False Creek Flats, 2002
Edition 184/200 + 10 APs
35.6 x 91.4 cm.
Courtesy Bill Wu
This photograph of Vancouver’s False Creek Flats by legendary artist Stan Douglas, printed on the occasion of his solo exhibition at the Serpentine Gallery in London, UK, rarely becomes available. The panoramic scene is indicative of the artist’s ongoing concern with charged landscapes and the vernacular histories of Vancouver in particular. This prescient documentary photograph alludes to the complicated past and future development of this interstitial location. Typical of the artist’s subtle approach, the serene vista belies the fraught narratives of the contested terrain with its entanglements of land ownership. Having transformed dramatically since the city’s early history, the area’s tidal mudflats were filled to support industrial activity and CPR interests, and today the site has been revived as a cultural hub named “The Flats” that features Emily Carr University’s new campus. This dense take on picturesque landscape is a classic example of Douglas’ complex portrayals of time and place.
Stan Douglas (b. 1960, Vancouver, BC) is one of the most celebrated artists working today. Since the 1980s, Douglas’ practice has investigated the legacies of modernity through the camera, and the intertwined relationship between them. Douglas has had many survey exhibitions, the most recent in 2013, Stan Douglas: Photographs 2008-2013, at Carré d’Art – Musée d’Art Contemporain in Nîmes, France that toured Europe through 2015. Douglas has been featured in important biennales across the globe and Documenta. He was awarded the Scotiabank Photography Award (2013) and the International Center of Photography’s Infinity Award (2012), among others. A solo show at the Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg, Sweden will open in October on the occasion of Douglas receiving the coveted Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography. Douglas’ work is in major museum collections around the world. He is represented by David Zwirner Gallery, New York and London; and Victoria Miro, London.