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Tom Burrow’s "Sculpture of Concrete, Sculpture of Dreams" or, looking for the utopian in the everyday 1997

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TOM BURROW'S "SCULPTURE OF CONCRETE, SCULPTURE OF DREAMS" or, looking for the Utopian in the everyday by ANDREA KARIN ANDERSON B.A., The University of Victoria, 1990 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Art History) We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA February 19 97 cAndrea Karin Anderson, 19 97 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make |t freely available for reference and study. 1 further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head, of my . department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department "< "^Ag iMs The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada Date [mim DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT The plethora of Utopian ideas that circulated in North America and Europe in the 1960's and 1970's emerged in the work of Vancouver artist Tom Burrows. Utopianisms formed objectives for much of the social and political activism throughout the period, compelling Burrows to incorporate them into his artistic practice. Chapter One, The Utopian Moment, describes the most powerful Utopian ideas circulating in Vancouver at the time, their uneasy alignments and overt contradictions. Although contradictory, they were still instructive; and many artists responded with socially and politically charged art. In Chapter Two, The Utopian in Art, I contextualize Burrows' work with that of other artists whose ambitions were similar. Chapters Three and Four demonstrate Burrows' conflicted position by presenting two views of his work on the Maplewood Mudflats. In Chapter Three, The Mudflats as Utopian Ladscape, I characterize this work as "useless" and romantic, as part of the 'aesthetic dimension' defined by Frankfurt School critical theory. Chapter Four, The Most Beautiful Sculpture, foregrounds the activist aspect of Burrows' work on the flats. This dialectic of beauty and utility informs Burrows' work throughout the period, from the participatory Sand Pile installation to the aestheticism of the sculpture comprising the Temptations of Mao Tse-Tung exhibition and the anti-aestheticism of the Squat ii Doc[ument]. The Squat Doc was a Utopian view of squatted and self-help housing at several sites in Europe, Africa and Asia. It is the subject of Chapter Five, The Everyday Utopia of Squatting. Burrows' conflicting and shifting positions were not limited to his own practice, but representative of artistic practices at the time. I want to demonstrate that Burrows' was among the most committed to fundamental change in art and society in this period. Ill TABLE OF CONTENTS Abstract Table of Contents List of Figures Acknowledgements Dedication 1 1 - 1 1 1 iv v-vii viii ix INTRODUCTION Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five The Utopian Moment 14 The Utopian in Art 34 The Mudflats as Utopian Landscape 75 The Most Beautiful Sculpture 107 The Everyday Utopia of Squatting 122 EPILOGUE From Utopia to Dystopia 147 List of Works Consulted 154 Appendix 1 Burrows' Chronology: Education, Exhibitions, Travels, Positions, Publications, Awards 171 Appendix 2 'Zen' and other Asian Influences in the Art of Vancouver 178 Appendix 3 The Battle Over the Mudflats 183 IV LIST OF FIGURES Introduction 1 1-2-3, 1967 Mixed media on laminated wood, 5'x6'8" No longer extant 8 2 Con jug ra l i t y , 1967 Enamelled warped wood, 9'x2'xl 1/2' Collection of the Art Bank 9 3 untitled painting, cl968 Fibreglass, 4'x4' Collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery 10 4 The Maplewood Mudflats sculpture and squat, cl970 Detritus--plumbing materials, rope, wood, aluminum poles extended over 1/2 acre No longer extant 11 5 The Sand Pile, 1973 Sixty minute videotape, monitor, sand, table Table is 91.5 cm. in diam. Tape is in collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery 12 6 The Temptations of Mao Tse-Tung, 1977 Cement Pyramid in 32 Pieces, 1976-11 Concrete, 5' base, 28' high Collection of the Art Bank Another Surrealist Trick: Air, Earth, Water, Oysters. Mixed media, 6'1.8" high, 6' wide Collection of the artist 13 Chapter Two 2.1 Gas Works, 1971 Detritus of an abandoned gas works, Auckland, New Zealand Triangular area with 150' vortex Collection of city of Auckland No longer extant 71 2.2 Recent Things: Soft, Hard, and Fluid, 1970 Untitled painting, cl968 Fibreglass, 6'x4' panel Collection U.B.C. Alma Mater Society. Foam mattress slabs, 54"x72", wire, pulley, 27" square foam slabs, ink No longer extant 72 V 2.3 Cement Pyramid in 32 Pieces--see figure 6 73 2.4 Cement Pyramid fragmented (outdoors on Hornby Island) 74 Chapter Three All except 3.6 are photographs of Burrows' sculpture on the Maplewood Mudflats, taken by the artist, cl970. The sculpture on the mudflats covered about half an acre. It is no longer extant. The sculpture is, except where otherwise noted, composed of various combinations of fishnet, rocks, hoops from an old water barrel, rope, aluminum pipes, and other construction materials and detritus. 3.1 Untitled sculpture with rock Full extent 100', hoop diam. approx. 6' 100 3.2 Above sculpture--close up 101 3.3 Untitled sculpture with hoop 102 3.4 Untitled sculpture at high tide 103 3.5 Malevich's Pencil Drawing No. 10 Image taken from The Non-Ohjective World, 1914-24 exhibition catalogue published in London, 1970 104 3.6 Sculpture on the flats--high tide Glass and boomchain, 3' high 105 3.7 Sculpture on the flats--low tide Glass and boomchain, 3' high 106 Chapter Four 4.1 Burrows' mudflats shack, being burnt by the District of North Vancouver. Photograph by artist, 1972. 121 Chapter Five All images are from photographs by the artist reproduced in Squat Doc, 1911-18. Squat Doc is in the collections of the Art Bank and the artist. 5.1 Amsterdam "decimation of the neighbourhood" 138 5.2 London "you'll not make us homeless" 13 9 5.3 Paris "eviction in Bellevue" 140 5.4 Copenhagen--overview of Christiana 141 VI 5.5 Rome--abandoned building 142 5.6 Bombay "interface of two realities" 143 5.7 New Gorma--Hassan Fathy's bricked-in windows 144 5.8 Calcutta "in front of their hovel" 145 5.9 Parisian sleeping on a grate 146 V l l ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Many thanks to Tom Burrows for disclosing so many concerns in his work, and for being as helpful as he could possibly be. Thanks to George Knox, Chris Dikeakos, Gerry Gilbert, Terra Bonnieman and Ian Wallace for sharing their memories of this period. Thanks to John 0'Brian and Maureen Ryan for their insightful comments and suggestions. Thanks to Margaret Boan, Nancy Cuthbert, Cory Greenberg, John Anderson and Gordon Anderson for their interest and encouragement. Thanks to Victor Semerj ian for leading the way and to Shep Steiner for his motivating comment "the Sand Pile is a killer" (and thanks to Scott Watson for his paragraph on the Sand Pile, which partly inspired me to take on Burrows' work.) Many personal thanks go to my mother, Eleanor Anderson, for being an excellent sounding board, and my son Perry, for keeping me distracted throughout this whole process. Vlll In memory of Kevin Robb. IX INTRODUCTION To me art is philosophy presented in terms of material.^ Tom Burrows, 1977 I am a sculptor. I explore housing systems; sculpture of dreams, sculpture of concrete.^ Tom Burrows, 1982 We seem to be presented with a choice between earnest utopianism and cynicism, naivete or clever irony. Must one exclude the other? Must we be either Utopians or cynics.... It falls to those who came after me to imagine a rueful, playful experimentalism--a half-smiling utopianism, which has learned something from its mistakes.^ Justine Brown, 1995 Justine Brown's sentiments, expressed in her recent book on Utopian communities in B.C., characterize the artwork that Vancouver artist Tom Burrows produced between 1967 and 1978.'* Although the work was playful, its ambitions to effect change within the world of art and to use art as a means to affect change in the larger, socio-political world, were serious. Among the plethora of utopianisms that compelled Burrows were: the progressive utopianism attached to new industrial materials; the social and political utopianism of the Frankfurt School; the critical utopianism of Situationism; the revolutionary utopianism of the 'art into life' philosophy, as it was expressed in the art associated with the Russian Revolution, as well as the other Utopian 2 0th century art movements, Dada and Surrealism; and the peculiar political and artistic utopianism of German artist Joseph Beuys. Burrows' encounter with Situationism, and with students of Beuys', during studies in London from 1967-9 caused an evolution in his work from progressive to critical, socially and politically engaged utopianism. Before this shift. Burrows' work celebrated the Utopian potential of new industrial materials, even though it was made by hand. The early Minimalist sculptures, 1-2-3, (figure 1) mixed media on laminated wood, 5'x6'8", and Conjugality (figure 2) enamelled warped wood, 9'x2'xl 1/2', both from 1967, emulated an industrial finish, but were made of wood, while the fibreglass paintings from 1968 & 69 (figure 3), which were industrially produced, show the artist's marks, or gestures. The act of making became a political, as well as aesthetic, act for Burrows. He made this transition after returning from London, in his work on the Maplewood Mudflats sculpture and squat (1969-72) (figure 4) and the Sand Pile (figure 5) (1973). The outdoor works were inextricable from their material, social, and in the case of the mudflats squats, the political histories of their sites. Squatting was a form of material culture and an act of political resistance for Burrows, who agitated to have it recognized as art. However, Burrows' writing on the mudflats, in his article only take for granted the things that you can touch, emphasized its romanticism over its materiality and politics. The sand he brought into the Vancouver Art Gallery in the Sand Pile infiltrated the passive romance of the mudflats into the institutional space of the gallery, but on the other hand, the Sand Pile's instigation of viewers' actions enacted the Utopian ideal of participation. Burrows even briefly abandoned art for socio-political research and documentation for Habitat Forum in 1976. However, he incorporated this material in his 1977-8 photodocument of squatting from Maplewood to Europe, Asia and North Africa, Squat Doc. Previously in 1977, he had reasserted the value of the aesthetic as a site for symbolic political critique in his sculptural exhibition. The Temptations of Mao Tse-Tung (figure 6). These works enacted theoretical and practical art strategies redefining aesthetics and the role of art in society that were circulating in the international art world at the time. Minimal artists countered the individualist, psychological concerns of Abstract Expressionism with artwork that rigourously investigated the philosophical implications of art objects. Conceptual artists continued this process by questioning the nature of the gallery system as the institutional support for art and the types of materials valid for art, as well as the commodification of the art object. In response. Conceptual artists such as Hans Haacke, Mary Kelly and Dan Graham introduced topical subjects from political and everyday life into their art and the art world, often using materials directly from everyday life. The European movement, Fluxus, was concerned with moving art out of studios and galleries, as were American minimalists, who often located their work at remote sites. The Italian art movement Arte Povera and German artist Joseph Beuys transformed sculpture by including the visceral associations of "irredeemable" materials, while opposing formalist critieria of quality and the role of art as a luxury commodity.^ The diversity of these approaches can be at least partly attributed to the debate in the art world about the continuing validity of the 'aesthetic': was the aesthetic necessary as a contemplative respite from the social and political, to allow for critical thought, or should art take up, or be the instrument of, critical and political engagement? Burrows' use of abandoned materials as well as materials meant for utilitarian functions; his transformation or rejection of the institutional space of the art gallery; his addressing of the non-art subject matter of housing; and his recurring committment to the 'aesthetic dimension' link his work to these important international movements and artists. But Burrows' work cannot be understood without an understanding of the confluences of Vancouver art in this period. The tradition of romantic landscape painting was ongoing, and not remote to Burrows' own practice, as his childhood teacher and brother-in-law was Toni Onley. However, another teacher, Iain Baxter, subverted the landscape tradition by rendering it in plastic. Burrows' peers, Ian Wallace and Jeff Wall, also began their critical analysis of landscape at this time. Minimalism, from Los Angeles, London and New York, set the parameters for sculptural issues, but the equation of art with functional objects in many shows at the U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery in Vancouver, influenced by Constructivism and Suprematism through art history professor Ronald Hunt, complicated Vancouver artists' interpretation of Minimalism. The relationship of art to revolution was extolled by Burrows' peer Dennis Wheeler, and Hunt. At the same time, landscape painting continued to form a substantial part of art in Vancouver. The Beat movement brought artists and writers together, leading to the multi-disciplinary atmosphere in Vancouver, which affected art production in every media, even when conventional boundaries were adhered to. The Festival of the Contemporary Arts, initiated in 1961, brought writers, dancers, musicians and artists together; and the Vancouver Art Gallery carried out a varied program of interdisciplinary activities. Lucy Lippard's important exhibition 955,000, at the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1970, demonstrated such international currents as Conceptualism, process art and outdoor projects, placing Vancouver artists within these currents. During this period, it was also common for artists to socialize and share ideas gleaned from reading or travels at the Cecil and the Alcazar bars, as well as at readings, performances and openings. As Marguerite Pinney recounts Democratization, decentralization were the buzz-words. Art as Life, Life as Art, Art as Politics, were the images. Art came to be about and for people: people, bodies, senses, participation, opportunity, expansion of consciousness.^ It is impossible to extrapolate Burrows' work from this plethora of ideas and activities. Burrows' conflicting and shifting positions were not limited 5 to his own practice, but representative of artistic practices at the time, which were subjected to and considered through this range of thought and activity. Contextualizing Burrows' art within these Utopian currents will indicate how complex the strategies and practices in Vancouver art were at the time and how complex they continue to be. Against this background of multifarious, fragmentary efforts and trial runs at social and political change. Burrows' work will be seen as among the most committed to fundamental change in art and society in Vancouver in this period. I.Tom Burrows, interview with Ann.Rosenberg, Annette Hurtig and Peter McGuigan, "Tom Burrows/Sculpture," Capilano Review 1/1911: 92-112. 2.Burrows, "Esthetic Rationale," Squat Doc text panel, 1982. B.Justine Brown, All Possible Worlds: Utopian Experiments in British Columbia (Vancouver: Transmontanus/New Star Books, 1995) 9-10. This source will be called Utopian Experiments hereafter. 4.According to Krishna Kumar, utopianism is "... the perfect society that is nowhere--on earth, at least." Kumar's historical definition sets the stage for Burrows' interpretation of Utopia as a critical standard that can be applied to social, political and economic conditions, as well as providing a vision of a perfect society: ... the two centuries after (Sir Thomas) More invented this form of thinking in his Utopia (1516), Utopia functioned as a critical political and moral standard by which to judge the institutions and practices of European societies. In the 19th century, fired by the promise of the Industrial and French Revolutions, men strove to realize Utopia here on earth in their own life time ... fictional Utopias ... were converted into actual Utopian communities in the New World in America, itself regarded by many in a Utopian light. And there were Utopian social philosophies, such as those of Saint-Simon, Fourier, Comte, Marx, which confidently look forward to an end to scarcity and suffering in the impending scientific, socialist society.... The 1950's and 1960's produced a stream of new left Utopias, blending Marx and Freud in a euphoric message of psychological and political liberation. These included Marcuse's Eros and Civilization (1955) and An Essay on Liberation (1969). In France, Situationism held the Utopian banner aloft, especially in the events of May 1968. Kumar, Fontana Dictionary of Modern Thought (London: Fontana Press, 1987) . Brown uses Kumar's definition of 'ecotopia' as a "contemporary strain of anarchist-inspired individualism" from his book Utopia and Anti-Utopia in Modern Times (1987). Utopian Experiments 90. S.Ann Temkin, "Joseph Beuys: An Introduction to His Life and Work" Thinking is Form: The Drawings of Joseph Beuys (New York and Philadelphia: Philadelphia Museum of Modern Art and The Museumof Modern Art, New York, 1993) 15. 6.Marguerite Pinney, "Voices," Vancouver: Art and Artists 1931- 1983 (Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1983) 174. This source will hereafter be referred to as Art and Artists. F i g u r e 1 1-2-3 F i g u r e 2 Conjugality   Figure 3 untitled fibreglass painting 10 5 J i Figure 4 Maplewood Mudflats sculpture and squat 11  F i g u r e 5 Sand Pile 12  F i g u r e 6 The Temptations of Mao Tse-Tung 13  CHAPTER ONE THE UTOPIAN MOMENT Utopian protest [is] objection not to social and political particulars but to general conditions of existence and the values which sustain them.... The concept is derived from ... Utopian socialists, who do not claim to emancipate a particular class to begin with, but all humanity at once.