APEX: Sam Hamilton

Standard Candles

Exhibition Website

Mar 25 2017 - Oct 22 2017

For the summer 2017 APEX exhibition, the Portland Art Museum presents a body of work by Sam Hamilton, in his first solo exhibition in the United States. Originally from Aotearoa (New Zealand), Hamilton has recently made Portland his home. Describing his practice as interdisciplinary, or “non-disciplinary,” Hamilton flows between film, music, performance, and installation.

Connecting several bodies of work, Hamilton has chosen to title the exhibition Standard Candles. The title is drawn from the astronomical term for a class of objects whose distances can be computed by comparing their observed brightness with their known luminosity.

The Museum’s APEX exhibition will premiere Hamilton’s feature-length film Apple Pie. Filmed in 16mm and transferred to HD, Apple Pie is a film made of a suite of 10 works loosely combined to create a conceptual and aesthetic experience of the cosmos and our solar system. An unusual rhythm takes hold in this visually arresting film. Soundtracks vary between the works, and images are a constant flux of textures. As a whole, the nonlinear film takes viewers on a journey expanding our sense of time and our understanding of the evolutionary agency of civilization. The ten works include: Pluto, Sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Moon, MarsJupiter, Saturn, and Neptune. During the run of the film, viewers begin to embrace a semblance of a perspective laid out in cosmic time. The title Apple Pie playfully comes from a popular quote by astronomer Carl Sagan: “If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

Three additional short films will be exhibited including a minimal installation that humorously points to question historical hierarchies of colonial culture, patriarchy, ecology, and the artist’s labor. [...]

Apple Pie will screen at the Whitsell Auditorium on Saturday, April 1, at 2 p.m. The screening is co-presented with the Northwest Film Center as part of the Northwest Tracking series, an ongoing series focusing on the work of independent filmmakers living across the Northwest.

Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website

  • American
  • Contemporary
  • Sam Hamilton

Exhibition Venues & Dates