During the six years I lived in Vancouver, I had the good fortune to reside in a number of neighbourhoods that are now considered exclusive. Nonetheless, real estate speculation and gentrification were already on the rise and this was evident in different parts of the city. I was in my second year at Emily Carr College of Art and Design when I made this artwork. The college had opened its new campus on Granville Island the previous year and I often walked by an empty city block on my way to and from school. Formerly a block of low rental city housing, the tenants had been evicted years ago and their houses demolished for a development project. It had lain in ruins for over a decade and became a dumping ground for all kinds of assorted objects.
For this artwork, I collected the armchairs and couches from the overgrown brambles and created an amphitheatre on the west side of the block that edged Burrard Street, a major thoroughfare not far from the Burrard Street Bridge. I wanted to create a memorial for the tenants who had once lived there and make a quiet statement about the wastefulness of speculative real estate practices and short-sighted urban planning.
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