The summer’s swelter is dying down, which means it’s time for Portland to enter festival season. Bookworms and cinephiles and music-lovers alike all get pieces of the pie during this annual outpouring from the city’s arts scene, but only one event sweeps almost every discipline under its wings: the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s Time-Based Art Festival.
Back for its 20th year, TBA 2022 will be the first completely in-person iteration of the boundary-stretching festival since 2019. The lineup—which includes local, national, and international names—boasts feasts, lectures, films, dance pieces, sculpture, and more, all spread across the Rose City from September 8–18. Passes run $150 for the full festival, $75 per weekend, or a crisp $500 for VIP access, but you can attend most individual events with single tickets.
To help navigate the glut of material, we’ve highlighted five events we’ve got our eyes on this year, spanning from experimental theater to drag and beyond.
2 p.m. Sun, Sept 11, Hollywood Theatre
This program of five short films, from a fantastia about legendary activist Marsha P. Johnson to a deep deive on the Everglades, highlights the work of acclaimed New York-and-South Florida-based artist Sasha Wortzel. Wortzel will appear after the program for an audience Q&A.
6 p.m. Fri–Sat, Sept 9–10 & 4 p.m. Sun, Sept 11, Winningstad Theatre
Pulling from his book of the same name, Philadelphia artist Sylvan Oswald presents this "performance text about a trans man whose insomnia sparks a fantastical search for his estranged half-brother" to TBA audiences. Presented as a monologue with video elements and an "electro-acoustic" score, it pulls his adult bedtime story from the page to the heights of downtown's Winningstad Theatre.
4 p.m. Sat–Sun, Sept 17–18, BodyVox Dance Center
Often, the exquisite "what could this possibly entail" feeling you get from certain TBA listings can foretell some of the most memorable viewing of your life. No promises, certainly, but Radio III's interrogation of Western dance traditions seems like a prime candidate to fit that formula. Per the listing, this performance, from dancers Hanako Hoshimi-Caines and Zoë Poluch and composer Elisa Harkins, "haunts the recognizable toolbox of abstraction, form, repetition, and pattern." Consider our interest duly piqued.
6 p.m. Thu–Fri, Sept 15–16, 2 p.m. Sat–Sun, Sept 17–18, PICA
Portland drag mainstay Carla Rossi, host of the Hollywood Theatre’s Queer Horror series, is presenting a sequel to her 2019 one-woman show with a little help from her friends. Incorporating puppetry, death metal, sculpture, and video, this self-designated drag farce finds Carla stranded on a rock as sea levels rise, and features an appearance from local performers David Saffet and Jillian Snow Harris in their well-known Liberace and Liza act.
1–4 p.m. Sun, Sept 18, Location TBD
To round out the festival, chef Salimatu Amabebe will join forces with photographer and dancer Intisar Abioto, writer and dancer Akela Jaffi, and artist Annika Hansteen-Izora to present a special iteration of their dinner series Black Feast. At a to-be-determined farm somewhere in the metro area, Amabebe will prepare a multi-course vegan and gluten-free meal inspired by the work of the other artists; they, in turn, will perform a movement piece called Black Imagerial. The dinner is limited to 40 seats—Black attendees can attend for free or by donation, others pay $80—and currently only offers waitlist availability.