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Vancouver … need we say more

February 17, 2010 Global Art No Comments

Last week we covered some of the public art work commissioned by Vancouver’s Olympic and Paralympic Public Art Program.   Here are two more artists.

The first is Vancouver artist Rodney Graham.  A recognized Canadian artist with an international following, Graham is well-known for his conceptual and often humorous sculptures.  Aerodynamic Forms is located on the Georgia Street entrance to Stanley Park.

Rodney Graham"s "Aerodynamic Forms", 2009 (Photo: Karen Mills) (Courtesy of

Rodney Graham’s Artistic Statement (2009):

“The work takes its title from a series of photographs I shot in Vancouver in 1977…which documented a series of  ‘incorrectly’ assembled toy glider kits…I
put the models together not with a view to having them fly correctly, but with an eye to their aesthetic value as purely abstract sculptural forms… Part of
the challenge inherent in making these works was the very limited instrumental set from which I had to draw.

When I was asked to create a sculptural proposal for the entrance to Stanley Park, it occurred to me that it might be interesting to return to this work…and try to realize a large-scale version of one of these sculptures: to use the same very limited instrumental set with which anyone who has put together a toy glider would be familiar. The theme of flight seemed appropriate given the location too, for seaplanes are common sights at the entrance to the park.

And the park, of course, is a place where children and adults may very well play with gliders… Plus it would be something that would be interesting when glimpsed only briefly by passengers in vehicles moving at relatively high speed along West Georgia.

The title of the work is meant to evoke, in a slightly humorous way…that of a classical modernist public monument of a bygone period, elements of which the sculpture plays with. ”

Tania Ruiz Gutiérrez's Concept Image for "Garde-temps", 2009, (Courtesy J. Andres Ruiz)

Paris-based Tania Ruiz Gutiérrez was born in Chilé and raised in Bogota, Colombia.  She has received international recognition for her award-winning fiction and documentary films.  In 1997, she began experimenting with open-space video art installations.  In 2004, she obtained a PhD in art from the University Pantheon-Sorbonne in 2004.  She is, as well, a lecturer on film and art.

Tania Ruiz Gutiérrez’s “Garde-temps” is a light-based sculptural work.  Located under the Cambie Street Bridge (next to the pedestrian walkway) at West Second Avenue, Ruiz Gutiérrez’s work uses a camera (that captures heat) to record movement onto an electronic vase.

Tania Ruiz Gutiérrez’s Artistic Statement (2009):

“The literal English translation for Garde-temps is timekeeper, but it is more commonly used in French to denote a timepiece. In the case of this artwork, it infers the notion of time capacitor or time condenser, if such a thing was possible.

The idea for this artwork was inspired by fragments of a poem by Rosario Castellanos, A word to the heir:

“I will remain where I am, like those receptacles whose
plug-holes got clogged…
Time…slowly swamps over me.
It moves and does not elapse,
It swirls and lingers”

This artwork is a vessel for the distorted appearance of the place and the passersby, and emits moving pictures oscillating between the abstract and the figurative. Its surface alternately shows images captured by the nearby close circuit thermal camera and a series of pre-programmed patterns obtained by transforming these images.

I have been exploring different subjects for years, amongst them the spatial dimension of motion pictures, cities as living organisms, early cinema apparatuses, and weaving techniques. This light-based work represents in a certain way the encounter of these disparate yet alongside paths. It is my intention that this object retains the dynamics of the place, much like a weaving work conserves the memory of its fabrication. Garde-temps, more than a sculpture, is a fountain — a fluid source of variations on a theme.”


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