Sunday, September 16, 2007

Vancouver Art Minute

During my tourism day in Vancouver, i discovered the city with its Seabus and Skytrain and pretty convinient trasportation system. It is also full of drug addicts of all sorts, proliferating from the East side to every corner. The tempretures are lenient for Canada, the ground ready with crime options - and there goes a community of sorts.

Otherwise, there are two good museums worth a visit - UBC's anthropology museum and the Vancouver Art gallery.

The anthropology museum, located at the BC universitie's heart - a similar idea to university museums at Harvard - has come up with this interesting concept of showing its storage through wooden boxes scattered around the museum, where, like a curious child, one can open a drawer and find japanese dolls, tea instruments or indian flip-flops at random. A good concept, as in most other museums, 90% of their property is hidden in the basement and storage areas under dust and webbing.

The totem poles and some potlatch masks are a good intro to these well-forgotten owners of the land culture. An impressive sculpture by Bill Reid, the Raven and the First Man, has an evil feel to it, similar to Emily Carr paintings at the Art Gallery. Many people's lives and memories destroyed, their spirit still remains overflying their favorite rivers, coast lines and hunting prairies.


The Art Gallery has a much more commercial approach, with the most crowded place being its art shop, filled with discounts on all impressionist goodies during these last days of Monet to Dali expo. The expo itself is not that interesting, paintings come from Cleveland, and apart from Morisot portrait by Manet, I can't remember anything else from it already.

The surprise comes from the second and third floor, with the Huang Yong Ping retrospective and some funny design works from Andrea Zittel - i.e. her Deserted Island project (more detail here).

Shame on me, but i have never before heard of Huang, a Chinese artist specialized in political sculpture with a message and good sence of humour. My favorites of his was the Vespucci bulldog and the 'Nationals' and 'Others' sculpture. His work is very interesting - his latest 'coup' was installing this stand with voracious insects and reptiles inside the Vancouver Art Gallery, that got an upheaval from the whole animals defence community and a final ban from a judge that ordered to remoove the poor animals hurting the sensibilities of unprepared visitors. Now the exhibit stands empty (although the zoos stand full), proof to the free speach dillemma.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi,
It seems that you are enjoying your trip around Canada, lucky you...!Interesting art works in those museums. My boyfriend´s brother in law is also a well-known Canadian native architect which designs buildings inspired by nature (landscape).I think you would find interesting to see his work, for example, Canadian Museum of Civilization but it is just at the other side from where you are, in Ottawa. Check www.civilization.ca

Keep enjoying your trip...!!!

Anonymous said...

...anonymous it´s me...kattagorri

uasunflower said...

thx kattagori :)

Anonymous said...

Hi,
If you liked Bill Reid´s work,just to mention that there is a fantastic sculpture in the museum that I mentioned called "The Spirit of Haida Gwaii".It is a huge canoe with people and animals in it, some said that is an allegory of Canadian society. It worths to have a look...
I hope you have good climbings...
(kattagorri)

Rupert said...

Prints and Drawings
from 02-21-2008 to 05-26-2008 in Louvre!

Gabriel de Saint-Aubin 1724–1780
A unique chronicler of bohemian Paris under the reign of Louis XV, Gabriel de Saint-Aubin was a marginal artist who roamed the streets of the capital his entire life, a sketchbook in his hands.