Life as a total work of art
The show opens up the design, context and background of Vancouver House to public understanding with powerful visuals and commentary, showing how “Total Design” can transform contemporary condo living through the synthesis of art, architecture, interiors, urbanism and energy with public-mindedness.
First off, I like text works, and I dig this neon lettering that proclaims, as only German compound words seem to be able to, that life is a total work of art, or, so the translation tells me (I know kunst is art and werk is obvious!).
I like to hope that the people who run projects like this provide rich cultural insight and opportunity within a community, that projects like this can welcome, accommodate, and intrigue people of all social sectors, particularly while stating that life can be a work of art. However, I’m skeptical of where projects like this are often going, condo living isn’t an accessible experience for many people, and even when it’s intended to be things often don’t go according to plan. Consider development in Calgary’s East Village, for example. This project and the curated aspects of it, aim to demonstrate the often overlooked process of how a city develops and the craft and design involved in this process. Much like the criticisms the East Village development received on facebook, will the benefits of these intersections of art and life be ‘only for the rich’?
Trevor Boddy, a noted urbanism expert who I came across in my Banff AiR reasearch, is how I stumbled upon this project, and though I live far from the Vancouver area, I am curious to see if this project will overcome the boundaries of art and urban living inclusively, perhaps even considering the social and economic implications of things like condo development within a city, or if what it offers will be a privileged experience for the already privileged, adding value and lip-service to a trendy new condo development as too often seems to happen when the ‘arts’ are involved in development ventures.
Gwerk opens to the public March 22.