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a new outdoor public art project by Paul de Guzman

where: CBC Plaza at 700 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, Canada

time: launch is from noon to 1pm on Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The exhibition will be up until Fall 2013.

The WALL, located at the CBC Vancouver Broadcast Centre Plaza at 700 Hamilton Street, is a Vancouver Heritage Foundation public art initiative. Made possible through a partnership between VHF, JJ Bean Coffee Roasters and the CBC, the WALL features a new artist every year. All exhibits are an artist’s interpretation of the theme “Vancouver’s built environment”.


the people are the city

the people are the city

the people are the city, a new large-scale, outdoor, image-and-text-based work by Paul de Guzman, relies on a vernacular experience of architecture and is composed of two distinct elements: an archival image and a text component, both retrieved from the CBC’s Vancouver archives. The image is from the CBC Archive’s collection of photographs by Franz Lindner and shows an instructor with his students at the Vancouver Vocational Institute in 1963. The text "The people are the city" was a headline taken from a copy of the CBC Times, a weekly programming guide published during the 1960's. "The people are the city" was the title of a radio program covering a winter conference which aired on January 28, 1966 about the practice of local democracy and was a joint venture between the CBC and the Canadian Institute on Public Affairs.

From personal experience, the artist has held the belief that in order to remember something -  a place, a name, an idea - it needs to be said three times. Similarly, “the people are the city …” appears three times almost as a reminder that architecture is informed by our experiences of it, and is an attempt at creating significance out of our banal and daily interactions. “the people are the city …” comments on architecture’s social responsibility, that architecture and social spaces are fundamentally conceived and built from personal and vernacular histories that ultimately builds communities and contributes toward collective and official historical memories.

Paul de Guzman, February 2013