Public Art Registry
THE WORDS DON’T FIT THE PICTURE
Photo: Karen Mills
THE WORDS DON’T FIT THE PICTURE - photo by Karen Mills
THE WORDS DON’T FIT THE PICTURE
THE WORDS DON’T FIT THE PICTURE
THE WORDS DON’T FIT THE PICTURE
THE WORDS DON’T FIT THE PICTURE - photo by Robert Keziere
350 West Georgia Street, Vancouver BC V6B 6B1
Vancouver Public Library, Main Branch
West Plaza
Civic-Olympic
2010
Aluminium
Sculpture
In place
City of Vancouver
Description of work
A large freestanding, three-dimensional sign with 1280 LED light nodes with the text THE WORDS DON"T FIT THE PICTURE. The lights change with a computer programmed sequence.
Artist statement
THE WORDS DON’T FIT THE PICTURE is a text-based work made in response to the context, building and public surrounds of the Vancouver Public Library. The work takes the form of a large freestanding sign that sits in front of the VPL just off the southern entrance of the building in a heavy pedestrian traffic area. The sign takes its cues from an era of signage when signs were once seen as celebratory, grand and iconic – in effect, as landmarks in their own right as a kind of symbolic architecture (think: Caesars Palace, The Flamingo, The Stardust – to the landmark of all landmarks, Hollywood). In tracing this lineage, the work also acknowledges a local history when Vancouver was once seen as one of the neon-light capitals of North America. Reminders of this once past persists in signs like BOW-MAC “on Broadway” (now retro-fitted with the Toys R’ Us sign) and of course the W atop of what once was the Woodward’s building. In adopting the form of a sign, THE WORDS DON’T FIT THE PICTURE elides the classifications of traditional sculpture, by evoking a typology that is at once familiar and accessible. Taken within the context of a public library, the work touches upon – in a very poetic way – the use of words and language as boundless and imaginative, as a catalyst for a multiplicity of meanings.
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