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David Wisdom: Vancouver: 1970-1975

Teck Gallery at SFU, Vancouver Campus
Vancouver BC – May 17-Aug 29, 2009

David Wisdom, Mount Pleasant Chapel, Kingsway 1971

David Wisdom, Mount Pleasant Chapel, Kingsway 1971 (1971), lightjet print [Teck Gallery at SFU, Vancouver BC, May 17-Aug 29]

David Wisdom, Five Square Apartments, Kitsilano 1971

David Wisdom, Five Square Apartments, Kitsilano 1971 (1971), lightjet print [Teck Gallery at SFU, Vancouver BC, May 17-Aug 29]

David Wisdom, Peoples Fellowship Tabernacle, Victoria Drive 1971

David Wisdom, Peoples Fellowship Tabernacle, Victoria Drive 1971 (1971), lightjet print [Teck Gallery at SFU, Vancouver BC, May 17-Aug 29]

Photographs by Vancouver-based broadcaster David Wisdom depict scenes of the "old" Vancouver: before Expo 86, before the real estate boom, and before construction and roadwork delays became the norm in Vancouver.

Shown for the first time in print form, the images were drawn from Wisdom's personal collection of thousands of slides shot during the early 1970s. Originally, they were an integral part of the 'slide festivals' held from 1969 to 1979 with participants including Ian Wallace, Rodney Graham and Jeff Wall. (In the late 70s, the four artists formed their shortlived post-punk band UJ3RK5.)

Thirty photographs show the simple, raw edges of Vancouver before it subsumed to the glitz of international promotion. Wisdom's unique use of colour was rare at a time when most street photographers shot in black-and-white. The scenes have a strange, stark beauty that depicts the modernist city emerging from its roots as a sea port, a sawmill town, and as the last stop for two national railways. Vancouver appears almost beautiful in its utilitarian guise, "designed with our endless number of grey days with their grey light in mind."

David Wisdom is a well-known member of the Vancouver art scene. He is also recognized for 30 years of broadcasting on CBC Radio with shows such as Nightlines, RadioSonic and Pearls of Wisdom, which he hosted until 2007. His photographs make clear the urgent need for a new provincial archival system to store and document our vanishing past.

www.sfu.ca/gallery

Mia Johnson

Tony Anguhalluq, Two inuit are drying caribou meat

David Wisdom, Mudflats House 1, Dollarton 1971 (1971), lightjet print [Teck Gallery at SFU, Vancouver BC, May 17-Aug 29]


 Sat, Jun 6, 2009