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Takahiro Yamamoto, "The Property of Opaqueness." Photo courtesy of the artist.

Property of Opaqueness

Mar 19 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

511 Building - Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Center for Art and Design

Shipley / Collins Mediatheque

CCA&C Exhibitions

511 NW Broadway
Portland, Oregon, 97209   [map]

Property of Opaqueness is a collaborative dance performance by artist and choreographer Takahiro Yamamoto and is part of The Unknown Artist, an exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture, curated by Lucy Cotter. The performance will feature artist and arts administrator Rana San and filmmaker Roland Dahwen Wu, performing alongside Yamamoto.

Property of Opaqueness will investigate visibility and the physical and emotional effects that performers and viewers undergo through subtle variations in acts of looking, moving, and paying attention over an extended time period. Bringing Edouard Glissant’s concept of opacity to bear on a discipline that relies on the audience’s clear desire to see the performers, Yamamoto’s work raises such questions as: When does visibility/invisibility validate the performer and when does it negate them? What are the social consequences of looking at a performing body today? By actively alternating the levels of visibility/opacity in the work, the performance foregrounds how both viewers and performers use perception and imagination to reflect on the relational nature of validation and understanding. In the process, the unknowable emerges as a vulnerable yet necessary state of being.

Property of Opaqueness is the second iteration in a multi-year project with the umbrella title Opacity of Performance, which will culminate in a major work at the Portland Art Museum in Fall 2020. The creation and development of this work have been made possible with the additional assistance of the Henry Art Gallery and Velocity Dance Center, Seattle, Washington, as well as lumber room, Portland, Oregon. The PNCA performance has been supported in part by Artists Sleep Here residency program at Jupiter Hotel in Portland, Oregon.


Takahiro Yamamoto is an artist and choreographer from Shizuoka, Japan, who is currently based in Portland, Oregon. His approach to choreography is interpersonal and observational. Starting his conceptual investigations with questions – currently about the ontology of performance, the mutability of identity, and the social implications of the gaze – he often invites collaborators to bring their own perspectives into the creation. His performance and visual art works have been presented at PICA (Portland), Diverseworks (Houston), Contemporary Arts Center (Cincinnati), The Henry Art Gallery (Seattle) and GoDown Arts Centre (Nairobi), among other venues. He co-directs the performance company madhause with Ben Evans, and is part of the Portland-based support group Physical Education with Allie Hankins, keyon gaskin, and Lu Yim. Yamamoto holds an MFA in Visual Studies from PNCA.

Roland Dahwen is a filmmaker whose work explores such areas as migration, race and memory. His films and installations have been shown at CalArts, Portland Art Museum, Time Based Art Festival, Northwest Film Center and The Cooley Gallery, among other venues. He is a recipient of the Oregon Media Arts Fellowship (2018) and was artist-in-residence in Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Creative Exchange Lab (2018). He is the founder of Patuá Films.

Rana San is an artist and arts administrator whose creative practice melds dreamwork, written word, body in motion, video poetry, and analog photography. She’s interested in the ways we relate to ourselves, each other, our surroundings, the unknown, and the new meanings that are made in spaces where artistic mediums meet. In community, Rana crafts collective experiences that elevate the work of artists and activists using film, media, and contemporary performing arts to incite connection. She has developed and produced cultural festivals, museum programs, and intimate creative salons in Seattle, Istanbul, and Barcelona and currently serves as the Artistic Director at Northwest Film Forum in Seattle, Washington.