Gorman’s ‘Ambergris’ at Fish Exchange

Oct 10, 2018
l“Ambergris” is part of the installation by Portland artist Russ Cox in collaboration with Michael Gorman’s multimedia happening of the same name.

Portland — “Ambergris,” an environmental installation and performance by Rockland-based playwright Michael Gorman, explores the roots of addiction and new models of sustainable fishing. It will take place Saturday, Oct. 20, at 6:30 p.m. at the Portland Fish Exchange & Net Yard, 6 Portland Fish Pier on the waterfront.

The piece is inspired by the economic devastation being caused by the ongoing opiate epidemic within commercial fishing communities in New England and beyond. The event will include performance of scenes from Gorman’s new play “Chasing the New White Whale,” which draws inspiration from “Moby-Dick” and is part of Gorman's ongoing project and arts and advocacy model that explores the current national opioid crisis through the unique lens of the fishing industry.

The event also will feature live musical accompaniment, video and photographic projections; an evolutional series of rolling boats (artistically suggestive models) including an ancient whaling harpoon boat and The Ambergris; and a spectacle invoking Ahab’s final thrilling chase in “Moby-Dick.” For this project, Gorman also has collaborated with three Maine visual artists whose work will be included in the installation.

Support for "Ambergris” is provided by the Kindling Fund, a grant administered by SPACE as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Regional Re-granting Network, which Gorman was awarded earlier this year.

Gorman's work as a playwright and experimental theater artist explores the roots of the disease of addiction, and calls for a more compassionate understanding of addicts, as well as the tremendous need for more treatment and education. Gorman is the founder of The Forty Hour Club, his current production company formed by a collective of independent artists dedicated to creating installations that ask the question, "To what consequence?" The productions focus on the economic, environmental and systemic destruction facing working communities and the paramount issue of sustainability.

Gorman’s newest work “Chasing The New White Whale” will premiere in New York City this fall at The Ellen Stewart Theater at La MaMa Theater, where he currently serves in the role of Playwright in Residence. That production includes local actor Jim Reitz.

Gorman hopes to be able to attract a diverse audience to “Ambergris” including those working within the local fishing community; local addiction and recovery groups; and anyone interested in this unique arts and advocacy model. There is a $10 suggested donation or pay-what-you-can (at the door), which will go towards supporting this ongoing project.

Parking is available at the Portland Fish Exchange parking lot. In case of inclement weather, the hour-long event will be moved to 121 Cassidy Drive (just off of West Commercial Street). For more information, visit fortyhourclub.com.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

Comments (1)
Posted by: Abby Chew Williams | Oct 11, 2018 10:23

Keep up the good work Mike!

If you wish to comment, please login.