Sunday, April 25, 2010

It all comes back to THIS project (final post)

Of all the images, representations and theories of Vancouver that we've discussed and reviewed this semester, Stan Douglas's 'Every Building on 100 West Hastings' stands out as one of the most thought-provoking and eerie works that has helped me see our city in a new way. While we've talked a lot about what makes Vancouver recognizable (the relationship with nature, the growing city, the art and music scene, fashion, marijuana, many others), Stan Douglas offers a truly unique view of an important street in Vancouver culture. I've walked this street a few times and what dominated my vision were the (stereotypical) characters and pollution. Douglas shows a street void of these key figures and allows the viewer to appreciate the city for it's structure and buildings, but also allows us to consider whether it's the place or the people that make a city recognizeable. All semester I've been trying to decide what gives Vancouver it's image and Douglas's photographic compilation helps me realize that it's the wide range of races, cultures, ideologies, and backgrounds that the city should be known for. By imagining what Vancouver would look like in this post-apocalyptic image, Douglas has focussed my attention on what's NOT there, and that's the people. Beyond being associated with lame Canadian stereotypes like hockey, syrup, and beavers, Vancouver should be known and appreciated for it's eclectic mix of faces and lives and as inhabitants of this city we should realize how important we are in creating Vancouver's unique image.

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