^ Donald Kuspit, 1970 The Utopian moment of the 1960's was a post-scarcity moment of affluence in Canada. 'The twentieth century belongs to Canada,' newspapers and magazines earnestly declared, and this sentiment was accelerated during the 1967 Centennial. Although the United States was wealthier, its war in Vietnam and domestic riots encouraged appreciation of Canada's less militarized, more 'just society'.^ The wealth of the post-war years had led to an economic situation no longer limited to the distribution of scarce resources but the proliferation of an abundance of commodities. The notion of progress as commercial growth went almost uncriticized throughout the early sixties, although in Canada, the 'just society' presented another teleology, not based solely on abundance, that was broadly accepted. However, as we now know, 'justness' depends on material abundance and political popularity; it was an idea of its time. Criticism of the burgeoning consumer society became widespread throughout the youth of North America and Europe in the mid-sixties, and came to a head in the May 1968 strike by workers and students in Paris, when broad objections to 'materialism' (or consumerism) were 14 voiced. Tom Burrows' presence in London in 1968 enabled him to connect the energy of London with the more ambivalent political and artistic energy in Vancouver. B.C.'s history as a destination for groups setting up Utopian communities demonstrated possible alternative models to the consumer society. Westernized interpretations of Zen Buddhism (as well as the drug culture) infused a sense of the marvelous into everyday experiences, whether constructive or destructive, creative or reprehensible. Artists considered their social and political roles in this climate, making work that celebrated, critiqued or contributed to the Utopian moment. The 'Zen' concept of existing in the present created a climate in which activism in sixties Vancouver sometimes had more to do with pursuing greater freedom or pleasure than protesting social and political injustices. For example, the 'Be-Ins' in Stanley Park, annual events on Easter Sunday in Stanley Park, where young people gathered to take drugs and listen to music, were the most notable events of the time, not civil rights or anti-war marches, as they were in the U.S. Vancouver was "still bright with promise ... not dark with menace."^ Although there were mass protests in Vancouver, opposition to the dominant society more often worked towards Utopian goals, rather than protesting existing conditions. Collective and co-operative small businesses and housing were developed as the means to Utopian ends. These projects paradoxically contained and refuted issues at the core of capitalism: the surplus value of labour and private property. 15 Some of these Utopian practices were based on substantial, even academic, Marxist and anarchist theories; some were insubstantial fantasies of a better world. Wealth created the conditions of economic security leading to pressures for social change, and utopianisms provided a methodology. In the developing internationalism of the student movement, Vancouver activists were aware of European, as well as other North American movements. 'Autogestion,' the self- management policy of a left-wing French political party, culminated in the strikes by workers and students in May 1968 Paris, and almost brought down the government. The movement's demands for change were not based on specific complaints (such as working conditions or rate of pay), but addressed long-term societal change in the structure of work and relation to government. 'Autogestion' was decentralization of responsibility and greater citizen participation in all spheres of life, but especially in the workplace and local government.^ In Europe, art movements were more involved with socio- political change. German artist Joseph Beuys exemplified this integration of art and politics, as did the movement Fluxus, at certain points in its history. Beuys challenged the hierarchy of the teaching institution and worked for direct democracy, or democracy by referendum. According to R. Vandeweg, writing in Germany in 1977 Fluxus also has social aims. The artist should have socially constructive aims and stop the creation of merely aesthetic objects of art.... Fluxus urges all revolutionaries from all disciplines, both cultural and social, to come to a united 16 front and to proceed to action.^ In Canada, wealth disseminated through Liberal government funded 'Opportunities for Youth' and 'Local Initiatives Projects' modelled change in the workplace by allowing the development of anti-capitalist, non-profit small businesses.® 'Alternative lifestyles,' such as communal living and squatting, were seen as oppositional strategies having Utopian possibilities. OFY and LIP grants were used by artists to fund their own projects;'' they also benefited directly from the beneficence of the Canada Council.® Expressing the mood that this economic well-being created, along with the social experimentation it allowed, Alvin Balkind, the influential Vancouver curator said, "A strong feeling was in the air that the world was ripe for radical change in pursuit of a fresh vision of Utopia."' Frankfurt School critical theorist Herbert Marcuse, considered by many to have been "the key philosophical catalyst of the New Left,"^° defined a place for aesthetics in this pursuit of a fresh vision of Utopia. He placed more importance on the role of consciousness as a revolutionary force than on the popular characterization of Marxism as a vulgar philosophy or ideology of economic determinism. For Marcuse, aesthetic ideals as a part of consciousness ... could furnish a critical refuge from the repressive practices of bourgeois society... cultivating 'Utopian images' of past or future worlds in opposition to the tyranny of the present.-^^ Marcuse argued that liberation "required a reappropriation ... of the cultural means of experience and expression" as well as the 17 economic means of production: labour needed to be complemented by the critical potential of the creative imagination or the 'aesthetic dimension,' as transformative agen[t] of history (1'imagination au pouvoir) .̂^ Art was then, for Marcuse, a "positive recovery of the Utopian aspirations of the past, aspirations which have been censored by the technological rationality of the ... present,"^^ or "... the rationality of negation." In its advanced positions, he said "it is the Great Refusal --the protest against that which is."^* On the other hand, the Situationists, who were critical theorists, artists, filmmakers and writers working out of and beyond the subversive art veins of Dada and Surrealism, ̂^ saw Marcuse's position as an elitist impediment to a fully realized revolution in the everyday. They insisted that art separated from everyday life was an impediment to experiencing beauty throughout life: We cannot live without beauty, but art can no longer provide it. Art is the lie we are no longer living, and it is the trick, the false promise of beauty, the compensation for the destruction of harmony and right, that keeps everyone else from living. As a trick art must be suppressed, and as a promise it must be realized--and that is the key to revolution. Art must be superseded.... The new beauty can only be a beauty of situation, which is to say provisional, and lived. . . (emphases in text) .-̂^ For the Situationists, art was a function of revolutionary activism; it could no longer have a separate aesthetic existence. Without the transformation of everyday life by art, there could be no real revolution. 'Ultimately,' Christopher Gray, one of the first compilers of Situationist texts, wrote: all that was involved was the simplest thing in the world: 18 wanting to make your dreams come true. And its enemies were equally simple: sterile subjective fantasy on the one hand and, on the other, its objective counterpart: the world of art." As art stultified the revolutionary impetus, the art object as separate from the world was linked to class power: The organization of [the] preservation of cultural history ... as a dead object in spectacular contemplation [is] linked to class power. The end of cultural history [is] linked to social critique....-^® However, the Situationists saw constraints as possibilities for radical change. Where the Frankfurt School theorists were pessimistic about the domination of the commodity economy the Situationists saw ... the 'proletarianization of the world,' the tyranny itself as the crack: when almost all were proletarians, almost all were potential revolutionaries.^^ Guy Debord, the leading theorist of Situationism, believed that riots in the relatively well-off black ghetto of Watts in 1965 were due more to dissatisfaction with the limitations of the abundant society, than lack of abundance:^" "Comfort ... will never be comfortable enough for those who seek what is not on the market. "̂•'- That is, the commodity could never satisfy desire -- desire to take one's own desires for reality, for a 'poetry made by all,' for the abolition of work and unlicensed pleasure . . . .̂ ^ In Watts, looting was the natural (emphasis in text) response to.the society of abundance -the society not of natural and human abundance, but of the abundance only of commodities ... For the first time it is not poverty but material abundance that must be dominated. ̂^ Abundance was not only a negative condition, a "lever of bland 19 tyranny," but an opportunity "to discover new desires"^^ which would lead to the resistance of commodification. Anarchist theorist Murray Bookchin integrated the Situationist artistic lineage into his Utopian economics: ... the means now exist for the development of the rounded man, the total man, freed of guilt and the workings of authoritarian modes of training, and given over to desire and the sensuous apprehension of the marvelous.^^ Here he universalizes the Situationist solution to "... the impoverishment of reality by capitalism ... by apprehending marvels through chinks in the normality of everyday life," which they had in turn derived from the surrealists.^^ His Utopian vision consisted of ... the bifurcations of thought and activity, mind and sensuousness, discipline and spontaneity, individuality and community, man and nature, town and country, education and life, work and play ... all resolved, harmonized and organically wedded in a qualitatively new realm of freedom.^'' It applied the Situationists' view of the possibilities of breaking through everyday experience into a Utopian social vision. Bookchin repeated their call for a "revolution of everyday life," but he meant business, not just criticism. Bookchin's interest was in pragmatically creating a viable alternative economy. On the other hand, Marcuse rejected the Utopian possibility of emancipation through 'rational utilization of technological forces of advanced capitalism and socialism.'^® He warned that the "private space ... of individual consciousness ... ha[d] been invaded and whittled down by technological reality."^^ As far as technology had polluted consciousness, it 20 was rendered suspect as an emancipatory domain, and therefore out of bounds for an 'aesthetic dimension.' Although positions differed somewhat, the commodity, the ubiquitous product of technology and the most salient sign of the ascendancy of consumer culture, was the motif common to both art and socio-political critiques. The Situationists were avid critics of consumer culture, rejecting its co-option of popular and even intellectual thought. The Situationist critique, disseminated through the publicity around the May 1968 strike, was applied to the whole of society, communist as well as centrist. The essay Ten Days that Shook the University: The Situationists at Strasbourg coolly and cruelly satiriz[ed] the university ... ('the institutional organization of ignorance') ... the 'Idea of Youth' (a capitalist 'publicity myth'), the 'celebrities of Unintelligence' (Sartre, Althusser, Barthes), modern culture ('In an era when art is dead,' the student is the most avid consumer of its corpse'); not to mention the work ethic, the government, the economy, the church, and the family. As the silent partner of bourgeois hegemony, the traditional left went on the scrap heap, from bereft anarchist combines to Leninist, Stalinist or Maoist Communist parties....^" The constraints of cultural organization and the promise of abundance both presented opportunities for radical social and political change, in the Situationist view. In Vancouver, the domination of the commodity economy was contested in the less dramatic, more pragmatic efforts to develop alternatives, but the critical basis of these different approaches was consistent. Marcuse described the individual's economic situation in similar terms in a talk he gave on his then newly published book. Essay on Liberation, March 1969, at Vancouver's other university, 21 Simon Fraser: ... the pertinent question should change from 'how can the individual satisfy his own needs without hurting others' to 'how can he satisfy his needs without hurting himself, without reproducing, through his aspirations and satisfactions, his dependence on an exploitive apparatus, which in satisfying his needs, perpetuates his servitude?' . ̂^ Guy Debord also equated personal with global economics: That which was the economic it must become the I. The subject can emerge only from society, namely from the struggle within society.... (emphases in text)^^ Bookchin fleshed out this economic subject, making Debord's abstract critique concrete, in his popular book, Post-Scarcity Anarchism, which mapped out the means of transition from capitalism to anarchism. Bookchin claimed that the inability of the dominant society to solve its social' and political problems, despite the abundance that was very much in evidence, allowed those not part of the dominant society to develop alternative social, political and economic solutions. That abundance was the theoretical and actual basis for the Utopian impetus of the sixties and seventies^^ is evident from Bookchin's emphasis on the problems, and potentials, of concerns far removed from need. His focus was primarily on issues of freedom, the environment, sex roles and lifestyle.^* These parameters for Utopian alternatives to the social order permeated the thinking of youth, motivating them to make changes in their own lives that they hoped would infiltrate society as a whole. Vancouver artists' responses to these critiques and visions were largely constructive, although they were implicitly critical of 22 what had gone before. They changed the institutional contexts in which they worked, forming co-operative and collaborative studios, organizations and productions. In Vancouver, generative organizations were the Grange, the Mandan ghetto, the New Design Gallery, the New Era Social Club, and Intermedia. ̂^ Intermedia represented the conjunction of progressive and critical utopianism and demonstrated the ascendancy of technology-based enactments of Utopian ideas in Vancouver. The open, democratic structure was critical of art institutions but enthusiasm for technology was more liberal and progressive than critical. Although Intermedia's exhibitions expressed a naive faith in technology, they also developed a collaborative model for art production. Founded in 1965 by artists who wanted to use the new film and video technology. Intermedia received a large grant from the Canada Council even before it was incorporated.^^ Tom Shandel linked the Intermedia phenomenom to the showcasing of technology on the international stage at Expo '67, the World's Fair held in Montreal: "Intermedia was the child of Expo '67..."^'' Besides the institutionalized alignments in such groups as Intermedia, projects were often carried out in informal groups, with accreditation going to the person who took the most responsibility. As Vancouver poet and artist Gerry Gilbert states "work was not undertaken to advance careers or reputations"-'^ at this time. Performance artists (i.e. Tom Graff and Gathie Falk, Vincent Trasov, John Mitchell and others associated with the Western Front on the 1974 Mr. Peanut mayoralty campaign in 23 Vancouver) and sculptors working in advanced technological materials (Dallas Selman and Glenn Toppings) collaborated. Collaboration led to interdisciplinarity: writing, theatre, dance, film, sculpture, photography, costume, music and video communities cross-pollinated at conferences and at bars. (This artistic community still occurs today at Artspeak and the Kootenay School of Writing). The annual cross-disciplinary Festival of the Arts, featuring artists, musicians and writers from the U.S. and Canada, began in 1961. Alvin Balkind and Abraham Rogatnick had invited theorists and artists to speak at their New Design Gallery between 1955 and 1962, in collaboration with the Arts Club. Among those invited were Buckminster Fuller, Marshall McLuhan and Robert Rauschenberg. Their presences prepared the interdisciplinary context of the Festival, and later, the Western Front and Intermedia. Marguerite Pinney, special events co-ordinator at the VAG from 1968-1973, says that these visits had immense impact on the arts community: there were ... men and women from many diciplines who visited Vancouver and stimulated artists of every kind in those fecund days.... Outstanding were ... Alan Watts, Robert Creeley, Allen Ginsberg and Charles Olson. ̂^ Charles Olson and fellow Black Mountain poet Robert Creeley were part of the "vanguard of American letters"; they had a "powerful effect on a generation of writers,"*° but also on the artistic community as a whole. Black Mountain was a school of applied and creative arts; a self-contained live-in program at a rural site in North Carolina. It had been operating, and supporting experimental work such as Robert Rauschenberg and John 24 Cage's early performances, since the 1930's (ending in the mid 1950's) and embodied many of the Utopian ideals fomenting in Vancouver.*^ Painter and poet Roy Kiyooka organized readings with Creeley during Creeley's visit in 1963.