Concrete Poetry

 

Installation / 2010
Laser prints, wooden billboard, glue / 8 x 8 x 4'

 

 

Concrete Poetry is a wooden billboard onto which an image, taken at the 2010 architecture exhibition  "Vancouverism," is repeatedly pasted and forms an abstract pattern. Held at the atrium of the controversial Woodward's development in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, the exhibition presented a largely uncritical, celebratory narrative of Vancouver's post-war urban development. The image captures parts of two display panels of buildings by Arthur Erickson and Henriquez Partners, both of which feature spiral staircases, an element also mirrored by an iconic concrete spiral stair in the background.  Beyond the formal resemblance, the image also plays on a discursive connection between Erickson—the pioneer of Vancouverism and also referred to as a "concrete poet" for his love of concrete brute—and Gregory Henriquez, the designer of the Woodward's, who regards architecture as "a poetic expression of social justice." Taking the form of billboard and hollowing out any meaning from the image through its  endless repetition of the image, the installation serves as a critical framing device for the Vancouverism discourse.

 

 

 

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