Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Uncanny Mr. Douglas

I remember visiting the Vancouver Art Gallery as a child and seeing some really weird things, chief among them Stan Douglas' Every Building on 100 West Hastings. It took up a whole wall, and I remember being slightly disturbed by it, but mainly wondering how the guy took it.

I didn't care much for my visits back in those days, when my parents dragged my sister and I to a big boring building where you couldn't run around or be noisy. (I also remember a huge picture of naked people. That was pretty neat.) As the years went by our visits became less and less frequent, and eventually stopped as my sister and I transitioned into high school.

The re-introduction of Douglas' work in the course gave me the opportunity to fully appreciate and analyze a work that I admired when I was younger, but did not have the capacity to enjoy on a critical level. The uncanny holds a certain appeal for me, which meant I had a field day when I was able to identify aspects of the picture such as the absence of people outside, and inside despite the light coming from some rooms in the apartments. The pointlessness of street lights and traffic lights, as well as the absence of cars, add to the deliciously creepy nature of Douglas' work.

1 comment:

  1. I love that picture too, and I totally agree with the sense of surreality that surrounds it, but what crazy parent would take their kids to the Vancouver Art Gallery? It reminds me of that horrible day my parents took me to the Botanical Gardens on Vancouver Island... actually, that still sounds pretty boring.