*^ Like Olson's, Creeley's work emphasized the physical act of reading, and both poets influenced the development of poetry as performance in Vancouver. Their inclusion of the body into writing also initiated the corporeal nature of many Vancouver writers work. Olson and Creeley continued to be influential throughout the the early sixties. Both poets participated in Warren and Ellen Tallman's reading series,''̂  Warren Tallman included their work in the English curriculum at U.B.C, and Creeley taught at U.B.C. for a full year.** Creeley and Olson's marginalization by the institutionalized poetics in American universities, as well as their optimistic and pragmatic poetics, aligned with Vancouver's still open and forming literary sensibility, and its advocacy of breaking boundaries. Vancouver poet Peter Culley characterizes the period as one which not only questioned categories, but one that defied the entire notion of 'category': "In the maelstrom of the sixties, what was held on to mattered less than enthusiatically surrendering to the flow" of multifarious, interdisciplinary cultural activites and forms.*^ Culley claims that the twenty year survival of the Western Front "indicates a Utopianism of unusual tenacity."*^ He relates the 1972 collapse of Intermedia with "the larger collapse of the Utopian ideals of the sixties 25 which had brought them into being. "̂'' However, despite this alleged larger collapse, artists continued to work collaboratively in artist-run centres (the Video In, Pumps, Unit 306/Pitt--now the Helen Pitt, the Or, Grunt) and major exhibitions (Octojber Show, Artropolis) . To this day, collaboration continues to be a mainstay of artistic activity in Vancouver. But utopianism in art is not, of course, limited to Vancouver. Western art of the early twentieth century is replete with Utopias, from the Arts and Crafts Movement to de Stijl. Acording to Greil Marcus the official history of the century [is] little more than a desperate retreat from [the] Utopias [in] the new worlds implicit in any El Lissitzky construction, any Man Ray photograph, and De Stijl design....*^ His claim is that these earlier artists crossing aesthetic categories to represent the Utopian possibilites of their materials and subjects was resisted. This resistance also took place on the social and political levels of society. Artists in the sixties, faced with the same problem of categorization, saw these artists and movements as their forerunners. Vancouver artists drew on the Utopian history that Marcus cites, but the revolutionary art of early twentieth century Russia was primarily their fountainhead of inspiration. Art history student and critic Dennis Wheeler's thesis, Kasimir Malevich and Suprematism: Art in the Context of Revolution,^^ applied a Marcusian analysis to the dynamics of the Russian Revolution in a mix of futurism, structuralism, existentialism, 26 Frankfurt School critical theory, Freud, Lefebvre, poetics, to construct a theory of art suitable to the period. Constructivism was a transitional step towards productivism^° in Wheeler's progressive view of the ideological effect of the Russian Revolution on art. Productivists had renounced easel painting to put 'art into life' through applied arts such as 'constructions,' textile and clothing design, and scene painting. However, Wheeler, and artists who preferred not to renounce art, looked to suprematism for ideas on how art could be rehumanized ... by the artist whereby that social responsibility which he had forfeited was taken back upon himself in the form of an entirely unique and ethical aesthetics . ̂-̂ Art would remain as a separate category but one in which an all pervasive and homogeneous condition in the arts ... unified form with content and objectively created a Utopia in the material of the vision. . . . ̂^ Wheeler used Malevich's proposal for Suprematism to connect the social and political concerns of the period with Minimalist reductiveness: ... such ideas were [not] intended as politically instrumented hierarchies.... Suprematism may have failed to the extent of its ambitions ... but its committment remains a source of energy for the future towards the realization of such an ethical art. ̂-̂ As much as Wheeler was writing art history, he was also writing a manifesto for the artists of his own time. He interpreted "[Malevich's] Utopia as committed to the presence of a non-repressive reality"^* and recognized Malevich's continued committment to art despite its abandonment by the Constructivists. 27 Wheeler's emphases on ethicality, social responsibility and the Utopian possibilites of art are key to Burrows' work in this period, and defines the nature of the utopianism that he pursued and enacted. It was a utopianism conflicted by the differing positions of critical^ theory, anarchism, and liberal progressivism; enacted in poetics, artists' organizations, and work with technologically current materials. These were the different streams present in Vancouver; Burrows' interpretation, inflected by the Situationist activism he experienced in England, would contrast with these dominant strains. 28 l.Kuspit, "Utopian Protest in Early Abstract Art," Art Journal Summer 1970: 43 0. 2.Pierre Trudeau's campaign slogan in 1968. S.David Thompson, "Canadian Scene 1," Studio International Oct. 1968: 155. 4.Sonia Mazey, 'Autogestion,' Modern Thought. 'Participation' was actually a slogan which came into widespread use in the 1960's to express what the EEC calls 'the democratic imperative,' defined as the principle that 'those who will be substantially affected by decisions made by social and political institutions must be involved in the making of those decisions according to Alan Bullock and Barrie D. Sherman in Modern Thought. Burrows promoted this philosophy when he taught at U.B.C. in 1971-2. He gave the budget for the undergraduate B.F.A. program to the students to formulate. Although this may have been influenced by Situationism, it was definitely influenced by Joseph Beuys teaching practices and work in the political process. Two of Beuy's students were at St. Martin's when Burrows was there. Burrows, telephone interview, 12 Dec. 1996. 5.R. Vandewege, "Joseph Beuys and the Multiple Problematics of his Work," Joseph Beuys: Tekeningen, Aquarallen, Gouaches, Collages (Gent, Germany: Stad Gent Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, 1977) 72. 6.Educational programs for schools, recycling plants, a province- wide network of food co-operatives and a bakery (Uprising Breads, still going) were among these projects. 7. Kate Craig of the IVestern Front mentions L.I. P. funding 12 salaries, shared among different projects in the winter of 1971. Craig, "Personal Perspectives 1970-1979," Art and Artists 261. 8.Doris Shadboldt, senior curator at the Vancouver Art Gallery in this period, said that Council "support of individuals and institutions ... has really made the scene possible." Shadbolt qtd. in Peter Selz with Alvin Balkind, "Vancouver Scene and Unscene: A Conceit in Eight Scenes and an Epilogue, West Coast Report," Art in America Jan. 1970: 125. Canada Council and L.I.P. grants "came rolling in" to the VAG during those days, according to Tony Robertson in "The First Fifty Years," Vancouver Oct. 1983: 37. 29 9.Alvin Balkind, "Worlds Within Worlds and Hemispheres," Art and Artists 188. 10.Richard Kearney, Modern Movements in European Philosophy, (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1986) 202. The ubiquitousness of Marcuse's influence is evident from the fact that students and workers striking in Paris in May 1968 chanted: "Marx, Mao, Marcuse" (204), and in Greil Marcus' comment on the pervasiveness of the Frankfurt School critique: "... it had turned into an irritating jingle by having topped too many art-student, student-radical charts in the 1960's...." Greil Marcus, Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century (Cambridge Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1989) 73. Marcuse was well-represented in the bookcases of community based, politically active S.F.U. students in the early seventies. Catherine R. Fairburn attaches Marcuse's importance in Vancouver to his 1969 talk at Simon Fraser University and subsequent publication of the text of this talk in The Georgia Strait. "A Short Trip on Spaceship Earth: Intermedia Society 1967-1972," Master's Thesis, University of British Columbia, 1991, 4, but I believe his influence to have been as pervasive as Marcus indicates, from my own observations. 11.Kearney, 209. 12.Kearney, 204. 13.Kearney, 215. 14.Marcuse, One-Dimensional Man: Studies in the Ideology of Advanced Industrial Society (Boston: Beacon Press, 1964) 63. 15.The Situationists--British, Algerians, a Canadian, a Scot, and a Russian, as well as the French nucleus, were mainly identified with Paris, but they were drawn into student politics in Strasbourg, and were also known in London. Peter Wollen et al. On the Passage of a Few People through a rather brief Moment in Time: Situationist International 1957 - 1972 (Cambridge, Mass. and London: MIT Press, 1989) 126. "Ten Days that Shook the University: The Situationists at Strasbourg" (1967), was the U.K. edition of the Strasbourg publication On the Poverty of Student Life, written by Situationist Mustapha KhayatlS. (Marcus, 417). 16.Marcus, 174-5. 17.Gray, ed. and trans.. Leaving the Twentieth Century: the Incomplete Work of the Situationist International (1974) qtd. in Marcus, 173. 30 18.Guy Debord, Society of the Spectacle, (1967; Paris: Editions Buchet-Chastel; Detroit: Black and Red, 1983) paragraph 184. 19.Marcus, 131. 20."At the moment of economic (emphasis in text) abundance, the concentrated result of social labour becomes visible and subjugates all reality to appearance, which is now its product." Debord, Spectacle par. 50. 1967. 21.The Situationist pamphlet "The Decline and Fall of the Spectacle-Commodity," on the riots in 1965, distributed in English in America before Paris 1968, qtd. in Marcus, 176. 22.Marcus, 417-8. 23."The Decline and Fall..." Marcus, 178. 24.Marcus, 131. 25.Murray Bookchin, Post-Scarcity Anarchism (Berkeley: Ramparts Press, 1971) 33. 26.Nigel Fountain, Underground: The London Alternative Press 1966-74 (London and New York: Routledge, 1988) 54. 27.Bookchin, 33-34. 28.Marcuse, Essay on Liberation, qtd. in Fairburn, "A Short Trip on Spaceship Earth" 81. 29.Marcuse, One-Dimensional 10. 3 O.Marcus, 417. 3I.Rebecca Fairburn mentions that a full transcript of this lecture was published later that month in the Georgia Straight in her thesis on Intermedia. Fairburn, Catherine R., "A Short Trip on Spaceship Earth: Intermedia Society 1967-1972." U.B.C. Master's Thesis, 1991: 81. 32.Debord, par. 52. 33.Bookchin, Peter Kropotkin and Proudhon ("property is theft" was a popular slogan) were all widely read at the time. Justine Brown cites Bookchin as well as Benjamin Zablocki's The Joyful Community and Robert Theobald's Modern Utopian in Utopian Experiments, 65. 34.Bookchin, 29. 31 35.The Western Front opened in 1974, around the time that Intermedia closed, and so took up the focus of Intermedia's programming, but with a more ambivalent relationship to technology. 36.Doris Shadbolt and David Silcox disagree on the amount. Shadbolt in Margaret Pinney, "Voices," Art and Artists 181; Silcox, "An Outside View," Art and Artists 158. 37.Pinney, "Voices," Art and Artists 181. 38.Gilbert, telephone interview, April 1995. 39.Pinney, "Voices," Art and Artists 174. 40.Peter Culley, "Because I am always talking: Reading Vancouver into the Western Front," Whispered Art History: Twenty Years at the Western Front, ed. Keith Wallace (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 1993) 192. The Black Mountain influence on Vancouver poetry is documented in Frank Davey, ed. Tish no. 1-19. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1975. This source will hereafter be referred to as Whispered. 41.Ian Wallace, personal interview, Feb. 1993. 42.Kiyooka, "Voices" Art and Artists 111; Culley, "Talking" 193- 4. 43.Culley, "Talking" 192-3; Pinney, 176, and Kiyooka, 177, in "Voices" in Art and Artists; George Bowering, "Vancouver as . Postmodern Poetry," Vancouver: Representing the Postmodern City, ed. Paul Delaney (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 1994) 126. 44.Gary Lee-Nova, in "Voices," Art and Artists 111. 45.Culley, "Talking" 193. 46.Culley "Talking" 194. This would be a state-funded utopianism, as opposed to, for example. Black Mountain's philanthropy-funded utopianism. 47.The collapse of Utopian ideals in the art community can be traced to the conjunction of a number of events in 1974. Luke Rombout cancelled the successful lunchtime events (including music, performance, and dance) at the Vancouver Art Gallery: "a series which gave multi-diciplinary activities an increased public profile"; the collapse of Intermedia; and the non-renewal of Glenn Lewis, Dave Rimmer and Micheal de Courcy's teaching contracts by U.B.C. Keith Wallace, "Introduction," Whispered 6. Wallace includes Burrows in this group, but Burrows states that he had never intended to become entrenched in the department. 32 48.Marcus, 188. 49.Wheeler's thesis lists many of the numerous new sources of information about Constructivism and Suprematism of the time: recently translated works by some of the artists themselves; Yuri Davydov's The October Revolution and the Arts (1967), Camilla Gray's The Great Experiment: Russian Art (London: Thames and Hudson, 1962) ; articles written by Gray (1960), Troels Anderson, Donald Kuspit, and John Bowlt among others; but Hunt's articles, unpublished manuscript "Russian Radical Art: 1910-1930" (1968) and presence was his main source. Wheeler, U.B.C. Art History Master's Thesis, 1971. 50.Wheeler, devolution 156. 51.Wheeler, devolution 132. 52.Wheeler, Revolution 133. 53.Wheeler, Revolution 133. 54.Wheeler, Revolution 118. 33 CHAPTER TWO THE UTOPIAN IN ART You thought in the sixties that if you made people aware of some of the formal values and the aesthetic values they would start to have a more critical response to society.^ Iain Baxter Liberal democractic values supported the production of Burrows' autonomous art objects but Situationism incited him to make work that was a part of life. Beginning from the autonomous art objects he produced in 1967, Conjugality and 1-2-3, Burrows' work developed to encompass material culture in the form of squats and various found materials. In this chapter, the effects that the Utopian thought discussed in Chapter One had on the Vancouver and international art worlds will be discussed, as it pertains to Burrows and his work. Burrows never abandoned the modernist tenet of the 'aesthetic dimension' as an uninstrumentalized place of critical thought, despite the pressure for direct action that he experienced from Situationism. After parting with the unitary, non-referential forms of Minimalism in 1969, Burrows exchanged its use of new, industrial materials for reused, bricolaged^ material. The use of reused materials challenged the hierarchical values of western European art. The sculpture on the Maplewood mudflats, extant from 1969-71 (figure 4), and the Gas Works (figure 2.1), thirteen elements reworked from an abandoned gas works and zinc plated to unify "their material ' surf ace appearance,"-' New Zealand, 1971, 34 exploited the social and economic associations of used and recontextualized materials. The Sand Pile, an interactive installation, 1973, and the Squat Doc, a phototextual documentation of squatted and self-help housing from the Maplewood Mudflats to several cities in Europe and Asia, 1977-78, both embodied Burrows' Utopian ambitions of inclusiveness and participation, but in different forms. The Sand Pile (figure 5) involved viewers by instructing them to be co-creators of the form. The Squat Doc identified and included artistic and material forms of squatted and self-help housing (figure 4) as art. But the sculptural exhibition The Temptations of Mao Tse-Tung (figure 6) retreated to the 'aesthetic dimension.' These transitions in Burrows' art were representative of other changes taking place in art in Vancouver: they were the local inflections of the as yet unnamed postmodern moment. One aspect of the changes could be characterized as an 'anti-aesthetic' movement.* Most influential were: the romantic landscape painting tradition and its critics. Constructivism, Suprematism, popular notions of Zen Buddhism, and Black Mountain poetics. The co-existence of traditional aesthetics of landscape painting with the de-aestheticizing tendencies of Constructivism, for example, created conflicts in art in Vancouver. These conflicts are particularly evident in Burrows' work, and the work of his colleagues Glenn Toppings and Dallas Selman, as well as the history of exhibitions at the U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery. The importance of new technology to groups such as Intermedia and the 35 Western Front, developing from Marshall McLuhan's emphasis on communications, further complicated artistic issues. Although Burrows was not interested in the 'high' technology favoured by those groups, technology had become an artistic issue at the time. Burrows' work involved lower levels of technology. Artists in Vancouver in this period were affected by this myriad of factors, fragmenting the cohesive modernist art objects that they had previously produced. Their interpretations varied. The obvious conflicts in Burrows work in this period work emerged because of the conflicts that Burrows had experienced in London. They were also related to struggles emerging out of the post-modern moment. These conflicts were between the "ideological domination of scale and materials" at St. Martin's, and the political activism he had witnessed and engaged in outside the school. He was unsure whether to "retreat from material and scale into abstraction or Minimalism." Burrows' unconscious alignment with Marcuse's 'aesthetic dimension' caused him to view form as "the least ideologically loaded domain to work from."^ to him at this time. But a retreat to formalism did not seem the way to create meaningful work: I learned the sculpture lessons of material and scale and presence as an art apprentice of an imperialistic culture in the last half of the sixties. There was a vacuum of meaning. Existentialism reversed to escape into surrealism or mere decoration of corporate insanity. Maybe to hide in abstraction, a reductive purification to the minimal cube or free scattering of lots of anything to avoid alluding to anything. Gestalt is hip. Form--much more evasive.