Each and every year, the city of Vancouver hosts its annual culture crawl. It's an opportunity for you to get out there to get to know your local artists and aritsans. The rest of the year, if you want creative genius, your best bet is to get out and about - go on. Go outdoors for a stint. It's good for you. In the best of all possible worlds, you can taste the sweet scent of the great outdoors while imbibing in the heady flavours of high art in an open air museum. Vancouver is nothing if not the best of all places, so join me. Let's see what the Biennale collection has on offer this year, shall we?
Forget ArtWalk. Go for an ArtRide, a Tour de Biannale all your own. In this town you'll find your trail blazed with art and sculpture easily enough. It's simple. Just stick to the waterfront paths. Take the beautiful seaside journey, and you'll find all sorts of art out there, just begging for your appreciation. C'mon. Saddle up. Let's see what we can find.
Today's guided tour starts in the heart of Kitsilano at the planetarium. Do you ever feel crabby? Ever get that nebulous feeling, you know, where you need to get far, far away from it all?
Grab a bike and follow me on an interplanetary adventure! Well, but maybe we'd better not get outta this world just yet. For those extra-terrestrial adventures, we'll have to planet better.
|Beauty is truth, truth beauty. Keats|
|The reflecting pool is undergoing maintenance, so it's dry.|
Ahoy there! What's this I sea?
Huh. Well, what do you know? It's a floating installation, an exhibit in Vancouver's third Biennale Open Air Museum. I wonder what Ai Weiwei is going to get up to...? His contribution is still being kept secret, though it's sure to be provocative. I can't wait to see it! In the mean time,
you'll find all sorts of interesting sculptures along the waterfront.
What's that? Feeling a bit rusty? Never mind. You'll fit right in.
Something weighing heavily on your shoulders?
No problem! This bridge might not be built over troubled waters, but a ride across it is sure to ease your mind. Art is always meant to be provocative, isn't it? Its purpose is to engage its audience, to cause thought, reaction, and emotion, and in that sense, the Biennale collection certainly does its bit.
This installation is all about urban densification. Can you tell? healthy cities have to grow taller. Here in Vancouver, people always fight the development of high-rises along the light rail transit lines, but really, it's the healthiest choice. Urban sprawl is ugly, and counter-productive. And as Vancouver's west end so beautifully exemplifies, it is possible to create dense neighbourhoods which remain livable, tight-knit communities. This sculpture also reminds us that despite our many differences, we are all connected. We are one.
Time ticks inexorably on, but a bit of electrolysis as it was submersed under water for at least a year has left a distinctive patina on this particular Time Top
Some exhibits are beside the water, others in it.
Every city should have a floating ray gun whose target changes with the tides. Don't you think?
Some exhibits are touched by the tides,
while others artistically express the wind's whims. The wind as artist... that's soooo lotus land, don't you think? :) Biennale suits Vancouver, too. It is a temporary thing, a fleeting artistic expression that is also one day gone with the wind, a thing of the past. Unless someone does something extraordinary, that is. Yue Minjun's A-Maze-Ing Laughter
was so well loved that Lulu Lemon founder and creator of the sheer yoga-pant Chip Wilson donated 1.5 million dollars to purchase the work and ensure that it could stay
to entertain Vancouverites and tourists alike for generations to come.
Dennis Oppenheim's Engagement Rings stayed, too.
If ever an exhibit had a ring of permanency about it...
On the other side of the park, sitting in the sand in all of its corroding glory, you'll find what amounts to a poignant reminder of the impermanence of absolutely everything, and despite being on permanent display:
Bernar Vanet's arcs of steel.
I love how this art represents both the artist's unique world perspective, and and at the same time, it's a unique perspective from which to view the world.
Imagine what this propeller's pilot might have seen!
There is a lot of blue sky to explore up there!
So often you see toys made to look just like teeny-tiny copy of real life things. So for example, you'll see one of those London double-decker busses, only it's two inches tall. This sculpture is great, because it is the exact opposite - it's a toy made larger than life!
Art, art everywhere...
sometimes it is tucked away, out of sight and out of mind till you stumble upon it. Whether you see it, whether you are aware of it or not, it is still there, silently standing vigil, waiting for each of us to come and explore, to enjoy. Like this:
And people say I get around. :)
Mmm balls. :D
Art always interacts with the world around it. It challenges your pre-conceptions, it makes you think, makes you feel.
The thing I love best about Vancouver's Biennale is that it takes art outside, away from the traditional museum venue and into the real world. This way, it becomes an integral part of the world all around, so that our interactions with it are genuine. Art becomes a part of daily life. Continuing along on our way, we ran smack dab into the Olympic cauldron. There's a thin line between art and propaganda sometimes.
I heard that they lit the cauldron when they opened up the Cactus Club restaurant next door. Strange, that. I always thought that the Olympic flame is supposed to represent the spirit of competition, the athlete's passion, drive and determination, not mojitos and hot buffalo chicken wings.
|double double toil and trouble, fire burn and corporate interests bubble|
It sits idle, awaiting the next corporate grand opening, comfortably at home among the financial district's grand glass towers. Imposing, not interacting.
But don't worry. We've still got Douglas Copeland. All's well that ends whale!