A vast, spinning chandelier by renowned Abbotsford-born artist Rodney Graham, will become one of the world's most innovative works of public art when it is installed as part of the Vancouver House development, slated for completion in Vancouver in 2018. Westbank Projects Corporation, the developer, announced the work following its approval by the Public Art Committee of the City of Vancouver.
Concept drawings for the spinning chandelier will be on display and available for public viewing as part of the exhibition, Gesamtkunstwerk (pronounced guess-amt-kunst-verk), meaning “life as a total design” which opens March 22nd in Vancouver, British Columbia. The curated exhibition shows Vancouver's architectural coming-of-age, with the new Vancouver House development model at its centre.
Graham’s spinning chandelier is a large kinetic sculpture in the shape of a giant (4 x 6 metres; 13 x 20 feet) faux-crystal, 18th century candelabra to be installed under the Granville Street Bridge, which serves as an entry to the city’s downtown core. Hanging in the cathedral-like space of the bridge’s northern viaduct, directly over Beach Avenue, the chandelier is conceived to slowly rotate as it ascends. Then, once a day at a fixed time, it will release and spin rapidly, descending back to its starting point, coming to rest halfway to the road below.
The discordant, kinetic wonder will be the centrepiece of multiple artworks set to transform the underbelly of the Granville Bridge, adding an indelible new feature to Vancouver’s civic landscape while introducing a truly provocative new concept for public artwork globally. An unused space is transformed to become captivating and compelling.
Vancouver-based Graham is part of a group eponymously dubbed the ‘Vancouver School’, that has brought the city international acclaim through their rigorous, experimental approach to making images and artworks. Graham himself works in painting, photography, performance, music and film and he is widely known for his ongoing series of photographs depicting inverted trees. The public art concept recreates an earlier work by the artist titled Torqued Chandelier Release (2005), where a 35mm film pictures a whirling 18th century chandelier. Over his career, Graham has been included in the world’s most prestigious exhibitions including Documenta IX and the Venice Biennale, and his work is in collections including the Museum of Modern Art, Tate Modern and Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris. In 2011 Graham was the recipient of the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts.
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