• When: April 30, 2017 - May 11, 2017
  • Where: AB Lobby Gallery, Art Building, 1st floor, 2000 SW 5th Avenue, Portland OR 97201
  • Details:

    Sam Sanderson
    American Logs
    MFA Graduate Project Exhibition

    May 1-11, 2017

    Performances: May 1-5, 5-7pm
    Reception: Wednesday, May 3, 5-7pm
    Gallery Talk: Thursday, May 11, 6pm

    AB Lobby Gallery

    Art Building, 1st floor
    2000 SW 5th Ave
    Portland OR 97201

    Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm

    Free and open to the public

    Sanderson’s first solo exhibition in Portland, American Logs, deconstructs foundational American myths through performance and sculptural remnants. Through symbolism, and repetition American Logs binds together the personal and the political to untangle the relationship between whiteness and the American ideological mythos.

    Myth and ideology are a means by which historical problematics are ellided into a simplified state of being. They do not make, deny, or contradict reality; rather, myths assert the force of a statement of fact by omitting contradictions in the record. Myths do not present the world as it was or could be. Myths present a version of reality that is and always has been. By excavating the complexities of the historical record, we examine the fictions we tell about ourselves, about others, and about society. In the United States, the discovery myth; the lost-cause myth; manifest destiny; the good war myth; and the pioneer aesthetic are means by which white supremacist ideology perpetuates itself.

    In a series of performances taking place over five days, American Logs deconstructs this ideological mythos. Using his family’s own problematic history as a starting point, Sanderson unravels the toxic whiteness perpetuated by foundational American myths while interrogating his own relationship with whiteness and complicity in historical trauma and injustice.


    Sam Sanderson (b. 1988) is an interdisciplinary performance artist whose work investigates the white racial imaginary, contemporary democratic discourse, and the politics of power. His works have been shown in galleries in the Pacific Northwest and the American South. Sanderson received his BA in fine art from Sewanee: The University of the South in 2010 and is currently an MFA candidate at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.