Douglas Coupland is having a busy year: a new book, a serialized fiction series, a clothing collection and now his first major solo museum exhibition, opening tomorrow at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything surveys the past decade-and-a-half of the Vancouver artist’s installations, paintings, photography, prints and quilts, all exploring what he calls "the 21st century condition."
"Douglas Coupland’s work sheds light on subjects as varied as the distinct nature of Canadian identity, the rise of utopian ideas, the power of words, the presence of digital technologies, the significance of the everyday, and the unshakeable nature of one’s own constitution—ideas that Coupland examines with both optimism and some trepidation," said Daina Augaitis, Vancouver Art Gallery’s chief curator and associate director.
Outside the gallery on Howe Street, Vancouverites will be confronted by Gumhead, a new 7-foot tall bust of Coupland, on which people are encouraged to stick a used piece of chewing gum. "For the past decade I’ve had a large and complex relationship with the notion of defacement," Coupland explains in a blog post about the work. "I can’t believe what people do to public art—it’s annoying but also really fascinating—hence my interest."
The exhibition is accompanied by a book of Coupland’s visual art, featuring essays from William Gibson, Chuck Klosterman and Coupland's long-time friend and collaborator Michael Stipe, among others.
Coupland has been a frequent red chair guest over the years, and most recently sat down with George to discuss his latest novel, Worst. Person. Ever. Catch that interview Friday, May 30 on CBC TV (see our schedule page for local airtimes).