Proposed as a companion to a retrospective on 100 years of photography in the Columbia Gorge, Amplifier is an installation inspired by the landscape and history of the region. The installation will occupy the entire volume of the Portland Art Museum’s interior sculpture court. In this central position, Amplifier serves as a gateway to the exhibition and a return to the present moment. It is a space created to concentrate visceral qualities and emotive perceptions.
The court is bisected between the first and second levels, creating distinct yet interconnected realms. On the lower level, one enters a field of black and grey interrupted by shards of light. The space is filled with a rush of wind from fans concealed in the shadows. The space is destabilizing, a darkness with weight and mass. Viewed from the adjacent galleries, the upper realm is defined by brilliant, sourceless light—white hot, with only the ambiguous hum of distant transformers, traffic, industry. It is a light that removes all reference — filled with light and sound yet empty and unoccupiable. Both spaces explore an absence, a sense of isolation and boundlessness. Together, they evoke the memory and physicality of the Gorge, and summon the powerful forces that continue to transform this iconic landscape.