Portland Mercury, June 2, 2005
By Justin Wescoat Sanders
Imagine what would happen if immaculate filmmaker Wes Anderson made a performance art installation about a 19th-century murder spree and subsequent black market cadaver sale in Scotland, and you’ll have an idea of what it’s like to walk through Liminal’s The Resurrectory. A perfectly balanced array of live performance (both musical and theatrical), visual art, and video work from Jim Blashfield divides the story into its component parts. There’s the Inquest, where actors reconstruct the murder scenes through a series of eerie, fluid movement sequences; the Operating Theater, where the fresh cadavers are dissected and lectured about by poet David Abel as a ghostly orchestra provides background music on what appear to be electronic saxophones; and the Collections, where records keeper Alex Reagan documents the crimes via tape recorder and keeps archives of photographic evidence.
You can sit in any of these areas indefinitely and constantly find fresh things to observe. What makes The Resurrectory fun is, like Anderson’s films, its attention to detail. The Collections is stocked with penlights you can cast on the wall, where a city map charts each new murder. The Inquest contains a metal operating table, where sexy/scary attendant Madeleine Sanford preps the corpses under a harsh light. Even the show’s program is layered, packed with historical information and Gabriel Liston’s amazing, scratchy sketches, which pop up all over the installation and provide a great stylistic through line. Come to The Resurrectory, and then come again. And again.
Portland Art Center, 2045 SE Belmont, 239-5481, Thurs-Sat 8-10 pm, through June 18, $6-10 pay-what-you-can.