^ Scott Watson finds evidence of the post-modern transition as early as the late 50's in Vancouver,'' although many Vancouver 36 artists continued to align themselves with international modernism well into the 1960's: ... reshaping their thoughts and feelings about themselves in relation to their local community and the world cultural community for which they 'want in'.... [to be a part of]^ To belong to the homogeneous world cultural community of international modernism meant redefining or rejecting the dominant role of landscape in the art of Vancouver and adopting Minimalism as the vocabulary of this international cultural community. Landscape and Minimalism's jostling for position characterizes the peculiar nature of much of Vancouver art in this period.^ Minimalism was not homogeneous in its Vancouver incarnation, but absorbed many different historical and international elements as well as expressing Vancouver artists' subjective and local preoccupations. Exhibitions and activities at the Vancouver Art Gallery exemplified the broad range of artistic currents, from hard-edge painting. Minimalist sculpture and performance to Native art, as well as the traditional European fare. The U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery redefined the sculptural in exhibitions ranging from autonomous art objects {Joy and Celebration, 1967) to previously functional objects exhibited as art {Mechanical Machine Creator-Destroyer, 1971). Vancouver artists primarily learned about international Minimalism through journals at this time, but in the mid-sixties, the VAG's exhibition program brought work in from New York, London and Los Angeles, exposing artists to the work itself. Many of the works were intended by 37 the artists to be physically investigated, and the scale of some had been misunderstood from publications, so minimalism's dependence on physical experience for its expression was well- served by important pieces in Los Angeles Six (1968), and New York Thirteen (1969). Los Angeles Six included Ron Davis, John McCracken, and Robert Irwin; New York Thirteen Donald Judd and Robert Morris. British sculpture, as it was shown in New British Painting and Sculpture (1968), including Anthony Caro and William Tucker, revealed the British artists' convergence and divergence from American Minimalism. For example, the Los Angeles and British artists shared interests in colour and finish that the more philosophical New Yorkers were not interested in. Burrows would take up Judd and Morris' spatial and behavioural concerns, would study with the British who favoured using strong colours, but would ultimately cite the spatial illusionism of Californian Ron Davis' work as the major influence on his work with fibreglass in the late sixties. Minimalism's ascendancy in the international art world was contested in Vancouver, even while it exerted enormous influence. During Anthony Emery's direction from 1967 to 1974,^° the Vancouver Art Gallery's programming included 'happenings,' which incorporated music, theatre and poetry readings, in the midst of Minimalism and hard edge painting. One writer reports that the gallery at this time was "Canada's most active community centre. ̂^ Although the gallery's democratization as 'community centre' was seen by the local art critic Maija Bismanis as 38 threatening the level of quality at the gallery," exhibitions of strictly visual art were rigourous and highly relevant to the current international scene. Doris Shadbolt, the head curator at the time, believed "that the gallery had a responsibility to present to the community major artistic ideas and trends of the time."^^ These shows, following rapidly on the heels of major shows introducing and developing Minimalism in major American and British centres, were as topical and contemporary as shows elsewhere. For example, LA 6 was described later by writer Alison Griffiths as: "another conceptually defiant gesture heralding western artists at a time when New York was overwhelming everything else."^^ David Thompson said at the time that the LA artists had been "displayed [in Vancouver] as they had not been displayed before in Los Angeles... or in London."^^ Vancouver was thus solidly situated in the nexus of New York, LA, and London, ̂^ enabling Vancouver artists to create from a knowledgable base; and make art with their own peculiar inflections. Vancouver art was allied with what Alvin Balkind called "the cauldrons of New York, London and Los Angeles."^'' Although Robert Morris and Donald Judd were not exhibited in Vancouver until New York 13 in 1969, their work was available in art journals from 1959 on.^^ Morris and Judd articulated a phenomenological-"-^ philosophy of Minimalism in these articles, investigating the nature of sculpture itself. The phenomenological perspective shifted the definition of sculpture from that of monolithic object on a pedestal to the experiential 39 meanings of its shape, space and relationship to the body. Phenomenology also provided criteria for what the viewer could look for in the new sculpture, which might appear banal. Doris Shadbolt more than likely used Morris and Judd's writings to inform her curation of NY 13, to which they had contributed.^" Their criteria for the "new three-dimensional work" was that it be composed of unitary, single objects, not "made part by part, by addition, composed. "̂ ^ The implications of the idea of unity, derived from 'gestalt' (a holistic concept of mind and body) ̂^ were seen by Judd as an alternative to rationalism's domination of the world. In gestalt, the apprehension of a form is immediate, not analytical, and exhausts "all the information about [the form]."^^ Applied to sculpture, 'gestalt' "takes the relationships out of the work and makes them a function of space and light within the viewer's 'visual field'."^^ This extended the relationships within the sculpture to what Morris called the sculpture's spatial context or "actual space." He considered actual space to be "intrinsically more powerful and specific than paint on a flat surface."^^ This emphasis on actuality eliminated the representational, referential and symbolic aspects of sculpture. For example, Morris' untitled triangle reproduced in his article "Notes on Sculpture," extends volumetrically out at the base, impinging inward and upward. It implies, but is not, a pyramid, ̂^ illustrating the tenets Morris was describing: one need not move around ... the simpler regular polyhedrons ... such as cubes and pyramids ... for the sense 40 of the whole to occur. One sees and immediately 'believes' with one's mind that the pattern corresponds to the existential fact of the object.^'' Placed in a corner, the viewer is not able to move around it, and yet a sense of a whole (pyramid) is immediately apprehensible. A high degree of finish is not necessary to impart this sense of a geometric whole. Morris' interest in the spatial properties of sculpture progressed to an interest in works which expressed the processes engendered by their material properties ('process art'), such as the felt piece he showed in NY 13 in 1968, when a direct manipulation of a given material without the use of any tool [was] sometimes made, [and when] considerations of gravity become as important as those of space. The focus on matter and gravity as means results in forms which were not projected in advance.^^ From this description, it is evident how important it was that Vancouver artists were able to experience the works' concerns with spatiality and material properties directly. Judd's untitled industrial-looking floor piece of perforated steel in NY 13 established the use of the industrial object for art. Dan Flavin's use of fluorescent lights in his solo 1969 show incorporated the effect of light on the surrounding space. Robert Irwin's untitled violet disc (1965-7), shown in LA 6 in 1968, established the connection of painting to architectural space and the viewer's body.^^ Ron Davis' fibreglass works' "combin[ation] of shapes and spatial illusions...." created the "illusion of a three-dimensional spatial existence."^" All were working with spatial concerns and with contemporary industrial materials such 41 as fibreglass, fluorescence and aluminum. Materials were important not just for the technical possibilities they afforded, but for their symbolic significations. Although Morris and Judd downplayed this aspect of sculpture, Carl Andre used materials associated with a lower level of technology for his work that went beyond Morris' 'visual field' by engaging a sense of touch: I am certainly no conceptual artist because the physical existence of my work cannot be separated from the idea of it ... My art springs from my desire to have things in the world which would otherwise never be there. By nature, I am a materialist ... It is exactly these impingements upon our sense of touch and so forth that I am interested in.^^ The British also discussed sculpture in phenomenological terms; the British sculptor William Turnbull commented that: "The event no longer happens in the work ... but in the observer."^^ The work of Phillip King, with whom Burrows studied at St. Martin's School of Art in London from 1967 to 1969, was representative of British sculpture's shift to include viewer's responses to the space within which the sculpture is sited. This movement shifted artists' attention away from the monolithic works of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth, and more directly, from the work of the most prominent artist teaching at St. Martin's, Anthony Caro.^^ At the U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, under the direction of Alvin Balkind, the expression of technological utopianism-'* particular to Vancouver changed from the application of the new, industrial materials in cohesive, separate art objects to interdisciplinary work. The sculpture exhibited in Joy and Celebration (1967) and 42 Younger Vancouver Sculptors (1968) displayed industrial utopianism in its use or emulation of technological methods and materials. The work in Joy and Celebration was said to have a "love of materials, delight in colour and form, and lightness of spirit."" This apparently characterized the mood of the country during the centennial year, as well as the high regard in which technology was held in Vancouver art. The newspaper critics Ann Rosenberg and Joan Lowndes both described 'the new directions' they saw in Younger Vancouver Sculptors: the erasure of boundaries between painting, sculpture, theatre, life, nature; the dispositon to obliterate marks of the creative process, and [the production of] anonymous surfaces and the clean hard edges which factories and specialists can produce. . . . ̂^ Burrows' sculptures. Conjugality (figure 2), shown in Sculpture '67, a Toronto exhibition organized by the National | Gallery, celebrating Canada's centennial, and 1-2-3 (figure 1), shown in Joy and Celebraton, emerged from this buoyant, optimistic period of Minimalism in Vancouver. They contested Morris' and Judd's minimalist tenets with slight complications of unitary forms and symbolism, which, anticipating later international concerns, made cross-cultural allusions. Burrows considered them 'hybrids' since they were additive rather than unitary forms, different from Morris' and Judd's concept of the sculptural gestalt. His description of Conjugality as a real object that doesn't reflect on anything, doesn't say anything, doesn't produce anything, doesn't stop the wind, but is just there, holding space: a genuine presence, a thing in itself, unique and useless . . . like a friend̂ '' reflects his insistence on non-referentiality, but both 43 sculptures' titles belied their supposed non-referentiality. Conjugality represented two bodies joined abstractly--but so abstractly that the reference would be missed without the title. Ths sculpture abstracted the coporeality of 'conjugality' from the body to the geometric shape of the sculpture for a visual, rather than sensual, phenomenom. The corporeality of the notion 'conjugality' may have been derived from Black Mountain poet Charles Olson's reading style' emphasizing the breath, more closely relating the body to the art object than Morris and Judd's notion of gestalt would allow. This work thus addressed, but did not enact, French phenomologist Maurice Merleau-Ponty's "living relationships of experience."^® Living relationships of experience were referred to, or represented, but not in the present of the sculpture. 1-2-3 was a step pyramid, rather than the homogeneous "simpler regular polyhedron" pyramid preferred by Morris and Conjugality was made of two units. But their hybrid structure was countered by the unifying effects of colour. LA sculptor John McCracken, whose Yellow Pyramid was shown in LA 6 and diagrammed in Morris' "Notes on Sculpture," and British sculptors Phillip King and Anthony Caro, who Burrows studied with at St. Martin's, all used colour to unify their more elaborate sculptural forms. According to local critic Joan Lowndes, when Burrows arrived in England he found that King had made a corner sculpture of exactly the same color as 1-2-3, but tapering in the opposite direction.^' Conjugality and 1-2-3 displayed more than the 'delight in 44 colour and form' that Balkind spoke of, or the unifying of form in King's or McCracken's work. Zen Buddhist symbology informs these essentially Minimalistic sculptures.*" Asian elements had been emulated in B.C. art since Fred Varley's call for an international art movement fusing Occident and Orient in the twenties, continuing in the calligraphic quotations of Mark Tobey and into the contemporary period with Jack Wise's mandalas. Burrows' philosophical description of Conjugality as just 'holding space' conveys a Zen-like detachment from "philosophical concepts, religious beliefs, ideas or theories."*^ For Burrows, art was a phenomenonological "creative response to the personal and social conditions of experience."*^ Fred Varley's theosophic symbolism supplied a more explicit layer of colour symbology for Conjugality and 1-2-3 than either Morris or King's work. In Varley's symbolism, violet stood for 'aesthetic,' and was often used by in Varley's representations of mountains. This relation was appropriate to the cultural as well as formal aspects of 1-2-3, as a pyramid, it was not unlike a rational mountain, and Conjugality's ochre colour fits in with the lusty connotatons Varley attributed to earth colours.*^ Burrows denies the presence of any colour symbolism in these two sculptures, but its ubiquitousness in Vancouver, in the form of Varley's and Burrows' friend Jack Wise's work,** suggests that 1-2-3 and Conjugality's colours did indeed carry this symbolism.*^ Since 1-2-3's materials were not significant,*^ the image of 45 the pyramid, with its trans-cultural, trans-temporal and trans- national allusions was its most important aspect. The pyramid's allusions to forms of ancient civilizations enabled it to straddle Minimalism's non-referential geometricity with a referential geometry. The title 1-2-3 detached the form from the cultural associations of pyramids, making it primarily a rational, geometric object (purple colour not withstanding). While the materials in this piece are subordinated to the image, the image is abstracted and decontextualized from its (several) origins. Its placement exploits the phenomenogical possibilities staked out by Robert Morris' pyramid: in a corner, the pyramid argumentatively slants outwards, toward the viewer. From the embracing of technology and technological forms in sixties exhibitions such as Joy and Celebration, the U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery went on to embrace the functional art object. The galleries direction was motivated by the philosophy of "art into life," largely derived from new knowledge of the art associated with the Russian revolution, Suprematism and Constructivism as is evident from the exhibition notes for many exhibitions in this period. In Vancouver, this knowledge compelled artists to make art a part of everyday life. According to the American critic Rosalind Krauss, it played a larger role internationally by constructing a paternity for Minimalism.^'' The founding of the Western Front in 1973 was inspired by the philosophy of "art into life": "Art, life, society and aesthetics all melded together. . . . "*̂ 46 However, it is the U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery archives that reveal the application of the "art into life" philosophy to sculpture. Burrows' primary medium. Suprematism, Constructivism and its completely functional antecedent, Productivism, the Arts and Crafts movement, the Bauhaus, and eastern religions were all sources, whereas Conceptualism, Arte Povera, and Minimalism, were the current forms. The Fine Arts Gallery's exhibitions of functional and aesthetic objects were an inventive affront to the hierarchy of art, and definitely left their mark on the young Burrows, who prepared and showed in, many of the U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery's exhibitions at this time, when he was also teaching sculpture in the Fine Arts Department. Chairs (1968) exhibited different interpretations of chairs. Burrows contributed an antique wheel chair decorated with flags, with the British ensign on the back and the stars and stripes on the seat and arms.*' D'arcy Henderson's was blocks of dry ice in the shape of a chair, and Les Levine's was a vacuum-form chair. In addition to these chairs, an outhouse, stacking chairs and an old barber's chair were also shown.^° Demonstrating the plethora of sources that Balkind wove together in support of his exhibitions, the broadsheet for the 1971 exhibition of wooden patterns for machinery from a Vancouver foundry. Mechanical Machine Creator-Destroyer invoked the Ruskinian Horatio Greenough, ̂-̂  urban planning critic Lewis Mumford, Buckminster Fuller, the Bauhaus, theorists of the Russian revolution, and Duchamp, while the title refers to the 47 creator/destroyer Hindu god Siva.