“Mundane in the extreme” – exhibition captures Vancouver 40 years ago
I’ve featured this work before when it was part of a show at the Surrey Art Gallery. But David Banks sent a link to a Michael de Courcy’s upgraded website which makes the 360 views of Vancouver taken on October 30, 1972 so easy to access.
“Background / Vancouver is a portrait of Vancouver, British Columbia captured on a autumn day in 1972 by four artist / friends – Taki Bluesinger, Michael de Courcy, Gerry Gilbert and Glenn Lewis. This photo-mapping initiative was conceived and produced by Michael de Courcy as part of his on-going photographic documentary project of Vancouver’s Intermedia Society made while an artist/member there from 1967 to 1972. …”
de Courcy also provides the artistic statement:
BACKGROUND / VANCOUVER
An Artist’s View of the City, October 30, 1972
I first developed the idea of performing a photo-mapping expedition in and around Vancouver, in order to assemble what would be a comprehensive portrait of the city— a sequenced snapshot which when presented alongside my Intermedia documentary material, would effectively anchor our pictured tribal activities firmly within their geographic boundaries.
And the tribe is what we would now call hippies:
So I’m guessing, after a joint or two, these guys went out and photographed whatever captured their eye. Fred Herzog it aint. Much of it is mundane in the extreme: shots of the city and region as it was on a cloudy day in October, not much different than if you went out today and did the same. But there it is: a moment in time, and one that gets more interesting as time passes by.
There are special places that reveal the Vancouver of the early ’70s, notably Kitsilano – especially Fourth Avenue:
Intriguing not so much for any artistic interpretation but merely because things, like the photographers themselves, have changed.
– post by Gord Price