was a center for contemporary art in Southeast Portland, Oregon. It was led by a desire to support artists, propose new modes of production, and stimulate the ongoing public discourse around art. This website serves as an archive of Yale Union’s programming from 2011 through 2021.

Yale Union acknowledges that it occupies the traditional lands of the Multnomah, Chinook, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla, and other Indigenous peoples.



Wednesday, Feb. 20, 7–9pm
NW Film Center
Whitsell Auditorium
1219 SW Park Ave.
Portland, OR 97205

To follow a non-imperialistic policy and maintain a non-racist faith becomes daily more difficult because it becomes daily clearer how great a burden mankind is for man. —Hannah Arendt

The politics of institutions penetrate daily life during times of crisis. What engaged—albeit antagonistic—positions can artists take in regard to the field of art, and to broader social relations? Silvia Kolbowski (b. 1953, Buenos Aires) will be in discussion with New York–based curator Kari Rittenbach about cultural collusion, personal implication in the political, psyche-specificity, and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein (1818). Excerpts will be screened from Kolbowski’s two-channel installation Proximity to Power: American Style (2003/4), followed by the world premiere of That Monster: An Allegory (2018), a short looped video that plays once with music and once silent. With audience Q&A.

Proximity to Power: American Style, 2003–04
Digital slides (color), sound
Audio: 37.18 min.

That Monster: An Allegory, 2018
Video loop projection, black and white, 18 min.
Music: Excerpts from Metamorphosis 1 and Metamorphosis 2 by Philip Glass
© 1988 Dunvagen Music Publishers Inc.
Used by Permission
Pianist: Dustin O’Halloran


Silvia Kolbowski is a New York–based artist working with time-based media, whose scope of address includes questions of historicization, political resistance, and the unconscious. The structures of spectatorship—psychical and political—are a central concern of all her projects. Her work has been exhibited in many international venues and contexts, including The Tapei Biennial; the Villa Arson, Nice; The Whitney Biennial, New York; The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; and others. She has had one-person exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, Ljubljana; the Center for Contemporary Art, Warsaw; The Secession, Vienna; and LA><ART.

Kari Rittenbach is a critic and independent curator based in Brooklyn, New York. Her writing has appeared in Artforum, Frieze, Flash Art, May Revue, Mousse, Texte zur Kunst, and in artist books and museum catalogues. Recent projects include “Coming Soon” (Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, Turin, 2018), “What Everybody Knows” (Svetlana, New York & Jenny’s, Los Angeles, 2017), “Trees in the Forest” (Yale Union, Portland, 2016), and “On Limits” (The Kitchen, New York, 2016).