Public-art installation to dress lower part of Burrard Bridge in orange

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      Orange is the new black as it concerns a public-art installation ready to be installed temporarily under the Burrard Bridge on August 1.

      Architect Matthew Soules told the Straight he's preparing to unveil his collaboration with artist and architectural designer Rebecca Bayer that day: 10 pieces of fabric stretched between the concrete structure of the structure, right above the seawall pathway.

      "We approached the city and got permission to do it...and we raised the money," Soules told the Straight.

      City Fabric is curated by Brian McBay of 221A Artist Run Centre, presented with partner the Burrard Arts Foundation, and supported by the City of Vancouver.

      Soules, who will also unveil a massive balloon structure called Intense the Heat at the Harmony Festival the day before, described the huge fabrics as orange and translucent, stretching 800 lineal feet.

      The fabric also happens to carry a dual connotation.

      As the 221A site explains: "The installation is made up of construction safety netting, a material designed for temporary use that has become iconic in Vancouver—a city that since the 1980s has been under intensive real estate speculation and development. Typically used to protect passersby from construction hazards, ten sections of the netting (amounting to 800 lineal feet) have been stretched between the concrete piers of the Burrard Street Bridge. City Fabric cherishes the temporary permanence of construction debris netting; beautiful, impoverished for its utilitarian use, yet profoundly normal."

      Artist Bayer's website describes the temporary public-art installation this way: "This project celebrates the intersection of these two vital components of Vancouver’s public infrastructure, and asks questions about the potentials of existing urban spaces like these."

      The public art piece looks reminiscent of American artist Janet Eckelman's billowing sculptural installations in urban spaces, or perhaps Christo and Jean-Claude's wrapping of the Reichstag Museum in Berlin.

      And presumably it will be a little less controversial than planning and building that's going on on top of the bridge—that is if the historical span ends up looking good dressed in orange.

      Comments

      3 Comments

      D. Zaster

      Jul 25, 2015 at 11:50am

      Yet another derivative, unoriginal piece of public art in Vancouver.

      What on earth is so interesting or original about draping fabric on buildings? Other artists have been doing this for 50 years, generally on a much larger and more adventurous scale. It's absurd to compare this fairly modest, rather decorative draping of one arch of a bridge to the work of Christo and "Jean-Claude" (it's Jeanne-Claude, by the way - a woman, not a man).

      It says a lot that the drapery is basically hidden away on the underside of the bridge, over a walking trail that is little used in the comparison to the bridge deck above - where drapery banners on the bridge walkways have have more visual impact.

      Celebrating the aesthetics of construction debris netting in a city where a speculative real estate bubble has taken hold and the urban fabric is being ripped up by rapacious developers before our eyes is, shall we say, ironic. If not an artistic travesty.

      Why not make a more cogent and timely artistic statement by permanently blocking the pathway with arty concrete barriers and reserving access to a select number of local residents and cyclists? It worked so well on Point Grey Road.

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      ?

      Jul 27, 2015 at 3:33pm

      Art - Fart. What's the difference? I think my 7 year old sister could have designed this piece of "art".

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      Dan Gallacher

      Jul 28, 2015 at 10:06am

      Another filthy commie plot by Vision Vancouver: Serves both to catch jumpers losing all in the upcoming real estate bust and to hide the crumbling concrete underpinnings of the poor old Burrard Street Bridge.

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