^^ Glenn Toppings, who also taught at U.B.C. at this time, made kayaks and a table exemplifying the complete coalescence of function and aesthetic. According to Roy Kiyooka, who Toppings had introduced to Burrows, Toppings had "great difficulty in calling what he did art." Kiyooka claimed that Toppings "essential rejection of art denied him, to a certain extent, an aesthetic."^-' Kiyooka's comment voices the apprehensiveness felt by many artists about the 'aesthetic' and how far artists could go from the recognizably aesthetic (and into the functional) before their work would no longer be considered art. Other exhibitions broke with the recognizably aesthetic in their use of industrial materials. Random Sample, N=4 (1968) was an exhbition of "contemporary artifacts randomly selected and displayed." Iain Baxter, who taught Burrows at U.B.C. and is known for his work with his wife Ingrid as the "N.E. Thing Co.," showed a variety of substances arranged in a geometrically- ordered sequence, extending from U.B.C. to S.F.U. The poster for his complementary exhibition Piles depicted a pile of chain. ̂^ Machinery was equated with contemporary sculpture in a 1973 newspaper column by former VAG director Richard Simmins, describing a large roadworking machine: The most dramatic piece of folk industrial sculpture on Sixth Avenue.... Significance: This object is a fine, somewhat crude piece of design, but starkly practical. It may be compared with most public art in the city, although it would be impractical as a fountain and would look much better set above eye-level. The only other example of geometric, steel art that can stand comparison with this work is the super-sophisticated sculpture by New York artist 48 Robert Murray. . . .̂ ^ Newcastle art history professor Ronald Hunt, who taught at U.B.C. in 1970, was a major influence on the breaking down of the boundaries between the different Utopian movements in twentieth century art. Hunt's contextualization of Situationism with its art historical antecedents--Surrealism, Dada, Suprematism and Constructivism--in the catalogue for his exhibition Poetry Must be Made by All! Transform the World!^^ demonstrated the revolutionary impetus of all these movements, and reinforced the view of art as the role of revolutionary consciousness. His work was highly influential among young Vancouver artists and art historians, particularly his student and Burrows' peer as an art history undergraduate Dennis Wheeler, Burrows and Toppings.^'' Burrows' representation of his sculpture in its natural and community setting on the Maplewood Mudflats (extant from 1969-71) in writings and photographs, published in Artscanada in 1970, and in slides in the VAG's slide exhibition, SCAN, in 1972, augmented in the faculty group show, 477-74-7, at the U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery in 1974,^^ incorporated the Situationist activism and Suprematist aesthetics that he had encountered in London and that Hunt had continued to bring to his attention. The work on the mudflats was also deeply informed by the romantic landscape tradition. Although the sculpture was extant for an extended period of time, there is no evidence that anyone ever saw it; the only writing on it was by Burrows himself. It was of, but not limited to, the romantic landscape tradition. ̂^ It was also a 49 social and architectural landscape, emerging from the juncture of landscape and Minimalism (figure 4: shack with sculpture). Pilfered plumbing materials from construction sites formed lines to aesthetically frame the exorbitant landscape with the detritus of local industrial activity. This juxtaposiiton of industry and landscape corresponded to Andre's conjunction of the concrete and the aesthetic and Simmins' denotation of the aesthetic value of industrial forms. The incorporation of discarded industrial materials--plastic hoops and pipes, fishnet, metal hoops from an old water tower and wood from a wheel house (cabin of a boat) found on the site--and natural materials such as cedar shakes suggested an economy based on 'used' or useful, values, starkly contrasting with the celebration of the new industrial materials, used to express ideas that had no relation to what they were, in the exhibitions of the mid-sixties. The sculptures' place in the natural and inhabited setting of the mudflats recognized human activity as a part of nature. Verb(al), corporeal and gestural elements converged in the Sand Pile, in the Vancouver Art Gallery's exploration space in 1973. It combined natural and high-tech materials, transforming the Minimalist pyramid of 1-2-3 into an interactive installation. The high-tech element created the interactive component. It was a video monitor showing a tape of Burrows' arms and hands as he repeatedly built and obliterated pyramids of sand behind a table covered with fine white sand. The monitor was placed beside the depicted pile of sand on the table so as to instruct the viewer 50 to follow suit. This combination of material from nature and technology- betrays the same conflicts seen in Burrows' earlier exhibition at the Bau-Xi Gallery, when he had shown both fibreglass paintings (figure 3) ^° and sculpture composed of detritus, and in Four Artists: Recent Things, Hard, Soft and Liquid (figure 2.2) in 1970. Materialism had co-existed with illusionism in Burrows' contribution to Four Artists, a group show including Ian Wallace, Jeff Wall, Duane Lunden and Burrows, in 1970." There he showed fibreglass paintings that were connected with foam rubber, concrete and tension elastic strap sculpture,"^^ counterpointing the derelictness of the materials in his mudflats sculpture with these new but functional materials. This work had more to do with the natural forces innate to landscape than its pictorial aspects. It had a "gravitational defiance about it--concrete suspended and holding down tense parts, ropes connecting to a seizure about to occur. "̂ ^ The paintings in the Bau-Xi exhibition were high-tech and illusory whereas the sculpture was real objects: "machinery belts, coiled and snaky, rusty chains and slender iron pipes ... arranged on the floor, "̂ * not framed off as sculpture by pedestals, and directly confronting viewers. Despite the allusions and plasticity of 1-2-3 and Conjugality, Burrows' primary purpose for studying with Phillip King at St. Martin's had been to acquire technical proficiency in working with fibreglass. Plastics were generally seen as materials with 51 Utopian possibilities because of their ability to take on any form at the time. Fibreglass, a kind of plastic, had previously unknown illusionistic capacities, which artists utilized, contradicting the rationalism of Minimalism. However, Burrows' peers at St. Martin's, Barry Flanagan and Richard Long, had begun contesting Caro's use of heavy, labour-intensive materials such as metal, and his primarily formalist vocabulary while Burrows was a student there. His studiomates, Gilbert and George, brought in a performative dimension. These new directions proved to be more significant for Burrows than the work he came to St. Martin's to do. Flanagan and Long were not interested in industrial materials and were working with low-tech materials such as rope, sand and rocks. Their work allowed the materials to stand for themselves; they were not manipulated or altered in any way. Flanagan exhibited in galleries, but Long's work directly in the environment opened up the environment as a site for art for Burrows. The performative aspect^^ of the Sand Pile was related to Richard Long's walks in the English countryside, and Gilbert and George's art performances. Long's documention of his work for exhibition gave it the context necessary for it to be recognized as art. Flanagan's objects, whose titles were also the act of their making, as in 'bundle' or 'heap', made art objects actions as well as things: verb/nouns. Flanagan's interests were similar to many Vancouver artists, as many social, political and cultural developments were common to Vancouver and London. His literary 52 source. Better Books book store, supplied the poetry of the Black Mountain poets and books on other related subjects such as Zen Buddhism. ̂^ Flanagan was also affected by the belief that art should be a part of life." His source was French dramatist and author Alfred Jarry who "attempt[ed] to achieve a new level of existence through ... fusing his life and his art."^^ Jarry's fusion was expressed in concrete poetry, which involve[d] the same kind of manipulation of language-- disassembly, play, reconstitution with new significance-- which [Flanagan brought] to more palpable materials. In any case, separations between the arts were foreign to the spirit of the time.^^ Robert Morris also expressed the idea of art as a verb, describing Robert Smithson's outside mirror pieces as "quite clear early investigations of 'verb-type' spaces ... defin[ing] a space through which one moved and acknowledged a double, ever- changing space belonging only to vision."''" Although not a universal idea, the idea of art as a verb, behaviour or action became well-known. Although art as a verb is better understood as performance. Burrows incorporated this idea into several, including fibreglass painting. Ironically, it was seeing a fibreglass work at the Tate by Ron Davis, who showed in LA 6 in Vancouver when Burrows was in London, that triggered his return to painting.''-̂  Davis' combination of shapes and spatial illusions created the illusion of a three-dimensional spatial existence in two dimensions. He exploited the zone between painting and sculpture created by fibreglass and "solved a lot of problems" for Burrows.''^ In 53 response to Davis' work. Burrows produced similar spatial paintings in solid fibreglass in London. He exhibited some in Edinburgh and Milan'̂ ^ while he was there, and at the Bau-Xi on his return to Vancouver in 1969. But Burrows' use of fibreglass exploited its ability to record the corporeal, rather than its strictly illusory capacities. Local critic Joan Lowndes connected the corporeality of the artist's gesture with line in the paintings, which was the artist's gesture embedded in the paintings.''* Less abstract than in the earlier sculpture Conjugality, the body represented in the fibreglass paintings was a visible part of Morris' 'visual field,' observable through gesture entrenched in line. On the other hand, in the Sand Pile, the fibreglass paintings' gestures had re-emerged in a corporeal and participatory mode, without the cloak of illusionism. The re-presentation of the gesture on the videotape showed it as a dynamic movement, for a more concrete, although still abstracted, corporeality. American critic Rosalind Krauss describes the emergence of the bodied, corporeal subject from sixties' Minimalism The bodily specificity of that subject, the fact that it had a front and a back, that its experience was affected by the vagaries of ambient light, that its very corporeal density both guaranteed and was made possible by the interconnectedness of all its sensory fields so that an abstracted visuality could no more make sense than an abstracted tactility--all of this was choreographed and mobilized by minimal art. That corporeal condition, which within 60's minimalism was still directed at a body-in- general within a rather more generalized sense of space-at- large--that condition became ever more particularized in work that has followed in the '70's and 80's....''^ The viewer's physical participation in the Sand Pile activated 54 them within Morris' 'visual field,' extending it to include touch. Burrows' colleague at U.B.C. in the early seventies, Mowry Baden, ̂^ "hoped to create a more physical, body-oriented basis for the art experience" in his ambulatory Vancouver Room at the V.A.G. Exploratory Space in 1973. He also constructed a two-room sculpture outside the Fine Arts Department at U.B.C. It had a slight incline that could only be perceived by walking on it.'''' Baden thus expanded the scope of phenomenology's application to sculpture from spatiality to motility, but Morris and Judd's gestalt theory of sculpture was the grounds for this departure. ''̂ The Sand Pile also expanded to include motility from the spatial basis of phenomenological Minimalism. Its main component, a pile of white sand on a round table, was directly accessible to the audience, and so was clearly meant for the viewer to play with. Sand was a natural material like timber, but its flexibility cajoled viewer's into shaping, building and levelling, accepting the creative task of the artist.Burrows' suggestion that the viewer "remember the origins of the pyramid"^^ invoked its symbolic and historical connotations, adding another dimension to the gestalt of Minimalism.®" The pyramid only came into existence if a viewer chose to repeat the performance from the instructions and material elements provided- -text panels and a monitor showing an hour-long colour tape of Burrows' arms and hands as he repeatedly built and obliterated pyramids of sand in a Zen-like ritual. The video illustrated 55 Burrows' contention on a panel that "perceptible form aris [es] from play with materials." The video encouraged the viewer to play, but in a specific way imitating the artist's actions.^^ The body, whether artists' or viewers', in the Sand Pile, was an active (verb) coporeality. This was related to poets Charles Olson and Robert Greeley's poetics, as they circulated through the art and writing communities in Vancouver, ̂^ as well as Robert Morris and Barry Flanagan's propositions about art as a verb. Olson's use of open brackets meant openended readings. For Olson, the poem was a process of energy transference from the "place where the poet got it [the circumstances of its making, in Greeley's words] through the poem to ... the reader."^-' This process optimistically trusted that the reader would complete the transference,®* as Burrows optimistically expected viewer's compliance in the Sand Pile. The viewer's actions ostensibly modelled the participatory political hopes of the period,®^ but still suggested direction from an omnipotent position. The Sand Pile's integration of the mind and body in action responsed to feminist and ecological critiques of the mind/body division which were seen to be dominating Western society. The behaviour elicited by the Sand Pile replicated the social and artistic processes that Burrows had observed in the Maplewood Mudflats community. The Sand Pile incorporated the properties of sand to indicate that geometric forms are not immutable and culturally specific. It implied that geometric forms are no more innate to western 56 rationalism than other cultures. The repetitive task of building and destroying the pyramid suggested that memory and creation are simultaneous and cyclical, not mutually exclusive. This cycle of creation and destruction had been associated with nonwestern or ancient civilizations, but was now evident in the European west due to the inflationary spiral and knowledge of the depletion of the earth's resources. The era of limitless wealth and endless growth was now over. The pyramid became almost cohesive as a sculptural object again in the Cement (or concrete) Pyramid (figure 2.3; fragmented outside figure 2.4) in The Temptations of Mao Tse-Tung exhibition (figure 6) at the Pender Street Gallery in 1977. This exhibition signified a return to the 'aesthetic dimension', for its critical potential as well as its viability within the art world. ̂^ The materials were again a combination of the natural and industrial, but they were used for their metaphoric capacities as well as their physical presence. The Temptations of Mao Tse-Tung (figures 6 & 2.3) fused the ideologies associated with the Chinese Chairman, Mao Tse-Tung, with such mythological materials as concrete, water and fire in the pyramid and the other sculptures in the exhibition, Chinese Landscape and Another Surrealist Tri ck. Maoism was idealized by many young intellectuals at this time as a political program integrating the lives of workers and intellectuals. They were especially impressed by the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the mid-sixties, when intellectuals were 57 required to work in the countryside. The Temptations of Mao Tse- Tung, satirically equating Mao with Christ, ridicules the faith invested in Mao by these so-called Maosits. The materials embody this critique. For example, The Chinese Landscape had slabs of Hornby Island rock supported on six very slender copper-tubing tripod-like structures of varying size: the tubing hardly appeared capable of carrying the weight of the rock. The Cement Pyramid in 32 Pieces, although polished to a delicate shine,®'' was not a seamless bastion of power. The cement emdodied the weight of authority, but it was fragmented (figures 2.3 & 4). Another Surrealistic Trick subverted Flanagan's prosaic self- referential titling (bundle). It transmuted the names of elements with the elements represented in the sculptures, for example, "air inscribed with mounds of earth on the floor."^® Burrows fused the corporeal with the symbolic when he tossed oysters into water troughs that were inscribed 'fire', to lend the water sexual energy. The symbolic was drawn out of the corporeal in the yellow cedar phallus carved out of a log with a chainsaw and coloured with blackberry wine.®^ This disjunction of elements and their names and human vulnerability with industrial brutalization is analogous to the disjunctiveness and vulnerability of the ideologies and the political leaders Burrows was addressing. The Squat Doc, as primarily a sociological document, was the aesthetic inverse of The Temptations of Mao Tse-Tung, although it was also concerned with global political issues. In the form of a 58 set of photocopied photographs and text panels, it documented squatted and self-help housing from Burrows' own experience on the mudflats to several cities in Europe, Africa and Asia. This effectively connected and historicized squatting as a movement.'" Although he claimed to be applying the three- dimensional tenets of Minimalism to housing in Squat Doc-- replacing the pyramid with the three-dimensions of architecture-- it did not exist in the autonomous art world associated with Minimalism, but in a nexus of international urban development, material culture studies, and art. It responded to Utopian theories with a practise--a practise documenting the Utopian being put into practise by people in their everyday lives.'