31 items by Brit

Please After A Decade We’d Like To See Action / Please Give Westbank A Chance At Woodwards (poster)

Woodward's

Grasping at straws, eh? Author of this poster and details of its dissemination unknown.

Keep 6, organized by Anti-Poverty Action Committee (brochure)

Vancouver

Keep 6 was developed in response to increased allegations of harassment by police. At that time, it was speculated that more police resources were dedicated to the Downtown Eastside and East Vancouver to “sweep the streets of ‘undesirables,’” making those neighbourhoods more attractive for new developments.

Woodwards Campaign Demands (handbill)

Woodward's

This handbill lists the demands on the Woodward’s redevelopment, based on past promises and then-current needs of the neighbourhood surrounding Woodward’s.

The Fight for Ugly, Or Why Art Can’t Sell Condos, November 14, 2017

Fight For Beauty Exhibition Tent

Dorothy Woodend’s article for The Tyee compares Westbank’s Fight for Beauty to the Vancouver Art Gallery’s offsite installation, Salvage. Great line: “I would hesitate to call Fight for Beauty an art exhibit. Other words come much more easily to mind — PR campaign, propaganda, marketing bonanza — all combined with plain old garden-variety ego and hubris.”

Akimbo: Fight for Beauty at the Fairmont Pacific Rim

Fight For Beauty Exhibition Tent

This listing, written by Vancouver curator and writer Steffanie Ling, was published to Akimbo on November 8, 2017. It gives a brief review of the Fight for Beauty exhibition, including the apt line: “The broad consensus in the art community is that this is a nighmarish marketing scheme and public sympathy generator masquerading as a philanthropic project.” True. 

Unaffordable residential, commercial realities rankle local market, October 31, 2017

Vancouver

Peter Mitham wrote this article for the Real Estate section of Business In Vancouver, in which he mentions Westbank’s Joyce-Collingwood development that had recently been a point of controversy. There was community pushback to the Joyce-Collingwood development because it was so unaffordable in a neighbourhood that is home to many low-income families and marginalized communities.

How Vancouver’s Woodward’s could pave the future of dying department stores, October 28, 2017

Woodward's

This article, posted to CBC News, was an oddly timed fluff piece praising the redevelopment of Woodward’s — oddly timed, because it coincided with Westbank’s Fight For Beauty exhibition, which also argued that the Woodward’s redevelopment had a positive revitalizing effect on the neighbourhood, which W.W.A.S. research demonstrates is not true.

‘Displacement is not beautiful’: Critics slam Westbank’s Fight for Beauty exhibition, October 22, 2017

Fight For Beauty Exhibition Tent

This article for CBC News was one of the first to openly criticize Westbank’s Fight for Beauty exhibition for being ignorant of the neighbourhood and cultural impacts of large scale luxury developments. With regards to Fight For Beauty, Michael Braun, Westbank’s marketing and sales director, is quoted saying, “It’s philanthropy, in a way.”

Inspiring Public Art

Fight For Beauty Exhibition Tent

Here are excerpts from an essay by Reid Shier on the Westbank website, speaking to Westbank’s positive contributions to public art, and the nature of public art in general. What Shier fails to emphasize, between floral paragraphs on “what is good art,” is that Westbank is required by the City to produce public art based on the scale of their development projects. Though Shier mentions this in passing, the article as a whole appears to suggest that Westbank’s public art commissions are instances of philanthropy as opposed to obligation. And Westbank’s taste in public art is questionable, at best. 

Interview with Michael Braun

Fight For Beauty Exhibition Tent

These are excerpts of an interview with Westbank marketing and sales director, Michael Braun, posted to Westbank’s website and accessed in 2017. What intrigued us about this interview is the insight that Braun gives into Ian Gillespie’s character. His love for Gillespie is quite heartwarming.

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