Gum Head and Talking Sticks (Douglas Coupland at the VAG)

Gum HeadGum Head text(click to read).

The major summer exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) is ‘Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything.’

hi-coupland-cp-04202432Douglas Coupland. OC OBC (born December 30, 1961) is a Canadian novelist and artist who presently lives and works in Vancouver. You may know him as the author of such novels as Generation X, 1991; Microserfs, 1995 and JPod, 2006. He has published thirteen novels, two collections of short stories, seven non-fiction books, and a number of dramatic works and screenplays for film and television. A specific feature of Coupland’s novels is their synthesis of postmodern religion, Web 2 technology, human sexuality and pop culture. You may however, not know him as a visual artist although his early training in art and design has resulted in internationally recognized work.

Much (but certainly not all) of Coupland’s art in this exhibition is text based which explains my new series of posts, beginning with this one, that will explore his text based works.

Here is the introductory write-up to the exhibition: (click to read).

Douglas Coupland

Today’s post is an introduction to Douglas Coupland followed by my photographs of the first set of text based artworks I will be sharing: Words Into Objects. Talking Sticks.

DSC08372(click to read).

words into objects 1click on images to enlarge.

words into objects 2Can you read the vertical text messages contained in these ‘Talking Sticks’? If not, see the wall listing below for clarification and media. My photos will follow the same order. More ‘Talking Sticks‘ to follow, next post.

words into objects list


Credits: thank you to the following for images and information.

Vancouver Art Gallery / / Wikipedia

All photos by clinock


11 thoughts on “Gum Head and Talking Sticks (Douglas Coupland at the VAG)

    1. Bewildered as she might have been then I’m sure she would be even more so now. Covered in multi coloured gum melting and dripping in the heat, strangely echoing the poster image for the show. Can I assume Geo, that we are urban neighbors?


  1. The reading of the blocks, (white knight too big to fail, crater. And a Rubik cube ) is a bit too cryptic for me, but it is a lovely subject and he must be a great artist and writer, I shall try to find some of his writing. I like the gum head, was it made of chewing gum??


    1. Coupland’s self portrait sculpture began as a plain black surface but as you can read in the attached plaque viewers were encouraged to add their gum. In my photo, taken late in the time of showing, almost the entire head is covered in gum. More to come Ina and not all of it so cryptic I promise….


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