José Resende, a Brazilian sculptor, was in Vancouver recently to propose an installation for the 2014-2015 Vancouver Biennale to be located in the neighbouring city of New Westminster, which was the first city to be settled on the west coast, and was once the provincial capital. New Westminster has gone through many iterations, from “Royal City” to industrial port (on the Fraser River) to “end of the line suburb” to its present resurgence as an historic centre with a vibrant new waterfront community, an affordable alternative to Vancouver while still being within easy transit distance by Skytrain (an elevated rapid transit system).
(On July 20, 1859, Governor James Douglas proclaimed that the new city would be officially named “New Westminster” – a name chosen by Queen Victoria herself. This naming by Her Royal Highness, gave residents, both then and now, the honour of referring to their home as the “Royal City”.–New Westminster History)
New West, as its known, today
Diante da escultura de José Resende, experimentamos um estado de dúvida e incerteza. Construídas de materiais diversos alguns menos nobres, é um exemplo de um trabalho de arte contemporâneo realizado com rigor e fundamentação para interrogar o e enfrentar o fazer e a historia da escultura, mais ainda, o que é o objeto de arte nos dias de hoje. Quem as olha inventa seus problemas e soluções que garantem suas condições de obras de arte. Afinal de contas, essas coisas estão colocadas num território culturalmente sinalizado pela ideologia da arte. — oliveiradimas.blogspot.ca
And in English, in a slightly mangled translation:
Facing the sculpture José Resende, experience a state of doubt and uncertainty. Constructed of various materials some less noble, is an example of a contemporary art work conducted with rigor and rationale to interrogate you and make the tackle and history of sculpture, even more so, what is the object of art these days. Who looks at the problems and invent solutions to ensure their conditions of artworks. After all, these things are placed in a territory culturally flagged by the ideology of art. – Google Translate
New Westminster has commissioned a sculpture to commemorate one of the most iconic images of the homefront in WWII, that of the little boy reaching out, one last time, as his daddy marches off to war. That young boy, now retired, will unveil the sculpture when it is completed!
Dam de Nogales, the married team of sculptors Veronica de Nogales Leprovost and Edwin Timothy Dam, with studios in Canada and in Spain, was chosen to embody the photographbrought-to-3D. The work will be placed at the site where the original photograph was taken. – Jackie Carmichael / Westerly News July 24, 2013
Young Warren Bernard reaches out for one last goodbye to his dad, Jack Bernard, as the BC Regiment Duke of Connaught’s Own Rifles, marches down 8th Street, New Westminster, October 1, 1940. C.D. Dettloff photo. Courtesy Vancouver Archives.
I hope that Dam de Nogales has been granted the remit to interpret, to some degree, in three dimensions, this image, but I fear it may be one of those works which isn’t so much interpretive as photorealistic — as in, for instance, the recent work “The Homecoming” by Nathan Scott in Victoria (not that this isn’t a skillful and much appreciated work, particularly in a city with a nearby naval base, but it leaves little to the imagination…which is no doubt exactly what was called for in the RFP):
Nathan Scott: The Homecoming. Victoria, BC
Mr. Resende graciously consented to an impromptu interview at the offices of the Vancouver Biennale.
One of the works he talked to me about was an untitled public intervention using gigantic blocks of granite which were moved into different configurations three times daily, a performance with unsettling connotations given their weight.
I asked him, “Is gravity your friend or your enemy?” Neither, he answered, or both–I have to work with it. But he works in a way that defies gravity, that challenges stability and creates a visceral tension, or the potential for violent action. Public art is violent, in a way, Jose claims, because it is an intervention–sometimes unwelcome–into a public space.