TEA & TWO SLICES: On Expensive Poodles And Hipster Senators Mocking First Nations

by Sean Orr | Just to be extra clear, the $100,000 “controversial” poodle statue on the pedestal at Main & 17th is hilarious and the joke is on you if you don’t get it. There are hundreds of shitty public art pieces that cost way more and people seldom say anything about them. The fact there are people are angry means the artist won.

Meanwhile, The Province – those arbiters of architectural excellence who left this building for this one as part of a massive project that would have levelled most of Gastown and some of the DTES – have the wherewithal to roundly declare: Post office isn’t nice enough to preserve.

And now they have a problem with walkability? Take a hike, eh.

Because there’s no overlap in the corporate world: Parochialism hits ratepayers in the pocketbook. Yeah, dude. We should just have one huge government that controls everything with, like, a supreme leader who makes great sacrifices for the common good.

As Sun Media grovels to the public, Shaw, Rogers merger inevitable. I can’t wait for my first bill from SSG, aka ShRoTe SunStar Globalcor, aka Shaw, Rogers, Telus, Sun Media, Can West Global, Torstar, and Quebecor all together.

First they mock you: Conservative MP and senator belittle Chief Theresa Spence, Idle No More movement. Wait, that guy is a senator? And who says hipster is not a job?

I know people will lose their jobs and whatnot, but woot! 15 Future Shop and Best Buy stores closing in Canada, including Surrey location. Micro economy now!

So the old cycle “two venues close one opens up” in Vancouver continues: The Portside Pub is open for business, and bands.

  • Joe

    “The fact there are people are angry means the artist won”…

    It doesn’t take a PhD in art history to read this kind of sophomoric “meaning” into the poodle piece. We all get it: much contemporary art is about opening a dialogue about what art can/should be.

    But if it’s public art shouldn’t it do other things also, like engage with our city’s culture and heritage? Or at the very least, have some aesthetic rather than intellectual justification?

    The fact that this piece makes little attempt to do either is obviously part of the artist’s intent: to draw attention to these issues and spark a debate. But how embarrassingly lame that this has to be done at taxpayer expense. Yes, we live in a culture of vacuous material objects. Warhol made that statement with a soup can 50 fucking years ago. The “joke” had powerful social currency back then; now it just seems like intellectual masturbation for a pretentious coterie of art scenesters.

    The art world reminds me of religion, where whatever objections you voice are neutralized by saying that it’s all art of “God’s plan”. It seems impossible to engage in a practical debate with the artist types about this because, to them, any negative reaction is subsumed by a logic that says provoking objection is “part of the artist’s intent”.

  • athena

    Its not public art. It is private as it is in the private sectors interest to have it there. Bringing «public» art into low income areas is the key to turning these hoods into hip yuppie areas. «Public» ie private art is one of the most important ingreidients in making the most delicious gentrification souffle. It looks like poodle is on the menus.Bon appetite.

  • Robert

    “The Poodle is a mixture of awe and sadness”

    The Poodle stays.

  • hm

    The Poodle does engage, it tweets too. Sean is a little off base with his glib comment. I guess artists are like terrorists now, they can win by making people mad. Hmmmm, but then again Sean is part of that Society of Mutual admiration, artists unite!! Make something stupid and Sean gets on board. It’s not about there being other art in other neighbourhoods that don’t get bitched about, from what I’ve seen those who are complaining most are other artists who live in the neighbourhood.

    Me thinks Sean attempts to make him sound informed, and more intelligent than he really is when he says “..is hilarious and the joke is on you if you don’t get it”. Pretty sure he doesn’t get it either, or else he would have explained it to the uninformed instead of making fun of them. It’s how he works, pokes fun, rips things apart, yet offers very little substance of his own. I’m all for art that’s challenging, but I’m not for the scenesters who think when others don’t understand it give them a right to act superior.

    I’m sure the poodle is there to stay, but doesn’t change the fact that this was a main street public art project, a community with arguably more artists than anywhere else in the city, and a perfect showcase for what neighbourhood artists have to offer. Vancouver brings in public art for the bienniale every two years, plenty of opportunity to expose Vancouver to the world outside.