Lub Dub

Portland Building Installation, June-July 2015.


PORTLAND, ORE – Inspired by the 1966 sci-fi movieFantastic Voyage, in which miniaturized scientists enter a living human body on a medical rescue mission, artist Alanna Risse has created an installation that invites viewers to make believe they are inside a whimsical reconstruction of the human heart. While still remaining roughly anatomically correct, the overall form and use of everyday re-purposed materials, such as recycled cardboard, rivets, old curtains and fabric remnants, miscellaneous nuts and bolts, etc., also allows the work will to function like a kid’s fort.

“As a latch-key kid, growing up in the Silicon Valley in the 1970s and 80s, with no personal sense of cultural identity, my identity was formed from a saturation of imagery from the technology and media that pervaded my life. As my surrogate parent, television, music, and movies shaped aspects of my personality indelibly. My current body of work explores this relationship by drawing inspiration from the electronic sources that inspired me.”

The interior of the heart forms a cave-like refuge bathed in red light and filled with red and white blood platelets—in the form of appropriately shaped red and white floor pillows. Risse also takes advantage of the existing architecture of the Portland Building by incorporating round apertures (or “arterial entry points”) into the roof and side of the heart’s exterior that offer a sneak-peek inside as one ascends the staircase adjacent to the exhibition space. While the installation is playful and invites young and old to enter and investigate, it also offers a deeper level of engagement that asks visitors to examine their perceptions of body, mortality, and fragility.

About the Artist: Alanna Risse is a graduate candidate at Pacific Northwest Collage of Art’s MFA in Visual Studies program.  She completed her BFA in Painting and Drawing at California College of the Arts in San Francisco and has shown at multiple venues in Portland and in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Viewing Hours & Location: The Portland Building is located at 1120 SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland and is open 8 am to 5 pm, Monday – Friday. Lub Dub opens June 8th and runs through July 10th, 2015.

For more information on the Portland Building Installation Space, including images, proposals, and statements for all projects dating back to 1994, go to


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