^ Burrows' interpretation of Utopian thought, seen against the backdrop of his contemporaries' work, appears pragmatic and material in comparison. Initially excited by the Utopian possibilities of new industrial materials, he expanded from that broadly Utopian premise to encompass the social, political and economic utopianisms of the Situationists and anarchists. The work that he produced in response to these differing utopianisms --from the fibreglass paintings to the interactive installation of the Sand Pile, the sociological document of the Squat Doc, the used materials of the mudlats sculpture and the Gas Works, and the aesthetic dimension of The Temptations of Mao Tse-Tung-- barely possessed a common thread, but illustrates the compelling nature of the issues they addressed at the time. 59 I.Iain Baxter quoted in Lorna Farrell-Ward, "The Sixties: Alternating Currents," Art and Artists 138. 2."Bricolage" means "do-it-yourself" in French. French structural anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss, widely read throughout the sixties, calls the creative work that people do on the everyday materials of their lives "bricolage." According to Levi-Strauss, the bricoleur: ...uses the 'means at hand,' that is, the instruments ... which are already there, which had not been especially conceived ... for the operation for which they are to be used ... not hestitating to change them whenever it appears necessary.... Levi-Strauss, qtd. in Jacques Derrida, "Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences," Writing and Difference (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978) 285. 3.Tom Burrows, only take for granted the things that you can touch , Artscanada Mar. 1982: 127. This is the second publication of this essay. The first was Artscanada Feb./Mar. 1972. 4.Hal Foster describes the 'anti-aesthetic' as "... a skepticism regarding autonomous 'spheres' of culture or separate 'fields' of experts ... an imperative to go beyond formal filiations to trace social filiations ... in short, a will to grasp the present nexus of culture and politics...." Foster, "Postmodernism: A Preface," in The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, ed. Hal Foster (Seattle: Bay Press, 1983) xiii-xv. This source will hereafter be referred to as The Anti-Aesthetic. 5.Burrows, only take for granted, 1972: 36. 6.only take for granted, Feb./Mar. 1972, 36. The "...scattering of lots of anything" indicates the congruences between Flanagan's floor-oriented works of soft or fragmentary materials and Robert Morris' better-known untitled felt piece. 7." the writing of the fifties' critics and artists, one can see they sensed themselves to be straddling a fissure that had opened up between the modern and the post-modern...." Scott Watson, "Terminal City: Place, Culture and the Regional Inflection," Art and Artists 229. 8.Arnold Rockman, juror. Painting '66: Vancouver Centennial Award Exhibition exhibition notes (Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, Nov. 1966-Jan. 1967). 9.This issue will be dealt with in more detail in Chapter Three. 60 10.Anthony Emery did not originate the V.A.G;'s direction at this time, according to Alison Griffiths and Joan Lowndes. The previous director Richard Simmins and chief curator Doris Shadbolt "originate[d] the policy of putting money into exhibitions and programming rather than costly art acquisitons ... in the early 60's." Griffiths 42. According to Joan Lowndes, Simmins "had turned the mausoleum he inherited in 1962 into the swingingest gallery in Canada ... he noticed that only established artists were prominent ... and determined to find ... others.... [which he did]. He brought in London: the New Scene...." Lowndes, "The Spirit of the Sixties," Art and Artists 142. 11.Tony Robertson, Vancouver Magazine Oct. 1983: 37. 12.Another democratizing policy was the hanging of art works in order of arrival and asking viewers to buy ballots to vote for their favorite work. This was done for the exhibition Spectrum '68. Maija Bismanis, "Spectrum '68: A blow to art in the West-- accent on quality is out in disturbing reversal of policy," Province Mar. 1, 1968: 33. 13.Alison Griffiths, "Doris Shadbolt: Quiet Dynamo in the World of Art," Chatelaine Feb. 1981: 42. 14.Griffiths, 42. IS.Canadian Scene 155; and Thompson was quoted on the Vancouver Art Gallery Bulletin broadsheet. May 1968. 16."No need for Mahomet(sic) to go to the mountain when the mountain can be brought to Mahomet, as far as Vancouver artists are concerned." Thompson, Canadian Scene 155. 17.Joan Lowndes commented that although the sculpture in Younger Vancouver Artists was "allied through its use of technology to ... New York, London and Los Angeles, it also displays a curious West Coast eclecticism: funk art ... contrast[ing] with cerebral impersonality...." Lowndes, "The New Sculpture--a world of smooth plexiglass and readymades and Baxterized wit," Rev. of Younger Vancouver Sculptors, Province Oct. 25, 1968: 12. Alvin Balkind saw a new internationalism, or qualities simultaneous to Los Angeles, Winnipeg, Chicago, Stockholm and Dusseldorf as early as 1965. Regionalism exhibition notes, 1965. To illustrate the tightness of this consensus building, Rosenberg quoted American critic Edward Fry's introduction to the Guggenheim International Exhibition catalogue, 1967, which was quoted by Balkind in his preface to the Younger Vancouver Artists catalogue. Rosenberg "About Art..." Vancouver Sun Oct. 1968, n.p. The major exhibitions at the V.A.G., as well as those at such private galleries as The Douglas, later The Ace Gallery, continued to contribute to Vancouver's international position. 61 18.Morris was published in Artforum from 1966 and Judd in Arts Magazine from 1959. Morris explained the gestalt character of 'unitary forms' in "Notes on Sculpture," Artforum Feb. 1966: xx; "Anti Form," Artforum April 1968, reproduced'in Ellen H. Johnson, American Artists on Art from 1940, (New York: Harper and Row, 1982) 185-8; "Notes on Sculpture, Part 4, Beyond Objects," Artforum April 1969; and "Some Notes on the Phenomenology of Making: The Search for the Motivated," Artforum Apr. 1970: 62-66. Ann Rosenberg noted that Donald Judd, Robert Morris, and John McCracken were influential from contemporary journals in her review of Younger Vancouver Artists in 1968. Rosenberg, "About Art..." Burrows and Terra Bonnieman, who also worked at U.B.C. in the early seventies have both mentioned the importance of journals to artists at that time, citing Morris' work as particularly important. Bonnieman also mentioned that Vancouver artists often misinterpreted the scale of works in illustrations. Burrows, telephone interview. Mar. 11, 1993; Bonnieman, personal interview, April 1996. The British journal Studio International also consistently published phenomenologically informed writing on sculpture as well as on contemporary Canadian art. 19.Phenomenology "postulates that the significant role of sense- data lies in the form of the object as perceived ... by the individual, and not in the object itself nor in material descriptions, locations, or identifications of the object...." Hope Liebersohn, Modern Thought. Maurice Merleau-Ponty's "The Phenomenology of Perception" (first published in 1945, English in 1962) was a major source of phenomenological thought at the time. His emphasis on lived experience, putting "man ... in the world [because] ... only in the world does he know himself" enlarged the terms in which sculpture was discussed. Richard Kearney, "Maurice Merleau-Ponty," Modern Movements in European Philosophy (Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, 1986) 74. 2 0.The title of Toronto sculptor Gerald Gladstone's 1965 lecture at the V.A.G. on the role of the sculptor in an age of automation, "The Sculpture in Space," seems related to Judd and Morris' spatial concerns. "Chronology," Art and Artists, 194 . 21.Judd, "Specific Objects," reprinted from Arts Yearbook 8 (1965) in American Artists 106. 22.The term 'gestalt' was familiar throughout the sixties because of the popularity of gestalt therapy. 23.Judd, excerpted from Bruce Glaser, "Questions to Stella and Judd," ed. by Lucy Lippard, Art News (September 1966); reprinted in American Artists 114-15. 24.Morris, "Notes on Sculpture" 66. 62 25.Judd, Specific Objects. Judd also emphasized dimensionality, claiming that "...three dimensions are mostly a space to move into," that "three-dimensional work ... will be larger than painting ... and sculpture," and that it would not have a set form, and could be made of any material, painted or unpainted... 26.Untitled, 6'6" x 9' plywood corner piece (1964). 27.Morris, "Notes on Sculpture" Artforuw Feb. 1966: 43. 28.Morris, "Anti-form," (1968) in American Artists 188. 29.The description of Irwin's piece indicates its ambiguious position between painting and sculpture. It is referred to as a painting in a press release concerning the V.A.G.'s, acquisition of one of the two discs (although its dimensionality would lead one to assume it is a sculpture.) However, the press release goes on to say "to call it a painting is misleading, since Irwin does away with the closed painting rectangle and 'dissolves his painting onto the wall space'...." Nora Kembar, "Painting purchase sets precedent for Canada," Vancouver Art Gallery, May 16, 1968. The phenomenological aspects of this work, well- established by Morris and Judd by this time, were neglected in favour of this formal analysis. 30.Maija Bismanis, "The example set by the big Six--evidence of what is necessary in a truly significant art scene," Province 5 Apr. 1968: 10. 31.Phyllis Tuchman, "An Interview with Carl Andre," Artforum June 1970. Reprinted in American Artists 120. 32.Turnbull, "Notes on Sculpture," Studio International Nov. 1968: 198. 33.King, who had been working with fibreglass since 1960, exposed Burrows to techniques for working with it. Burrows, telephone interview. Mar. 11, 1993. Burrows' primary purpose for studying with King was to acquire technical proficiency in working with plastics, specifically fibreglass. Joan Lowndes, "One of our bright young men is back," Province 15 Aug. 1969: 13. 34.Plastics were generally believed to be a Utopian product when first introduced in the 1930's because of their malleability. Artists discovered this property in the 1960's. Les Levine, interview with Peter Gzowski, "Morningside," CBC AM Radio Mar. 22, 1996. According to Krishna Kumar, utopianism was the outcome of wealth and industrialism, "...high standards of living since the 1950's, due to the success of industrialization, led to a new wave of technological utopianism." "Utopianism," Modern Thought. 63 35.Alvin Balkind, Joy and Celebration exhibition catalogue (Vancouver: U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, July 1967) n.p. 36.Ann Rosenberg commented on the erasing of the boundary between painting and sculpture in the Younger Vancouver Sculptors exhibition although she also complained that the work in this show was not up to the standards set a year earlier by Burrows and others in Joy and Celebation. Joan Lowndes noted in her review of Younger Vancouver Sculptors that the bulk of the sculpture was made by painters who co-operated with fabricators to produce sculpture with "a pristine quality." Lowndes' review also discloses the predominance of up-to-the-minute industrial materials-- plexiglass, fibreglass and stainless steel--as well as the factory methods of production used at the time. Lowndes, "The New sculpture..." Perhaps the idea of technology preceded its accessibility in Vancouver; Burrows' sculpture in J'oy and Celebration was made of plywood. 37.Burrows, Sculpture '67 exhibition catalogue (Toronto: National Gallery of Canada, 1967) 34. 38.Kearney, Merleau-Ponty 75. 39.Lowndes, "One of our bright young men is back," Province 15 Aug. 1969: 13. Burrows studied with King because of his early fibrglass work Genghis Khan. Burrows, telephone interview, June 8, 1996. 40.See Appendix 2: 'Zen' and Other Asian Influences in the Art of Sixties Vancouver for more background. 41.Roshi Philip Kapleau, The Three Pillars of Zen (New Jersey: Anchor Press Doubleday, 1965 & 1980) 82. 42.Kearney, Merleau-Ponty 83. 43.Megan Bice, "Time, Place and People," The Informing Spirit: Art of the American Southwest and West Coast of Canada, 1925- 1945. (Toronto & Colorado: McMicheal Canadian Art Collection and the Taylor Museum for Southwestern Studies, Colorado Springs Fine Art Center, 1993) 68. 44.See Appendix 2: 'Zen' and Other Asian Influences in the Art of Sixties Vancouver for more background. 45.The interest Burrows expressed in spirituality in his 1970 interview with Gary Lee-Nova also indicates his receptivity to spiritual symbolism. Lee-Nova, "Our Beautiful West Coast Thing," artscanada June/July 1971: 35. 64 46.As noted earlier, 1-2-3 was made of plywood, not industrial materials. 47.Krauss' criticism of Kuspit and Wheeler's, by extension, appropriation of Constructivism as ahistorical and decontextualized, is well-founded, but I do not agree with her mutually exclusive categorizations of Constructivism and Minimalism. She claims that Constructivist forms were "intended as visual proof of the immutable logic and coherence of universal geometries, while their seeming counterparts in Minimalism were demonstrably contingent." Krauss, "Sculpture in the Expanded Field," in The Anti-Aesthetic, 33-5. Minimalism subscribed much more rigourously to the 'immutable logic of universal geometries than Constructivism, whose aesthetic engagement with the political situation of revolutionary Russia was contingent to it, and whose responses to it were often fanciful. As visual proof of geometric immutability, constructivist works failed miserably, limited as they were by the contingencies of the material and economic conditions of the socialist state they were meant to celebrate. Minimalists did, however, ignore these historical contingencies to claim Constructivism's exploration geometric forms and symbolism as historical precedents for their application of geomtry in art. Inversely, the work of individual Minimalists was limited by their individual resources in a capitalist economy and finish did not necessarily imply universality, rather than the geometric idea (if that is what Krauss thinks the contingency of Minimalism was). For example. Burrows' plywood sculptures emulated but were not examples of the perfect geometric forms possible with high-tech methods. 48.Keith Wallace, Introduction, Whispered, 4. Art and life were melded in the communal organization of the Front as well as its programming and production of the new forms of performance and video art. 49.Burrows had produced this chair for a kinetic art exhibition for children, curated by Ann Rosenberg at the Vancouver Art Gallery in May 1966. Jurgen Hesse, "Kid's Eyes Pop at Tom's Props," Vancouver Sun May 19, 1966: n.p.; and Joan Lowndes, "The art of entertaining children," Province, June 17, 1966: n.p.. Lowndes drew out the larger implications of this exhibtion: Is this show just for fun? No. it represents something more, a current effort to bridge the gap not only between art and life but between the artist and his public. The children needed no guidelines to explain the exhibits to them; they made direct, physical contact with them. Burrows claims that the stars and stripes refered critically to the Vietnam war (December 12, 1996), but denied any political intention at the time of the exhibition. (Hesse) 65 SO.Alvin Balkind, Chairs exhibition catalogue, U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, 1968. Bl.Greenough qtd. by Balkind, "I define Beauty as the promise of Function; Action as the presence of Function; Character as the record of Function." Mechanical Machine Creator-Destroyer exhibition notes, U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, 1971. 52.Abraham Rogatnick, Mechanical Machine exhibtion notes. The notes also expressed gratitude to Arthur Erickson, Ron Hunt, Abraham Rogatnick, and Tom Burrows, indicating the overlapping of boundaries dividing art, art history and architecture. Rogatnick was the head of the Department of Architecture at U.B.C. The others, except for Erickson, were teaching studio and art history in the department. Burrows was assisting with exhibition design throughout this period. (Burrows, telephone interview, June 8, 1996.) Rogatnick took over the directorship of the V.A.G. when Tony Emery stepped down in 1974; he had already been active in Vancouver's art community through his co-ownership of The New Design Gallery with Balkind from 1958-62, where he remained on the board until 1966. 53.Qtd. by Ann Rosenberg in Glenn Toppings Remembered (Victoria: Greater Victoria Art Gallery, Dec. 1977-Jan. 1978). (Reprinted in Capilano Review 1/1978). 54."Chronology," Art and Artists 200; illustration 157. 55.Simmins, "Critic's Choice," Province 18 Aug. 1973: n.p. 56.The title is taken from Lautreamont and Marx respectively. Hunt, Poetry Must be Made by All! Transform the World! (Stockholm: Moderna Museet, 1969; V.A.G. 1970) 5. 57.Burrows, Dikeakos and George Knox, telephone interviews. Mar. 11, 1993. 58.Joan Lowndes, "Look closely! The art objects go poof," Vancouver Sun 13 Feb. 1974: n.p. 59.To be discussed more fully in Chapter Three: Landscape as Utopian Site. 60."There is almost an idiosyncratic, almost defiantly amateurish attitude towards line that reasserts the value of gesture." Lowndes, Sensual. 61.Burrows' work steered clear of Wall and Lunden's preoccupations with landscape in this exhibition. 62.Wheeler, Defeated. 66 63.Wheeler, Defeated. 64.Lowndes, "A Sensual Tom Burrows at the Bau-Xi," Province Oct. 1, 1969: 29. 65iThe Sand Pile was seen as "a meditation on gravity and geometry" and "also pertain[ing] to dance and sculpture" by reviewer Joan Lowndes. "Pyramids endure," (Rev. of Sand Pile in the Vancouver Art Gallery's Exploration Space) Vancouver Sun Apr. 4, 1973: n.p. 66.Besides carrying the Black Mountain poets. Better Books featured readings, performance art, and events like Alan Ginsberg's visit and reading in June of 1965. After it was sold in 1966, the Indica Gallery opened and continued to supply the poetry of the Black Mountain poets and books on Zen. Nigel Fountain, Underground: The London Alternative Press 1966-74 (London and New York: Routledge, 1988) 16 & 23. 