to the audio and then felt deeply the art and message. Moving video!

x by B. b. 4 years ago

Bravo! Thanks for the “heads up ” on the other page.

x by Angie Swan 4 years ago

Beidler is a great instructor who is involved and hands on. He encourages everyone and is magnanimous to say the least. I enjoyed the video. Thank you Evertt for your support you are a definite inspiration. Congratulations, Brother.

x by Antonio Hernandez 4 years ago

Evertt is not afraid to address the current work culture of western civilization, thru art, as he provides a departure point and glimpse into the world we live in which allows us to understand the constrains of work.

x by Narce Rodriguez 4 years ago

Very well done, I love it.

x by Jesse Maes 4 years ago

Bravo! Amazing art. Wish I could come up with something close to that. Simply stunning.

x by tangen 4 years ago

Why has the video been blocked?

x by webteam 4 years ago

Video seems to play fine on our end. Are other Youtube videos blocked?

You can also watch it at:

Let us know,
PCC web team

x by tangen 4 years ago

Sorry, seems my Adobe Flash was outdated ! So glad I investigated and was able to view “Man of Steel”.
Very Moving Piece.

x by Selena Niles 4 years ago

Hey Evertt,
Well done!!

x by Kim Kono 4 years ago

Fascinating from beginning to end!

x by Alyssa Ferreira 4 years ago

Definitely leaves you with a lot to ponder for a 7 minute film. I particularly enjoyed the imagery at the end with the suit discarded in a field on a hill away from any other hint of civilization or industrialization.

x by Michelle 4 years ago

This kept me intrigued from start to finish! I LOVE the commentary on humans. The imagery was great too. I hope people really contemplate the meaning of this video, re-think and free themselves from complacency.

x by forrest 4 years ago

Cool looking, but I don’t think this guy would go very far as a swimsuit designer.
Maybe this guy and the guy who designed the bear fighting suit should get together and discus leisure wear.
It seems like it should be easier to think of something snarky to say about a guy in a metal business suit but I’m having a hard time. Anyone else got anything?

x by Boing 4 years ago

What, no Iron Man reference?

x by Preston Tracey 4 years ago

“and the guy who designed the bear fighting suit”: great documentary about him, btw. They should get together and MAKE ART. Maybe Werner Herzog could make a film about it.

x by Laura Horani 4 years ago

I kept waiting for him to drop the metal briefcase at the end and be free! I want to give a shout out to the welders, Mike and Hollie. Nice work guys! To all involved: this was a very compelling and well done film.

x by Christina Ramirez 3 years ago

Thank you Mr B, because of you I can lay a clean bead! You are so talented as an artist, as well as a teacher of the craft! I am honored to be your student!

x by Seydou 3 years ago

L’ART est un fardeau que seul les artistes payent attention

x by Melba 3 years ago

Thanks for your marvelous posting! I really enjoyed reading it, you are a great author.I will make sure to
bookmark your blog and may come back in the foreseeable future.
I want to encourage continue your great posts, have a nice evening!

x by Feature: College stories that rocked our world in 2014 | PCC News 3 years ago

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