The Willamette River snakes through Portland and creates movement, boundaries and divisions. This natural, slow flowing artery is an arena for commerce, sport and spectacle. The water that is displaced by military ships can also maneuver private boats festive with holiday lights and transport barges heavy with grain. For TBA:06, Portland-based artist David Eckard adds his own personal buoy, a Rococo raft that carries him along to the rhythm and movement of the river. This slow procession will theatrically charge the river at dusk and give its flow the function of poetic meter.
Suspended on floats 15-20 feet above the water, Eckard’s mirror, lace and fire-adorned “carriage” will slowly weave and teeter down the river as he speaks to the opposing shores and the river itself through a formation of gilded megaphones. With a sound composition created by Bobby Jones broadcast through the sound systems of his volunteer “fleet” of boats, Eckard links river traffic in an operatic moment of pageantry.
David Eckard is an artist, performer and educator based in Portland, OR. His work has been exhibited internationally and has been written about and reviewed in The New York Times, Flash Art, Art in America, Artnews and Sculpture. Through objects, drawings, installations and performative interventions, Eckard investigates conditions of masculinity, endurance, function, futility, authority and absurdity. Float continues and greatly expands his exploration in charging public spaces with new function and possibility by using elaborately constructed, sculptural props and orchestrated interventions.