The first exhibition of Converge 45’s artistic director Lisa Dent’s three-year program with work by Roland Dahwen, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Tuesday Smillie, and co-curated by Stephanie Snyder

Exhibition on View: August 10 – October 6, 2019

Opening Reception: Saturday, August 10, 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm at Cooley Gallery, Reed College

Panel Discussion: Saturday, August 10, 1:30pm – 3:00pm in the Reed Student Union

Converge 45 is pleased to announce “The Autopoets”, the first exhibition of artistic director Lisa Dent’s three-year program, Facing Between Centers. Presented in partnership with the Cooley Gallery, Reed College and co-curated by Lisa Dent and Stephanie Snyder, “The Autopoets” features the work of Roland Dahwen, Paul Mpagi Sepuya, and Tuesday Smillie. An opening reception will take place on Saturday, August 10, 2019 at 12:00pm at the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, followed by a panel discussion at 1:30pm in the Reed Student Union with exhibition co-curators Lisa Dent and Stephanie Snyder and artists Roland Dahwen and Tuesday Smillie.

“The Autopoets” presents a new film-based installation by Roland Dahwen entitled “Overseas” that employs collage in various storytelling forms with moving images captured during the artist’s recent trip to Cuba. In Dahwen’s work, sound, image, and texture express a poetry of self in constant negotiation with ritual and history. “Overseas” is commissioned by Cooley Gallery, Reed College and is part of the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s 2019 Time-Based Art Festival. Paul Mpagi Sepuya presents a series of photographs that include camera lenses and mirrors that lift the veil of his studio practice and highlight the works’ artifice and self-actuation. His collage-based work combines formal portraiture, elements of storytelling, and homoerotic imagery that feature muses, friends, lovers and self-portraits in complex tangles and fragments that resonate with restraint, intimacy, and desire. Tuesday Smillie’s work addresses trans-feminist politics, binaries of inclusion and exclusion, and the relationship between individuals and groups. Her large, collaged textiles function as protest banners while also acting as citational fields for literary and personal texts. In other works in the exhibition, Smillie explores an imaginary of reading and gender performance in her ongoing series of watercolors depicting various editions of Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1969 groundbreaking novel “The Left Hand of Darkness”.

The exhibition title takes as its jumping off point the biological concept of autopoiesis, a term that refers to a system capable of reproducing and maintaining itself. “Autopoets” becomes an adaptation meant to evoke the ways in which artists similarly create and recreate their own, evolving life-poetics outside of convention.

‘The Autopoets” marks the first exhibition in the introductory year of artistic director Lisa Dent’s three-year engagement with Converge 45. Entitled “Facing Between Centers”, Dent’s 2019-2021 program will include artist explorations regarding cultural translation, agency, and non-linguistic forms of communication. “The Autopoets” is free and open to the public Tuesday through Sunday, noon – 5pm and will be on view August 10 – October 6, 2019 at the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, nestled in the Reed library.


About the Artists

Roland Dahwen’s experimental and documentary films and installations have been shown widely at institutions including: the California Institute of the Arts; the Portland Art Museum; the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time Based Art Festival; Northwest Film Center; and galleries and film festivals in Brazil, Cuba, and the United States. In 2018, he received an Oregon Media Arts Fellowship, and was an artist-in-residence in the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Creative Exchange Lab. He currently lives and works in Portland, OR.

Paul Mpagi Sepuya received his MFA from the University of California Los Angeles in 2016, and a BFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts in 2004. His work has been exhibited at: the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Studio Museum in Harlem; Franklin Art Works, Minneapolis; and the Artist Institute, New York. Public collections include: Museum of Modern Art, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Solomon R.Guggenheim Museum, New York; International Center of Photography, New York; Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin; and the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles, CA and is represented by Susanne Vielmetter, Los Angeles, CA and Team Gallery, NY.

Tuesday Smillie was born in Boston Massachusetts and moved to Portland Oregon in 2001, where she received her BFA from Oregon College of Art & Craft in 2007. Her work has been shown across the United States and Canada, including recent solo exhibitions at the Rose Art Museum in Waltham, MA, Participant Inc., New York, NY, Haverford College, Haverford, PA, and group exhibitions at the New Museum, NY, Artist Space, NY, Rubin Museum, New York, NY, and Fort Worth Contemporary Arts, Fort Worth, TX. In 2014 Smillie was named the first resident artist by the Museum of Trans Hirstory & Art (MOTHA). Her work has been featured in Artforum; the Boston Globe; and New York Magazine, and she has lectured at Cornell University, Ithaca and the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. She currently lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.


About the Curators

Lisa Dent was a Helena Rubenstein Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art, NY and has held curatorial staff positions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, NY and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. She was director of the Friedrich Petzel Gallery, NY and from 2004-08 owned and managed Lisa Dent Gallery in San Francisco, CA where she presented the work of emerging and mid-career international artists. Dent received her BFA from Howard University, and MFA from NYU. She completed the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in curatorial studies, has served on several juries and committees and is currently a board member of Triple Canopy.

Stephanie Snyder is the Anne and John Hauberg Director and Curator of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, a position she has held since 2003. A graduate of Reed College and Columbia University, Snyder is a regular contributor to Artforum and is the curator of numerous exhibitions, including: Gregg Bordowitz, “I Wanna Be Well” (Reed College, 2018; Art Institute of Chicago, 2019); Wynne Greenwood: “Kelly”, at the New Museum, NY (co-curated with Johanna Burton, 2015); Wynne Greenwood: “Stacy” (2014); “Supports/Surfaces” (co-curated with Wallace Whitney, 2014); Kara Walker, “More & Less” (2012); and David Reed, “Lives of Paintings” (2008). Snyder has received a Curatorial Research Fellowship from the Getty Foundation, and was a Fellow in the Getty’s Museum Leadership Institute.


About The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery
The Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery’s mission is to enrich the artistic, intellectual, and academic life of Reed College and the surrounding region through a diverse range of visual art exhibitions, symposia, publications, and creative partnerships. To this end, the Cooley also works with Portland Public School teachers and students, both at Reed and in PPS classrooms. In 2011, the Cooley reintroduced the study of calligraphy and paleography to Reed by establishing the Calligraphy Initiative in Honor of Lloyd J. Reynolds. The Cooley was established in 1988 by a generous endowment from Sue and Edward Cooley and John and Betty Gray.