I was lucky to live in Vancouver when it was still an affordable city, sharing a house on 5th Avenue and Maple with other students from the art college. The three story clapboard house was about a fifteen minute walk from Kitsilano beach. My bedroom was in the attic and I used the basement for a studio, which I secretly referred to as my second-hand store because of the discarded or forgotten objects left behind by previous tenants. One of these objects was an office door with a ribbed-glass window that had the words "Assistant Manager" printed on it. Its discovery led to the creation of artworks that consisted of freestanding doors, which I set up on platforms and left in different parts of the city.
In City Door/Forest Door I placed the office door in Pigeon Park, a small concrete park on East Hastings, typically inhabited by Vancouver’s down-and-out citizens. I placed a second door upside down in the UBC endowment lands. I thought of these doors as metaphors for invisible opportunities. At the time, I was searching for a way to become an artist and had heard a saying by Confucius I thought might help me discover how to go about this mysterious and unknowable task.
The way out is through the door. Why is it that no one will use this method?
In City Door/Forest Door I hoped to draw attention to systemic inequities that make opportunities available to some unattainable for others. It was my secret desire that these two doors act as an imaginary portal or corridor and provide the regular inhabitants of Pigeon Park a means of escape from the cycle of poverty, drug and alcohol abuse prevalent in downtown Vancouver.
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