67.The slogan 'art into life' was familiar in Britain since Christina Lodder's groundbreaking book on the art of the Russian revolution was published in 1964, as well as numerous other articles on Constructivism and Suprematism. See note 48, Chapter One on Wheeler's sources for his Master's thesis on Malevich. 68.Lang Art Gallery, Barry Flanagan: A Visual Invitation - Sculpture 1967-1987 (Newcastle-on-Tyne: Newcastle-on-Tyne Museum Services, 1987) 7. Vancouver artists were also familiar with Jarry. Al Neil talks about Jarry in David Rimmer's film Al Neil, and Burrows also mentions Neil discussing Jarry. 69.Lang, 1. These words are almost the same as those used by Marguerite Pinney to describe the Vancouver art scene in the sixties. 70.Robert Morris, "The Present Tense of Space," Art in America Jan.-Feb. 1978. Reprinted in Johnson, 214. 7I.Lowndes, Bright Young.,. 72.Burrows, telephone interview, June 8 1996. 73."He entered two pieces [in an exhibition of English sculpture at the Edinburgh Festival in summer 1968], one consisting of three white fibreglas ellipses resting on the ground...." Lowndes, Bright Young... 74."Repeatedly and wonderingly the viewer runs his finger over the flat surface. At least it is flat to the touch, but to the eye it offers intriguing textural effects: pock marks, recessed moon craters, criss-crossed fibres ... a fine metal pointillism. The highly reflective background makes the forms sink down into 67 the work, rather than ride on the surface. This illusionism is further fostered by the use of colour, causing the geometric forms to thrust towards the viewer ... or else recede into mock depth." Lowndes, "A sensual Tom Burrows at the Bau-Xi," Province 1 Oct. 1969: 29. 75.Rosalind Krauss, "Theories of Art After Minimalism and Pop," Discussions in Contemporary Culture #1 DIA Art Foundation, ed. Hal Foster (Seattle: Bay Press, 1987) 63-4. 76.Baden now teaches at the University of Victoria, but taught at U.B.C. in the Arts One program from 1972-74. 77.For Immediate Release, U.B.C. Information Services, Sept. 1974 . 78.The American sculptor Alice Aycock shared Baden's interests in movement through architectural space. She described her spaces as "psychophysical," as "only know[able] by moving one's body through them," and that they "involve experiential time and memory." Aycock, "Work 1972-74," in Alan Sondheim, ed. Individuals: Post-Movement Art in America (New York, 1977); reprinted in Johnson, 221. However, interactivity had already had a long history in Vancouver art, although the earlier work did not have the same philosophical basis. Micheal Morris' Lombard Lounge at the V.A.G. in Oct. 1968 "elicited involvement" (it could be sat on and children could slide down it). Lowndes, "The New Sculpture" Province 25 Oct. 1968: 12. American sculptor Lucas Samaras' Mirrored Room, V.A.G. (1966); Gary Lee-Nova and Micheal Morris', Prisma (1968), was a mirrored room. Dennis Vance and Glenn Toppings's Fat Emma could carry three passengers. It and Vance's sound activated sculpture were shown at Directions '69 at the V.A.G. Art and Artists 145 & 204. 79.Lowndes, Pyramids Endure, Apr. 4, 1973: n.p. . 80.The artist and writer Peter Halley described geometry in terms of its cultural history, rather than as an a priori ideal of the mental process in his article "The Crisis in Geometry," Arts Magazine Summer 1984: 111-115. 81.From recent observati ons of the Sand Pile in the 67-77 exhibition, many people do whatever they want with the sand. 82.George Bowering, "Vancouver as Postmodern Poetry," Vancouver: Representing the Postmodern City, ed. Paul Delaney (Vancouver, Arsenal Pulp Press, 1994): 121-142; Peter Culley, "Whispered..." 192. Gerry Gilbert, personal and telephone interviews. Mar. 1995. 83.1 cannot account for this quote here, but think it is Tallman. "The point of convergence for writer and listener was the 68 centrality of 'voice,' of the body as the true seat of the intellect, coupled with an aversion to the print-based strictures in which the linguistic expression had become mired." Olson, quoted by Peter Culley: Let me put it badly. The two halves are: the HEAD, by way of the EAR, to the SYLLABLE the HEART, by way of the BREATH, to the LINE "Projective Verse," Human Universe and Other Essays (New York: Grove Press, 1967): 55; Culley, "Because I am Always talking," Whispered 192. 84.This process of energy transference was oddly paralleled in Mary Morehart's notes for the Cosmic Breath exhibition in 1965: 'Ch'i' is that cosmic breath that vitalizes all things ... The artist's task is to become aware of the inner vital spirit of nature, and to let it enter him, flow down his arm, through the brush and on to the paper.... 85.Participation was a political act in the May 1968 strike in Paris. See note 4 in Chapter One. Joseph Beuys also involved viewers in his work: At Documenta 5, in 1972, [where] he set up an office of the Organization for Direct Democracy... [he] spent the one hundred days of the exhibition engaging passersby in wide ranging discussions about educational systems, environmental practices, and polical intitiatives. A new variety of 'action,' this converted onlookers into participants, a parallel to what Beuys hoped to bring about in state government. Temkin, 20. 86."A post-Situationist critique in material form," according to Burrows, Dec. 12, 1996. 87.Ann Rosenberg, Rev. of "Temptations of Mao Tse-Tung," artscanada Nov. 1977: 46. 88.Rosenberg, Temptations 46. 89.Rosenberg, Temptations 46. 90.The self-help option is again receiving attention. It is the solution that Peter Maser suggests in his article "The timebomb in Africa's cities: With the world's highest rate of urbanization, the continent faces inadequate education, water, housing and transportation. Solutions exist, but is anyone listening?" Vancouver Sun 8 July, 1995: B3. 69 91.The Squat Doc will be discussed in more detail in Chapter Five. 70 F i g u r e 2 . 1 Gas Works 7 1 • - « . • « . î - • f ' ^ Figure 2.2 Recent Things: Hard, Soft and Fluid 72 ^^B^ 1 ^RpP^^^BIr ^^^1 " ' i - * ' ^ • ' ' ^ "ii/ " , " ; . • • ^^HRV^^E^SSr liJ rf * / ' i* ..J1^9S ' - • '^^I^^BH^^^^HHOPRB* ' H k ' ^ i ^ f ^ k 1 k • L s •m 1 ffl^^^^^H ^ ^ ^ * , fli ,-Jl l i "~^ h ^w^H^Sfl ' • .1 r i ^ % ..•^^ ^ ^ • ^ r i ^ I. 1 g^i9/ BSsss^fs # 1 ^ • ^ ^ ^ 1 4- L: Figure 2.3 Cement Pyramid in 32 Pieces 73  figure 2.4 Cement Pyramid fragmented 74  CHAPTER THREE THE MUDFLATS AS UTOPIAN LANDSCAPE I've yet to make the separation between some sort of spiritual trip and political ideology ... That union's got to come [to society]....^ Tom Burrows, 1971 My motifs are ordinary things, rocks, hills, clouds, trees ... the archetypal forms of nature have a spiritual presence; they are a force difficult to define.^ Toni Onley, 1973 By the time that Burrows returned to Vancouver from London in 1969, 'earthworks' were emerging as an art form that were 'sited' in the environment and community had become a valid alternative to the individualism and hierarchy of the art world. Burrows sculpture and squat on the Maplewood Mudflats combined the social aspects of community with art's developing place in the (non- urban) environment. Although earthworks were usually associated with industrialism. Burrows' was informed by Vancouver's romantic landscape tradition and a belief that the social and material culture of squatting was an art form. The mudflats historical context as alternative community was informed by the history of such communities as Sointula and Ruskin in B.C. But the mudflats community became part of the aesthetic experience of the landscape for Burrows. This was unlike many earlier and contemporary representations of the B.C. wilderness that omitted habitation from depictions of the 75 landscape. Burrows represented this aesthetic in photographs, slides and published writings of and about the life of the community, the forms and movements of nature, and the changing functions of the object. Burrows had returned from London politicized by the events of May 1968 that he had witnessed as a visitor to Hornsey College during its six-month occupation in 1968. He was also first exposed to squatting at this time.^ But the extraordinary setting on the mudflats presented a dilemma: its romanticism impeded activism. However, Burrows would develop an activism out of this romanticism, one which closely aligns with Marcuse's 'aesthetic dimension.' This interpetation of romanticism would enable him to resist the development of the mudflats, so it could remain an uninstrumentalized space within (sub)urbanity. It was then a Utopian place, not only for an alternative economy, but also to realize the uninstrumentalizable Other of Nature. While Burrows' work related to the landscape tradition was not representational like Vancouver printmaker and painter Toni Onley's,^ the British romantic tradition that Onley exemplified^ still largely characterized popular notions of what art in B.C. should be like, although younger artists were finding this expectation stultifying. However, Burrows' writing about the flats was very much a part of the romantic tradition. His conflation of aesthetics with his experience of nature was in the romantic tradition, encapsulated in his description of "the powerful forces of tides and winds interacting with the openness 76 of the landscape, moving things around"^ (figures 3.1-3.3). His repulsion for the "idea of the beach, [and the] overturned boats" on the flats (figure 3.4) was due to the "pure romance" of these things.'' These sentiments expressed his struggle with the aesthetics that had dominated art in B.C. since the nineteenth century. These aesthetics ranged from British topography to Emily Carr's celebration of nature and the art of the Native peoples, Fred Varley's rapturous characterization of the mystical in nature, Jock MacDonald's and Lawren Harris' geometricized depictions, and the painterly abstractions of John Koerner, Jack Shadbolt, Takao Tanabe, Gordon Smith, and Toni Onley. In general, landscape painting was a celebration of nature from a Euro- Canadian perspective; a vision of the area as an actual Utopian site. The critic David Thompson described Vancouver's place in this vision as set, or rather sprawl[ing], like no other city in Canada, in the midst of that Canadian tourist cliche, spectacular scenic grandeur. The coastline of British Columbia is of a kind which brings pre-history, in the shape of untamed nature, pressing up to the suburbs of the twentieth century. Much more than in the United States, one is made aware of the newness of the New World.^ Although Thompson said in 1968 that most had "repudiated it as the last infirmity of an ignoble provincialism;"^ Vancouver artists reconceptualized, not simply repudiated, their historical rootedness to the landscape tradition with its burden of liberal progressivism and romanticism. They transformed its conventional aesthetics as a representational form while retaining it as 77 subject matter or site for art. They parodied it using modern materials, critiqued and documented it in photography; and they bypassed representation for direct experience in the outdoors, or earthworks. In 1965, Alvin Balkind described the transformation of landscape from an art of lyricism, passion, and occasional symbolism ... with a romantic mystique ... inescapably involved with the omnipresent mountains, fjords, fogs and rain forests ... (dominated by) the School of Paris and English landscape painting to: its disappear[ance] in the majority of works ... and with it any claims to regionalism in favour of a new internationalism [of] form ... [including] awareness of the man-made landscape ... with industry automatically providing new media for the artist to work with.-"̂ " Toni Onley bolstered the romantic landscape as the regional tradition through the 1980's in his proliferation of silkscreen prints, etchings, drawings, watercolours, oil and acrylic renderings of stylized, empty landscapes (Driftlog, 1971).^^ Onley's work represents the indomitability of landscape as the standard form of art in B.C. Onley "smoothed over and civilized ... the rawness, the immense grandeur and the harsh primitiveness of Canada"^^ that Thompson had described. But Iain Baxter used the new industrial materials to parody the preciousness of the traditional painted landscape, rendering it dimensionally in coloured plastic in such works as Bagged Landscape with two hills and two boats C1966) . •'•̂  Baxter's 1968 Reflected Landscape was more conceptual than parodic, juxtaposing different forms of landscape representation. The work was a 78 drawing and a photograph of a river imposed on a map of lots of the area adjacent to the river. Burrows had gone to London to study fibreglass with Phillip King at St. Martin's after 1-2-3 and Conjugality were exhibited. When he returned, the movement to the use of less processed or industrial, more natural or 'rawer' materials had begun to evolve, particularly through American critic and curator Lucy Lippard's 1970 exhibition 955, 000.^'^ This exhibition also helped to establish the outdoors as a site for art. Although Burrows was not in Vancouver at the time of this show, many works are directly relevant to the work he did on his return. In one of the outdoor works. Minimal sculptor Carl Andre departed from using industrial materials to using natural materials with lower technological but still industrial associations (such as construction and railway ties). He linked the gallery to the outdoors by connecting the Minimalist ' aesthetic with an everyday, utilitarian object. He stated that his "ideal piece of sculpture [was] a road ... [and that] the engaged position is to run along the earth ..." about his untitled outdoor piece of 28 units of 1' x 3' timber laid out in a line on grass. 955, 000, said to be "a localized reminder of that which threatens to ultimately rupture, radicalize and polarize the entire art world, "•^^ was all about the transition from the abstract to the concrete. Abstract, process-oriented works, in the gallery complemented concrete works on different outdoor 79 sites throughout the city. The work of younger Vancouver artists Jeff Wall, Chris Dikeakos, Duane Lunden, and Iain Baxter was contextualized with major European and American artists, including Andre, Rafael Ferrer, Hans Haacke, Michael Heizer, John Latham, Richard Serra, Robert Morris and Robert Smithson, among others, "crumbling caste systems, barriers and precedents. "-̂^ Both Lunden and Wall had work in 955,000 and Four Artists. These exhibitions linked the local with the international, and Minimalism with landscape. Lunden's Locater and Wall's Landscape Manual treated landscape m9re conceptually and critically than the material and Minimal works of Raphael Ferrer and Carl Andre. The Landscape Manual, a mimeographed booklet having the appearance of a manual,^'' and the Locater, continuing Lunden's preoccupation with this geometric form from an earlier triangular corner piece in Joy and Celebration (1967), was meant to be a guide to Minimalist practice.-^^ The Locater was a triangular grid used to locate geographical formations that Lunden considered compelling earth works in an atlas. •'•̂ Jeff Wall and Ian Wallace's redefinition of the landscape, like Baxter's, included the man-made landscape of the (sub)urban environment in their photobased works, The Landscape Manual, 1969, and Melancholie de la Rue, 1973. Dennis Wheeler's "obvious intitial reaction" to Lunden's and Wall's treatment of landscape in Four Artists was as follows: there [was] a new sense of landscape, a sudden heat for the mundane suburb stretching horizontally across the map of America .^° 80 But Vancouver's urban landscape was documented later as a source of pleasure and pride by Gerry Gilbert, Taki Bluesinger and Micheal de Courcy, in the mural Background/ Vancouver, 1972, "a mosaic of 360 photos of signs, people, buildings, still life, scenery, roads, cafes, totems, harbor." A "moral resolve that the artist rescue his own city before he conquer the world"^^ informed this work, rather than Wallace and Wall's abstract criticism. Mr. Peanut's 1974 mayoralty campaign was a whimsical send-up of civic politics using the floating imagery of American consumerism, but it also emphasized the morality of acting locally. Before 955,000, in 1969, Dallas Selman and Glenn Toppings' abstracted, almost geometric, but still representational fibreglass seascape Black Night Rip connected Minimalism with landscape. Later, Dean Ellis photographed his outdoor configurations of stones and other markers, called Landscape Morphologies, in the landscape itself in 1974. These were mythical but human-scaled, and called up a sense of the pre- history that Thompson referred to. Lunden applied geometric shapes associated with Minimalism to the outside of buildings at Simon Fraser University. These works demonstrate the ambivalence of Vancouver artists' relationship to the landscape and the impact of some of the American artists in 955,000. While many Vancouver artists challenged the traditional content of landscape, their approaches differed greatly. Some were critical; others were celebratory or 81 experiential. Burrows' work on the landscape, his use of it as site, challenged the conventional forms of representation of landscape even while he felt constrained by the weight of landscape in the popular and artistic culture of Vancouver, as particularly exemplified by the work of Toni Onley. Burrows' altered the romanticism of the setting on the mudflats by incorporating the functional or formerly functional materials found that he found there, or such pilfered materials as plumbing supplies, metal hoops and wood from an old water barrel. His strategy was to embody the entropy or destructive aspect of nature and the community in the work. The language that Burrows used in his article only take for granted the things^^ that you can touch displayed this dialectic of functionality and aesthetic thought, passive acceptance and omniscient observer: the flats were a "source of material" and the window of his cabin was "an observation point."