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Ruins in Process: Vancouver Art in the Sixties

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Dividing Art from Architecture

B.C. Binning and Tom Burrows

15 June to 17 July 2005

Belkin Satellite, 555 Hamilton Street, Vancouver

This exhibition, a curatorial project researched and developed by CAUSA (Collective for Advanced and Unified Studies in the Visual Arts), will address the work of these artists from both cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspectives—specifically examining their respective contributions to the visual culture of Vancouver during the period 1941 to 1971.

Neither Binning nor Burrows was trained as an architect—but nonetheless they have sustained thought-provoking, experimental interrogations of art in relation to society and its built (immediately circumambient) environment. B.C. Binning was instrumental in the design and realization of a flat-roofed Vancouver house (a pioneer probe of its era) that challenged the prevailing contemporary bias, especially on the part of mortgage lenders, against unconventional building types. As an advocate of modernist aesthetic ideals and principles, Binning laid a subsequent (vanguard) groundwork for the school of architecture at the University of British Columbia. Tom Burrows unequivocally acknowledges the lasting affect that Binning had on him as a student: this early mentor inspired to him to become a working artist. Binning (who had studied in London with Henry Moore) inspired Burrows to pursue postgraduate studies in the same metropolis (where he became a student of Anthony Caro, at St. Martin’s School of Art). Burrows made early work of conviction and consequence (including his own home, which was built from salvaged materials) while living as part of a squatters’ community on the inter-tidal estuary near Dollarton, North Vancouver. From 1975 to 1976, Burrows acted for the United Nations, having been appointed Coordinator of Information for Non-tenured Architecture.

According to CAUSA project curators: “The pure potentiality of locating art in relation to architecture will be examined in the Belkin Satellite exhibition by way of an expanded/expanding dynamic of sustained contemporaneity—a reflection of the actual, formative sense of placing and/or being placed that defines a prospect of regenerative (openly resolved) aesthetic research and communication.”

For further information please contact: Jana Tyner at jana.tyner@ubc.ca,
tel: (604) 822-1389, or fax: (604) 822-6689