Friday, June 10, 2011

Press Release for Opening on June 18th

Here's the press release I sent out yesterday. We will begin installing the work on the 14th; if you are in town, please come by and look!

Viande de Brousse

A bushmeat food-cart art project

June 9th, 2011

For Immediate Release

Contact: Roger Peet (503) 753 7027


Portland, Oregon – There will be an opening reception for Viande de Brousse, a bushmeat food-cart art installation, at the PLACE gallery on the third floor of Pioneer Place Mall, 700 Southwest Fifth Avenue (Atrium Building) on June 18th, 2011, from 6-9 pm. A collaboration between Portland artists Roger Peet and Ryan Burns, this project is part sculpture and part-installation. Its subject is the maelstrom of violence, ecological devastation and international greed that has engulfed the forests and peoples of the Democratic Republic of Congo for the past century. We have made a copy of a small food-cart, similar to those seen in cities across Sub-Saharan Africa, which seems to be serving the severed hands of primates. But which primates? Who is serving them, and to whom?

From the horrors of Belgium's colonial regime to the contemporary scramble for the rare minerals that power our smart-phones and gaming systems, the severed hand has become a grim symbol of the world's cruelty and indifference to Congo. Civilians have their hands cut as punishment for non-compliance by the militias that control the mines. Chimpanzees and gorillas are shot down, cut apart and smoked in deep forest camps, their meat going to feed the hordes of miners digging minerals from the red earth. Their hands, especially prized by expatriate communities, find their way into the burgeoning global trade in exotic forest products. The women of Congo suffer one of the highest rates of rape in the world, and rape has become a tested weapon of war. The biodiversity of the forests falls before global demand for high-technology products, timber, cheap labor, and fresh meat.

We want to examine our complicity in these processes. This project is an attempt to describe the complexities of this dark knot of human need and greed.

Roger Peet and Ryan Burns are Portland artists who make art that addresses environmental and social issues on local, national and international levels. They are recipients of numerous grants and awards and have exhibited their works around the world. Roger is a member of the well-known Justseeds Artists' Cooperative (, and Ryan's previous work addressing Congo's mineral wars can be seen at

  • Saturday, June 18th, 2011, 6-9 pm

  • PLACE gallery, Pioneer Place Mall Atrium Building, 3rd floor, 700 SW 5th Ave.

  • A collaboration between Roger Peet and Ryan Burns


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