The fourth episode of the eight season of Art21 featured pieces from artists in Vancouver. The central theme with their works was that they created art for each other, with a theme that centered around the fact that everyday objects and moments from the past that aren’t always as they seem. Each artist strived to bring light to this fact by using their own perspectives on the world around them and pertaining to these situations to transform them into works of art.
There was such an amazing range of media types covered, even with there only being four art pieces covered. From the metal-work and welding found in Liz Magor’s LightShed to Stan Douglas’s interactive installation and collateral interactive app Circa 1948, these pieces fit within the aforementioned theme. LightShed paid homage to the old boat sheds that used to line the shoreline it sits upon, boat sheds from Magor’s childhood that were cleared away in her young adult years during a period of time that she had been absent from Vancouver. Circa 1948, on the other hand, takes people on virtual tours of districts within Vancouver of 1948, such as Hogan’s Alley of East Vancouver and Hotel Vancouver of the West End district.
There were even some lessons that could be taken from these artists’ thought processes for how they create their pieces and maintain their spaces. For example, Magor’s biggest piece of advice—that “Prioritizing is key to maintaining a good work space and work flow”—can also be used when needing to get better control of your life. Then the painter Jeff Wall also brought forward a piece of very profound insight: despite what we may think, paintings can never “narrate” to their viewers. They can only imply a narration that the viewers interpret based on what they have learned from others and their own experiences.
Overall, the video itself was very well put-together. The transitions consisted of video clips that helped change to the tone and atmosphere of the new artist’s segment, with music to help set the mood appropriate for the content being discussed. As for the content—from the artists to what the artists were describing—there was some consistency present, which helped the flow of the video. The first two artists worked on pieces that recreated age-old places in Vancouver, while the last two took things that were seen as ‘mundane’ and ‘everyday’ and made them into masterpieces. The only inconsistency that could really be found was with the artists’ techniques and thought processes, and even then, that was understandable, considering that they are each their own person.
– Amy LaPointe