Public Art for Westbank, like so much of the work that we do, is at once a project in itself and a part of a larger idea that has woven its way through our practice over time. That idea is that our projects are not buildings, but rather they are the physical embodiment of culture. Combined, our public art commissions form a body of work that is quickly becoming one of the broadest and most important collections by any developer in the world. To date, we have 30 installations either completed or underway, by some of the world’s most accomplished artists. We have embraced demanding, avant-garde work by world-class artists, using our projects as vast canvases.
“Spinning Chandelier” is of a piece with Rodney Graham’s previous works which often use humour to investigate notions of doubling and historical modes of self-representation. Graham is part of a generation of Vancouver artists – including Ken Lum, Roy Arden, Stan Douglas, Ian Wallace and Jeff Wall who established the city’s reputation for photo-conceptualism. Graham often appeared in his short, looped early films where he parodied and probed modern notions of selfhood and masculinity.
Graham’s sculpture extends from his 35-mm film loop installation Torqued Chandelier Release in which a crystal chandelier whirls rapidly as its supporting cable is unwound, an artistic exploration of Newton’s Law of Rotational Motion. Installed under the bridge above the intersection of lower Granville Street and Beach Avenue, the monumental 14 by 21-foot crystal recreation of the film’s 18th century French chandelier will quickly become an urban landmark, turning a dark under-bridge into a civic event and a focal point, providing an additional layer of depth to the streetscape and the community.