café for contemporary art

Public Meeting Attendees Lend Art Project Overwhelming Support

Posted in exhibitions by tyler057 on May 20, 2009

Scott and Steve Proposal

The attendees of the Pinnacle Square Public Art Proposal meeting lent the project overwhelming support.

While there was one naysayer who left before the meeting got fully underway, the overwhelming majority of attendees seemed to really appreciate  how the installation would function to enrich the neighbourhood through Scott and Steve’s thoughtful engagement of the square’s current artwork Launch, by Elisabeth Roy.  Roy’s work comes with a plaque that says that the work “acknowledges the site’s transformation, from a workplace for the men and women who pioneered the community, to a place for the next generation to build upon.”  Accepting Roy’s invitation Scott and Steve begin the building upon by questioning the foundation, or the basic narrative within which Roy’s work functions.  Steve, displacing his zero from the original location of its guerilla installation, re-employs it in a disruption of the assumed temporal parameters of Roy’s work while allowing the consideration of new beginnings.  Meanwhile, Scott’s work, a self-portrait/welcome figure that awkwardly hovers in time between a pioneer past and a post-consumer present, questions simplistic and reassuring assumptions about pioneers.  Placing this un-selfassured person onto the landscape implies a shift in settler posture and self-image that may, like Steve’s zero, open doors to the consideration of the possibility of new beginnings.

While the attendees of the meeting gave great support for this particular installation, they also seemed invigorated by the fact that none of us are interested in a permanent installation, hoping instead that after a several months or a few years new works could be installed on the site transforming it into a space for ongoing cultural discussion through pubic art.  There was even talk of how it might be advantageous to the cultural vitality of the area if the public art agenda of the entire Pier developments could include an ongoing programme of periodically changing public art installations.  This discussion of course went hand in hand with talk of the re-location of the Presentation House Gallery to the area.

FYI, a handout presented at the meeting laid out the proposal in the following manner:

The Proposal:

Scott August and Steve Hubert propose the addition of two works to Pinnacle Square, namely Scott August’s twenty five foot tall die cut photo of himself representing a cowboy welcome figure wearing oven mitts and cut-off jeans and a replica of the zero Steve Hubert added to Vancouver’s Centennial Sculpture in October 2008.

3 Reasons to welcome the Pinnacle Square Public Art Proposal:

1.    The artwork enriches the neighbourhood by opening up a chance to imagine its past, present and future with a perspective that while inclusive of shipbuilder’s history is not solely bound to it.

2.    By showcasing a sense of humour, and a sense of being open to knowledge we don’t have full mastery or control of it welcomes the formation of a vibrant creative community that might not have otherwise been possible.  This, if Richard Florida’s theories about the implication of the rise of the creative class on real estate value have any meat to them, would in turn have positive effects on local real estate values.

3.     Rather than setting out First Nations and Settler narratives as parallel stories, it opens up a chance for narrative engagement between the communities.

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