Fallen Fruit of Portland
Paradise is part of Fallen Fruit of Portland, a suite of five site-specific projects taking place throughout Portland in October and November 2015. Other Fallen Fruit of Portland projects include Urban Fruit Trails, The Geography of We (a youth curated exhibition at Caldera), Division of Identification, and the commissioning of eight Oregon-based artist projects. All projects are presented by Caldera and funded by a Creative Heights grant from The Oregon Community Foundation. For more information on the Fallen Fruit of Portland projects or Caldera, please visit http://calderaarts.org/caldera/.
(David Burns and Austin Young)
Oct 24, 2015 – Jan 17, 2016
“…I was upon the summit of a tall mountain which commands a bewildering prospect of that loved valley… The birds of autumn caroled their soft melodies around, and the blushing flowret bent at the feet of the intruder… Away to the north was the smoke wreathing above the trees which clustered around the lone mission-house and I thought there was an altar to God, and incense from the bosom of the wilderness.”
—Excerpt from A Sketch of the Oregon Territory, or Emigrant’s Guide, Philip L. Edwards, 1842.
By the 1850s, the rutted Oregon Trail ferried large numbers of settlers into the heart of the Willamette Valley. A steady diet of florid guidebooks promised a fecund new Eden where everything grew. Oregon came packaged as a vision of “paradise,” ripe with possibility and a symbol of Westward Expansion and Manifest Destiny.
The artist collaborative Fallen Fruit will explore Oregon’s paradisiacal backyard through the lens of Portland Art Museum’s permanent collection. Based in Los Angeles, artists David Allen Burns and Austin Young create site-specific projects using fruit to examine concepts of place, history, and issues of representation often addressing questions of public space.
The apple is a fruit that has come to represent the hearty bounty of the Northwest with deep connections to the landscape and of westward movement. It’s often a symbol of moral questioning and serves as a metaphoric reference to the Garden of Eden. In Paradise, Fallen Fruit will create an eye-popping immersive art installation in the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Sculpture Court using the Portland Art Museum’s permanent collections to thematically explore concepts of “paradise,” sublime landscape, and the greater Northwest.
Fallen Fruit is an art collaboration originally conceived in 2004 by David Allen Burns, Matias Viegener and Austin Young. Since 2013, Burns and Young have continued the collaborative work. Fallen Fruit began by mapping fruit trees growing on or over public property in Los Angeles. The collaboration has expanded to include serialized public projects and site-specific installations which invite the public to experience the world as a fruitful place. The artists have realized projects at a range of institutions including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Hammer Museum-UCLA, Atlanta Center for Contemporary Art, and Prospect 3 New Orleans.