High Fashion at the VAG - Death In Robson SquareFriday, December 14, 2018
|Detail of a Guo Pei taken with my iPhone3G
Today December 14, 2018 my Rosemary went to town. We drove and parked our Cruze in a back alley near the Vancouver Public Library. I do this because I have a valued municipal plate that allows me to do load and unload for 30 minutes. This time restraint affects me in about one ticket every four years.
Going to town for me is becoming a bird. Birds are present day dinosaurs. This present day dinosaur is a bird in that I know exactly what building preceded any of the new buildings in our city. Those bulidings give mememories of people I photographed within them.
Robson between Granville and Cambie is a huge string of restaurants. Lots of food for the stomach only brings some for the soul if you walk into the Vancouver Public Library which we visited today.
The Vancouver Art Gallery has a terrific show that I have now seen twice.
Guo Pei: Couture Beyond
October 13, 2018 - January 20, 2019
Guo Pei: Couture Beyond is the first Canadian exhibition devoted to the work of Guo Pei, China’s preeminent couturière.
It is a visual delight. And as always Rosemary and I had soup (always good) in the Gallery Café.
Not such a visual delight (I am tired of seeing it) is Kim Adams’s Squid (a moveable sculpture) that has been at the entrance of the gallery for many years. The only other sculpture I have ever seen in the outside grounds of the gallery was Douglas Coupland’s Bubble Gum Head.
|Squid - Kim Adams
Years ago I was friend with then Vancouver Art Gallery head, Brooks Joyner. One of his plans was to place sculpture outside. Sadly he was gone before his plan came into effect.
On of the few damning utterings by my hero Argentine writer Jorge Luís Borges was his complete repulsion to Canada’s gift to Argentina which was a totem pole. It was placed near the Retiro train station. Borges wondered how a civilized country could have possibly sent that as an example of it. As for me that was my first glimpse of the art of a country I would one day live in. It was the totem pole in Mexico City's Chapultepec Park that was the first my Rosemary ever saw. She is from New Dublin, Ontario.
Even though the Dana Claxton's show Fringing the Cube, presently at the Gallery is a lovely one I do not see why there is no example of Native Canadian art somehow outside to share the space with Squid (which has never moved).
Robson, between Hornby and How has to be the smack centre of the city. Is there anything there except for some ugly foldable chairs and tables and a couple of food wagons? You would think that some designer/architect could bring back some life to the place now that there will no longer be cannabis related protests.
Robson Square which used to have restaurants inside now has empty storefronts. There never seems to be life inside what seems to be the University of British Columbia. There is ice skating. But I believe as my departed friend architect Abraham Rogatnick used to say that ,”UBC has killed Robson Square.” My photograph of that UBC on any given day resembles a lonely Edward Hopper.
Because so many of the buildings I recognized at one time are now gone, as I walked with Rosemary I felt like an alienated interloper. I was in a city in which the nearest and perhaps only bookstore was Macleod’s on Richards and Pender.
Back in my nest, our Kits duplex while I write this I realize and know that the many negative file cabinets behind me hold those memories that are now fading. I feel like a badly faded photographic print going in the direction so nicely said by General MacArthur.