Our history is documented in everyday design. A passing glance at a poster may not strike the viewer as anything more than an artful image, designed to draw attention to an upcoming film. But what happens when more than 200 hundred posters, spanning fifty years, are placed juxtaposed in an exhibit?
SuperTrash, a collection of cult movie bills curated by Jacques Boyreau, was first presented at the Andy Warhol Museum. Offering an alternative portrait of the 20th century, the prints amassed by Boyreau, author of TRASH: The Graphic Genius of Xploitation Movie Posters, are on display at PNCA’s Swigert Commons (1241 NW Johnson) through Oct. 21. As this showcase of vintage design warrants more than just a glance, the art school seeks to contextualize the thoughts and attitudes behind the graphic designs with a symposium hosted this Saturday, Oct. 11, as part of Design Week Portland.
After settling in with a cup of morning coffee, the symposium begins promptly at 10 a.m. Boyreau opens the event, speaking to why this selection of cult movie advertisements is an avant-garde study of America’s collective past. Then, a discussion lead by notable presenters is to follow. Speakers Amy Borden, contributor to anthologies on early cinema and contemporary American film; Ben Saunders, director of America’s first undergraduate minor in Comics and Cartoon Studies; and Harvard Ph.D. Sarah Sentilles, Assistant Professor for PNCA’s MFA in Visual Studies program will participate in the discussion. Through the presentations learn how these posters intersect with the culture of film and comics. Explore the presence of the male gaze and gender exploitation documented by both high and low culture. Join the analysis of SuperTrash. The symposium lasts untill 4 p.m. and admission is free.
Across town, Laurelhurst Theater (2735 E Burnside) is playing several cult films in conjunction with the exhibit. There’s still time to catch Temple of Doom and Gremlins 2.
— Rachael Lesley
Above, John Wayne (2012). Design by Joe Niem.