Killjoy: MFA in Visual Studies alumni collective interviewed

July 13, 2018

Art and About PDX interviews the BriAnna Rosen, artist and founding member of Killjoy Collective, about their artist-run exhibition space which has been showcasing artists who identify as women in Southeast Portland since 2016. 

It's an inspiring interview. Summarizing by saying that she stakes out  the value of the collective to artists--giving a platform for exhibition to those who might not otherwise have it--as well as the value of art to society at large, does not do it justice. Some excerpts:

First and foremost, art is what survives. Monuments, stories, artifacts... these are the redeeming creations of humanity. In Sci-Fi stories when an alien species is about to decimate the Earth, society points to music, poetry, and art as the reason why humans should continue to exist. Art crystallizes all the beautiful minutia of everyday life and reflects the time from whence it was constructed. 

Art turns observation and interacting to experiencing and understanding. I consider it the most direct way for one soul to connect with another. Providing an inclusive art space that could foster critical thinking and strategic action was the best way to achieve goals of cooperation over competition.

She talks about why Killjoy focuses on the artists it does:

I want to give solo and group exhibitions to artists of color, womxn, womxn-identifying, queer, femme, gender non-conforming, LGBTQ+, and anyone else who defies the patriarchy and the assumption that artists are white men. I also want to point attention to the fact that creative industries, along with being sexist and racist, are also classist and elitist. Art should not be a rich person's game.

The parameters for artists are flexible and organic, just like the language I use to describe the work and the collective's mission. Artists selected have unique and strong voices that often are not heard in traditional art spaces, but need to be heard by everyone. They exemplify passion and creativity, transcending the times we live in. It all sounds grandiose, but it doesn't have to be. Sometimes the most important voices that audiences need to hear are the quietest and shyest ones that rarely are given a platform to be listened to. 

Read the entire interview here.