Dominant Form | Gestures in Recent Photography and Video

On view: April 7 – May 27, 2017
Opening: Friday, April 7, 6:00-8:00pm



Dru Donovan | Brendan Fernandes | Cara Levine | Julien Prévieux | Mary Ellen Strom with Ann Carlson | Ben Thorp Brown



About the Exhibition:

The group exhibition Dominant Form examines various ways in which physical gestures serve as reflections of broader cultural narratives. In their photographs and videos, the participating artists distill specific motions that signify aspects of our collective value systems, identity, individual and societal structures, and social interactions. Their process reveals the interplay between the imprint we leave on our surroundings, and that which society leaves upon our own bodies.

Brendan Fernandes juxtaposes African masquerade objects with Classical French Ballet gestures to raise questions about the traditional presentation and reception of African culture in western institutions. Mary Ellen Strom and Ann Carlson collaborated with four New York attorneys to choreograph movements they commonly use in their daily lives as litigators navigating the juridical system. In creating gestural scenarios between inanimate objects, Cara Levine mirrors the power dynamics at play in interpersonal relationships with humor and metaphor. Julien Prévieux examines the choreography resulting from innovations that control how we operate our technological devices, and the ways they inform our social interactions. Dru Donovan works with both citizens whose rights have been violated by police as well as citizen activists demonstrating for policing reform to stage reenactments that represent their experiences of harassment and protest.  Ben Thorp Brown examines the iconic language of capitalism through the hand signals once used on the trading floor of the Commodities Exchange.

Through the condensation of movement into a frame, the artists utilize and question the representational aspects inherent to image-making. In singling out select motions in this way, they are thus prompting us to re-examine which forces author our movement, and who might ultimately hold control over our bodies.

This exhibition is organized by Yaelle Amir, Curator of Exhibitions & Public Programs at Newspace.

Related Public Programs:

All public programs are free, open to the public, and take place at Newspace (1632 SE 10th Ave), unless otherwise noted.

* Opening reception: Friday, April 7, 6:00-8:00pm

* Small Gestures Doing Big Things: A workshop with Allie Hankins: Saturday, May 6, 5:30-6:30pm.


Stay tuned for all future public programs at


Zacharias, Isabel. “The Five Art Shows We’re Excited to See in April,” Willamette Week, April 4, 2017.

Gallery Information:

Address: 1632 10th Ave, Portland, OR.
Gallery hours:
Monday – Thursday 10:00am-10:00pm
Friday – Sunday 10:00am-6:00pm.
T: 503.963.1935 | W:

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For press inquiries, contact Newspace Curator Yaelle S. Amir at


Support generously provided by:

Images [top-bottom]: Dru Donovan, After Protest, St. Paul, Minnesota (from Positions Taken), 2016; Brendan Fernandes, Move in Place, 2015; Julien Prévieux, video still from What Shall We Do Next? (sequence #2), 2014. Courtesy of the artists.