Make Yourself At Home

Tori Abernathy

HQHQ Project Space

232 SE Oak St. #108

Portland, OR 97217

February 6th - March 1st, 2015

Make Yourself At Home consists of an environmental installation that subverts elements of a typically brutal construction site by transforming them into tropes of festivity, play, and femininity. This environment functions as the stage for a three-day-long series of events, which investigates the tensions of development and displacement and their impacts on local residents. A resource library will be available for public use during open hours. Inspired by Strike Debt's debtors' assembly and the Right to the City movement, the series of gatherings will bring together those impacted by the abuses of private property to share in their narratives of displacement, struggle, and resistance in the form of The Portland Renters' Assembly. This is intended to humanize and personalize insidious forces that are often rendered abstract or commonplace. Further, these gatherings will be punctuated by presentations from members of local organizations familiar with these socioeconomic struggles, who can, together, present a history of community resistance while sharing tools, tactics, and resources.

The Portland Renters’ Assembly is a gathering of people united by the burden of rent. The housing struggle in Portland, much like activism of our time at large, often operates in a state of emergency. There is a need to stand behind those facing foreclosure, eviction, renoviction, homelessness, and rents rising well beyond livability. It is time for these concerns to stand in solidarity with the basic injustice underlying the concept of ‘rent’ itself. Come and share your experience as a renter or with rent-related issues, learn about the history of rent and tenant struggles, and share resources for moving forward together. There will be brief presentations by Marc Moscato of Know Your City, members of Right to Dream Too, Nick Caleb of $15Now!, and Oregon Community Alliance of Tenants.

Documantation courtesy of the Ash Gifford for ArtAndAboutPDX

Tori Abernathy (b. Miami, 1988) is an artist, activist, curator, and writer currently practicing in Portland, OR. She is founder and co-director of RECESS, a collaborative arts initiative that develops and supports new forms of engaging with arts and culture that rupture the experience of everyday life as well as arts and culture. Since 2009, RECESS’ projects, events, lectures, workshops, and interventions operate on the basis of creative practice geared toward civic change. Her collaborative, interdisciplinary practice develops new aesthetic, gestural, and conversational languages with under-recognized activities, occupations, and sites. Recently, she has focused on the construction site, advertising, public sanitation work, the service industry, and semi-privatized public space. Unifying her practice is a commitment to the political efficacy of imaginative potential through the arts and allied fields. Her research focuses on what can be learned from the tactics of historic labor and housing justice movements in order to develop tactics relevant for the social conditions we face today.