VANCOUVER WOULD BE COOLER IF #207: It Had Its Very Own Symbolic “Gordian Knot”

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(via) Brazilian artist Henrique Oliveira recently revealed this incredible piece – dubbed Baitogogo – at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo. It’s an interior architectural structure of stark, ordered white columns that has its heart transformed into an organic knot of roots. Over time, Gordian Knots have come to represent seemingly impossible-to-untangle problems, of which this city has a few. One either tries to delicately deal with the knot with subtlety and care over time or violently slashes through it in fits of frustration or entitled pique (as Alexander the Great did with the fabled Phrygian original in 333 BC). We’d love to see something similar installed in a big interior space in Vancouver, somewhere like Inform on Water Street, The Salt Building in Olympic Village, or inside Parker Street Studios (the navel of the Eastside Culture Crawl). Here, where important issues and arguments are too often robbed of their nuance by jingoism, rage, and the politics of guilt, hanging miniature versions from “controversial” locales – think Pidgin, Cuchillo, Point Grey Road, Bike Lanes, Insite, the Main St. poodle, etc. – wouldn’t be so bad, either.

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  1. Poor Alexander. His reputation for impetuosity still plagues him. Many credible accounts of his stint in Phrygia have him not slashing the knot with his sword, but rather pulling the pole pin from the cart it was tied to, allowing him to untie the knot. Whether this was ingenuity or a cheat depends on your own ideas on pragmatism. I, for one, say bravo, Al.

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