Presentation House Gallery
The Polygon Gallery
333 Chesterfield Avenue
North Vancouver, BC V7M 3G9

Facing History: Portraits from Vancouver

Facing History will provide a selective portrait of people living in Vancouver from 1950 to 2001, represented by the work of many artists (primarily Vancouverites) who work with photography and video art. It will have several components: a huge ‘salon style’ exhibition in the gallery, filling the walls with a range of photo series and video projects; four mini-billboards by contemporary artists installed at the Seabus Terminals on both sides of the Burrard Inlet; a large billboard at Georgia and Homer Streets (beside the Vancouver Public Library); and a community project inviting all PHG members to submit portraits of themselves which they believe to be ‘true’ to their personality, for use in a giant ‘portrait of the community’ poster/mailer.

Included, for example, were the photographs of Foncie Pulice, who took some 20 million street portraits in downtown Vancouver, from 1946 to 1979, using a camera made of war surplus materials and powered by a car battery; Ian Wallace’s studies for his My Heroes in the Streets project (1986); Robert Minden’s photographs of the community of Steveston; black and white portraits by Chick Rice; N.E. Thing Co.’s People/Language project (1977), which brought together people with surnames that are also common nouns, verbs and adjectives; Kyla Mallett’s Legendary Teens series, portraits taken at Tsawwassen’s White Spot restaurant; and the 110 portraits in Jochen Gerz’s project Reasons for Smiles, created by asking individuals to take a self-portrait with the following instructions: “Simply think of something that makes you smile”.

International touring exhibition.

Catalogue co-published by PHG and Arsenal Pulp Press.

OPENING RECEPTION, Saturday, September 8th, 2 – 5 pm. Artists in attendance with presentations by Karen Love and John O’Brian. A celebration of the Gallery’s 25th anniversary.

REPRESENT YOUR FACE, Sunday September 9, 12 noon
An open house for families which includes hands-on activities exploring self-portraiture and photography.

Saturday, September 15th, 2 pm in the Gallery
Join fine art conservator Rebecca Pavitt to examine the different types of photographic prints and negatives likely to be found in family archives and discover the best ways to handle, preserve and display them. Study daguerreotypes, tintypes, albumen and silver-gelatin prints and a sampling of different color prints. Admission is free. Pre-registration is recommended.
A graduate of the prestigious Arts Conservation program at Buffalo State College, Cooperstown New York, Rebecca Pavitt has worked as a Fine Arts Conservator in Vancouver since 1988. She specializes in artistic and historical works on paper and textiles.
This event is part of the North Shore Heritage Weekend

ART HOP, Natalie Brettschneider: A Portrait. Saturday, October 28th, 4 pm.
Vancouver artist, singer, and performance artist Carol Sawyer will give a short presentation on the work of Natalie Brettschneider. Since 1998, Sawyer has been reconstructing the activities of Brettschneider, a 20th century avant garde singer and performance artist. Part of Art Hop, a Canadian Art Magazine and Globe and Mail event which includes visits to the Vancouver Art Gallery, PHG, and other galleries, Free of charge.

  • Poster for the exhibition "Facing History: Portraits from Vancouver"