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Vancouver’s Public Art Project – Worth a Gold!

February 10, 2010 Global Art No Comments

Christian Kliegel's "Walk In/Here You Are" (Detail) (Courtesy of the artist)

In one of the press releases for the Vancouver Public Art Program, Gregor Robertson, the mayor of Vancouver, writes:

“The sculptures, installations and events in this city-wide collection reflect the spirit and values of Vancouver and the 2010 Winter Games, from their nod to our historical and social fabric to their innovative incorporation of sustainable materials.  Bold and vibrant, they have been created by respected established and emerging artists from Vancouver and Canada.  We’re also pleased to include in this collection exciting and international artists working in contemporary art.”

The public art program is part of Vancouver’s celebration of both the Olympics and the city itself.   For a country that doesn’t always give its artists their proper recognition, Vancouver’s public art initiative is both refreshing and inspirational.  This week, we thought we’d look at three of the artists commissioned by the city of Vancouver: Vancouver artist Christian Kliegel; Canadian artists Adrian Göllner (who lives in Ottawa) and Pierre Poussin (Toronto).  Next week?  Artists Tania Ruiz Gutliérr and Rodney Graham.

Christian Kliegel's Concept Image "Walk in/Here you are", 2009 (Courtesy of the artist)

Christian Kliegel’s statement (2009) on “Walk In/Here You Are”:

“Walk In/Here You Are is a large-scale installation on the Central Library  plaza that serves as a venue for visitors to engage with a curated program of projected videos and live performances… A form of a drive-in theatre has been created to encourage viewers to temporarily interact with clusters of street furniture found within the jurisdiction of the Vancouver Parks and Recreation Board.

The furniture is embedded into a large wooden deck. As the library plaza slopes down towards the entrance of the library (the location of the screen), the furniture increasingly disappears into the deck. The relationship between what is foreground or background is eventually inverted. This change in interface constrains the use of the seating while simultaneously opening up new possibilities of interaction.”

Adrian Göllner and Pierre Poussin's Concept Image "Fireworks Boulevard", 2009 (Courtesy of the artists)

Adrian Göllner and Pierre Poussin's Concept Image "Fireworks Boulevard", 2009 (Courtesy of the Artists)

Adrian Göllner  and Pierre Poussin’s statement (2009) on “Fireworks Boulevard”:

“Beneath a long, dark Canadian winter, Vancouver will be a hive of activity during the 2010 Olympic Games. As a way of brightening the nights, adding to the sense of excitement and making the City visually remarkable, we have developed three artistic lighting schemes for the City’s downtown core and Cambie Street.

Fireworks Boulevard, a series of sequenced LED fireworks, will chase down Cambie Street, transforming it into a grand entrance boulevard to the City. Vivid and unequivocally joyful, one can imagine watching the street lighting against a sky filled with actual fireworks during the Games.

The passage between the LiveCity venues will be marked with a path of blue LED lights, which will feature animated rain sequences. In Yaletown, these cool-toned LED rain barrels will be complemented by a series of warm-coloured flickering LED flames. The flames atop the lampposts will bring a touch of the Olympic Torch from BC Place Stadium, where it will be housed, outside to the city streets. Flickering candle-like flames will also provide a sense of warmth for the cold winter evenings and recall a time when gaslight was used to illuminate the streets of Yaletown.”

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