^^ The "lifestyle on the flats" provided him with "some idea of what was around, of a form that would evolve"^*. This aesthetic work on the mudflats displaced the instituton of 'high' art, but retained its conventional aesthetic notions--'viewing point' and 'spatial pattern'--on the otherwise disorderly mudflats landscape. Burrows' sense of the conflict between the order and disorder, energy and entropy, of the flats was equally informed by Russian Suprematist Kasismir Malevich's drawings, which Burrows had seen in London, ̂^ and the ebbs and flows of the environment (figure 3.5: Malevich's Pencil Drawing no. 10, from only take for granted) : 82 These elements combine to make this form that comes through in Malevich's drawings. It's not so much imposing yourself on something as letting the total process impose on you. ̂^ Burrows also viewed human activity on the flats through this aesthetic of order/disorder. He linked community with the term 'site,' now used to designate a specific area dedicated to an outdoor artwork, in only take for granted: the broadest community unit is its site. All that is in it is unified by the fact that it is within it. The individual elements within the site are further unified by their material surface appearance.^'' Referring to his fellow squatters, he said: Sometimes all of us take an attitude towards things that can become functional objects within our lifestyle, like chopping a log for firewood or shakes, or deciding about a certain board: 'I'll leave it there, it has some sense of aesthetic meaning to me if I leave it there.^^ The squatters' actions were equated with the movements of nature, in a Rousseauian idealization of the state of nature, and their place in it: ... the anarchy of the squatters, [their] free non- recognition of the sanctified art object: pragmatically removing glass for a window and wood for the fire....^^ The mudflats sculpture's aesthetic was therefore dependent on the movements of the community as well as nature. Justine Brown describes the anarchistic character of the mudflats community as "possessed of a lucky spirit, the spirit of fortuitous order, which springs up unplanned and unregulated."^" Although Burrows called this equilibrium of human and natural elements 'anarchy,'' he mediated it through the aesthetic framework of the grid; the grid of the window framing his view 83 from his studio, and the grid of modernist thought that he was trying to extricate himself from since leaving St. Martin's.^^ Ironically, although this view is indebted to Malevich, it also resembles Frederick Varley's depiction of the view from his window (Varley, Open Window 1932). It is likely only a coincidence, a reitieration of similar mentalities in similar settings. Jock Macdonald's Russian Hermit's Cabin^^ may represent an earlier squatter's cabin, prefiguring Burrows and his contemporaries' cabins. But B.C. Binning's drawings of boats, subordinating labour to pleasure in his depictions of the sea and landscape, indicate why Burrows would feel so repulsed by that boat on the flats: he was unable to extricate the boat from Binning's associations with pleasure and leisure. "Unable to do anything but add on to [his] living structure,"-'^ he was compelled to carry out pragmatic tasks rather than artistic activities until he was able to extricate what seemed to be the extraneous 'romantic' associations of the site from its social and political facts. Burrows' "repulsion by the pure romance" of the mudflats setting, and his reluctance to intervene in the natural and social aesthetic economy of the flats, was not only a rejection of the romantic landscape tradition, but a process of "reconciliation with the irreducible Other of Nature:" As a 'residue of non-identity,' natural beauty is at the same time a Utopian cipher of 'reconciliation:' Utopia would be a state of 'reconciliation,' i.e. a condition in which the nonidentical could freely articulate itself....-'* Burrows perceived the landscape as Other, as "fundamentally 84 different from the human, and therefore outside the domain of human rationalization and instrumentalization" even though he included human habitation as part of its aesthetic. ̂^ Jeff Wall's Landscape Manual had recognized the suburban as liminal to the romantic pictorial tradition in Vancouver, critiquing the tradition's neglect of human presence in the landscape. Many Vancouverites preferred an idealized representation of the wilderness as pristine, rather than subject to the vagaries of habitation. (For example, the emphasis on the importance of the overwhelming presence of 'untamed' nature for art in Vancouver in David Thompson's passage on page 62.) The mudflats, being in the suburbs of North Vancouver, were socio- politically and geographicly liminal to the wilderness and the urban: an inter-tidal zone in a suburb, a marine and land environment, and a place where people lived without property rights and building codes.•'̂  Burrows' representation of the mudflats as the site of the human activity of a community, not only pleasure and leisure, recognized those elements of the landscape that were ignored in the romantic tradition--the products and evidence of human activity. The emerging importance of materials and experience to art, and diminishing importance of its representational role, wove through the artists' and Lippard's statements in the 955,000 catalogue. Morris and Judd had made experience a sculptural issue, and Lippard made it the axiom of the exhibition: Recently artists ... have moved to encompass the world [or be encompassed by it] on a more fundamental level. 85 Experience and awareness are, after all, shared by everyone. Art intended as pure experience doesn't exist until someone experiences it, defying ownership, reproduction, sameness. ̂^ Lippard used experimental psychologist R.D. Laing's assessment of behaviour as a "means of making one's own experience evident to others"^^ to discuss how viewers relate experience to perception in terms of abstract art: "The more open, or ambiguous, the experience offered, the more the viewer is forced to depend on their own perceptions."^' Laing termed this type of experience "social phenomenology." Material was a part of this phenomenology: When the artist determines the materials and allows the material to determine the final shape or shape possibilities, he is dealing with a set of factors producing difficulties new to contemporary art.... The new 'materialist,' experience-oriented art has a recognizable content only in that it summons up a how-to-do-it picture of its execution in the viewer's mind.*" Many of the artists' catalogue entries were instructions for their outdoor or indoor works, which may or may not have been fabricated by themselves. The process of fabrication, and the nature of materials, was thus foregrounded over the finished work. Although Robert Smithson's Glass Island was under discussion, photographs of his glue project "Brittania Beach Spill" (or Fluvial Discharge?) were shown.^^ This work was represented in the catalogue in the process of its making by a drawing of a truck dumping something down an embankment. William Bollinger's and Rafael Ferrer's pieces were closer, less contentious observations of B.C.'s forest-based economy and tree symbology: Bollinger floated a log off Kitsilano beach and 86 Ferrer, who wanted "an adequate number of logs" to be subjected to non-artistic human manipulation, had timber randomly arranged on (Kits) beach.*^ The nature theme continued but interfaced with Minimalism in Hans Haacke's examination of a micro-ecosystem in his acrylic plastic Precipitation Minus Evaporation. Lippard explained artists' interest in ecology as the relationship between an organism and its environment, [a] means of exploring the ratio of order and lack of order in nature...; the effects of natural forces and controlled randomness on materials^^ balancing Minimalism's rationality** with the irrational forces of nature. The outdoor works in 955,000, whether by American, Canadian or British artists were generally on a scale accessible to the public and integral to their environment. However, American earthworks were often mythicizing, metaphysical monuments.*^ Although they had a sublime presence on the landscape, they negated the possibility of reconciliation with Nature because they dominated their natural settings. Their remote sitings and scale were intended to evoke associations with such ancient monumental forms as barrows and pyramids. They also changed the nature of 'public' or outdoor art from the commemorative to the experiential monument. As Scott Watson expresses it, they "re- imagin[ed] ... the sublime as a projection of the atavistic images of the prehistorical and geological."*® Micheal Heizer's Double Negative, a massive slash in the earth, and Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty, a spiral built out of earth in Great 87 Salt lake in 1970, were industrial versions of sublimity in nature. However, Robert Morris' Ojbservatory, Holland (1970-1977), made out of earth, wood and granite, was more integral to the surrounding environment than Smithson' or Heizer's earthworks.^'' Smithson's work is often compared to Burrows', but Smithson's, as a critique of industrialization using industrial methods and on an industrial scale, as well as an evocation of the grandiose earthworks of the past, was a more brutal imposition on the landscape than Burrows'. Both the works that Smithson did for 955,000 used everyday industrial materials for a mythical or archaic aesthetic, but they also imposed a sense of industrial ruin on the landscape that many Vanouverites objected to. Glue Pour, glue spilt on the slope at Brittania Beach, was probably aceptable because it took place in an area already devastated by industry; (Atlantis) Glass (on) Island, in which he would have covered a Gulf Island with broken glass, was rejected because of its possible destructive effect on the environment.*^ As Scott Watson has said "Technology and nature were levelled in Smithson's gloomy view of ultimate equivalence and stillness."''^ Smithson equated entropy (the measure of the degradation or disorganization of the universe) with the earth's surface, and language: Look at any word long enough and you will see it open up into a series of faults, into a terrain of particles, each containing its own void. This discomforting language of fragmentation offers no easy gestalt.^° Burrows recognized Smithson as a major figure regarding "subject matter, landscape and use of natural materials."^^ But 88 he saw Smithson's position as "a romantic view of nature as a ruin;"^^ locating Smithson's work within the problematic romantic tradition that Burrows was counteracting with functional materials and Utopian goals. It was the easier gestalt of Burrows' peer at St. Martin's, Richard Long, to which Burrows' outdoor works on the mudflats were more closely related. Long's demarcations of his walks in the countryside were less imposing, and toxic, than Smithson's, consisting only of lines worn into the ground from walking, or stones piled, rune-like. Long and Burrows never saw the earth as a nihilistic void, but an acculturated, productive environment. In contrast to both Smithson and Long's work. Burrows' involved either community or viewer. It was present to direct experience, not just through documentation; it was accessible in scale and location, and made of low-technology, easily available materials. Burrows' choice of materials was meant to allay resemblances to romanticism and industrial-scaled earthworks, but it was other art movements and artists that influenced this choice of materials. The Italian movement. Arte Povera, used aesthetically impoverished or irredeemable materials, ̂-̂  as did the German artist Joseph Beuys, whose work (with wax and animals) was well known to students at St. Martin's at this early date.^* It explains Burrows' use of bricolaged materials, rather than the Minimalist's rigourous use of technologically current materials and the earthworks artists' use of industrial, but never before 89 used, materials. According to the American critic Kenneth Baker, process artists tended to clarify the artist's relationship to materials and operations, whereas practitioners of Arte Povera aimed for an inexplicable, poetic rightness in their choice of procedures and media. ̂^ The sculptures were (partially) derived from irredeemable materials, but in the end, the aesthetic context of the landscape also redeemed them. Irredeeemable and aesthetically impoverished materials were also intrinsic to Daphne Marlatt's 1974 poem, Steveston, which also expressed a conjunction of labour and materiality in a marine setting: multiplicity simply there: the physical matter of the place, (what matters) meaning, don't get theoretical now: the cannery. It's been raining, or it's wet. Shines everywhere a slick on the surface of things wet gumboots walk over -fish heads & other remnants of sub/ or marine life . . . ̂^ The sand component of Burrows' Sand Pile was not irredeemable since it was manipulable. The invocation to "remember the origins of the pyramid," in relation to the artist's creation of the pyramid from the formless sand,̂ '' suggested the cultural and formal universality of the pyramid, but its diminutive scale and accessibility diminished the imposing associations of ancient pyramids and some contemporary American earthworks. The Sand Pile's creative or destructive possibilites offered an alternative to Smithson's bleak vision of entropy. Entropy is a phenomenom of the universe, not the physical or social worlds, 90 inaccessible to human manipulation or interpretation. The cyclical affords a possibility of hope, essential to any Utopian vision in the socio-political world. The cycles of human activity and materials on the mudflats represented Utopian hopes and goals. Burrows' sculpture on the mudflats incorporated industrial materials, but they were hand- manipulable. Some, like the elements from an old water barrell, were already present in the landscape; Burrows had brought others, mainly plumbing materials, from a construction site. The sculpture was inextricably involved with its environment, not imposed on it. Its visual effect varied with environmental conditions, like the height of the tide (figures 3.6 & 7: glass and chain, tide in and tide out). The thin, linear and square elements of the sculpture framed off the landscape, integrating the aesthetic and the natural. Burrows invoked Malevich's drawings and Minimalist tenets to rid the mudflats of their romanticism by envisioning them as a 'visual field' (compare figure 3.5: Malevich's Pencil Drawing with figures 3.1-3: untitled sculpture on the flats). He thus created an ordering aesthetic linking the sculpture with its environment on the flats, constructing a three-dimensional aesthetic on the flats that included its natural elements: one is caught up in searching for the spatial pattern the individual elements form in relationship with one another. A relationship in constant flux according to the viewing point, the seasonal changes of the site and its background. ̂^ Despite the fact that the sculpture was made of industrial (or 91 deindustrialized) materials, it was not functional like the art objects (clothing, pottery, textiles, architecture) produced by the Constructivists or Productivists at the time of the Russian Revolution, and so much admired at the time. Burrows' concerns were ultimately more formal and experiential than functional. Entropy was, however an element, if not the defining characteristic, in the mudflats sculpture, in that it depended on the actions of nature, as well as incorporating the communities' creative or destructive actions. Destruction had been represented in art in Vancouver since the mid-sixties, the Hindu god Siva in the notes for Mechanical Machine Creator-Destroyer; in Ralph Oritz's Destruction Theatre (1968),^^ and of course, Smithson's work. But Burrows' imposition of the aesthetic grid on the mudflats landscape edited out the visual and viscous entropic effects of industry on the mudflats: the effluent from Hooker Chemical and Imperial Oil emitted into Burrard Inlet.^° The Electric Reduction Co. was another decidedly unaesthetic element. The neighbouring Burrard Band's productive interaction with the environment in the form of their food fishery outside their reserve in Burrard Inlet was also not part of Burrows' grid.^^ The pervasiveness of western interpretations of Zen Budddhism contributed to Burrows' undercutting of the functionality to emphasize the formal and experiential qualities of this work. His observation of the community's appropriation of elements of his sculpture was studiously detached, Zen-like: reiterating the Zen 92 belief that all things, including our thoughts, feelings, and perceptions are impermanent, and dependent on causes and conditions /^ Burrows' experiential aesthetics of the landscape apprehended nature as other than a material resource for human life, or stage for the playing out of human psychology, as notions of the 'picturesque' or 'sublime' did; instead, the lived landscape of human and natural actions was represented as integrated with the natural. The urban/wilderness dichotomy, exemplified by the contrast of Toni Onley's work with the urban context of its production and sale, is limited by its ideal of pristineness: the area had been inhabited by the Burrard Band long before Europeans came. Even the discarded materials in Burrows' sculpture became beautiful as they were assimilated by the surrounding beauty of the landscape. Now the mudflats, a bird sanctuary, embodies a passive aesthetic, excluding human activity. 93 I.Lee-Nova, 36. 2.Toni Onley, Bau-Xi Gallery exhibition notes, Sept. 1973. 3.Burrows, telephone interview, March 11, 1993. This will be discussed at greater length in the next chapter. 4.Onley taught Burrows in Ontario from 1950-54 and was married to his sister. Burrows, telephone interview. Mar. 11, 1993. Their relationship was on-going; a 1972 newspaper article mentions Onley dropping over to see Burrows building his Hornby Island house. Vancouver Sun Sept. 22 1972. 5.Onley's ties to the European landscape tradition were remarked on constantly, for example: "In fact, even where its actual subject may be the West Coast, [a lot of his work] has the feel of European landscape" Gazette (30 Sept. 1972) and "Landscape was part of the tradition in which I grew up. The minor 19th century water-colourists, then Nash and Sutherland...." Charlotte Townsend Gault, "Second Look at Fine Artist," Vancouver Sun 1971: n.p. 6.Lee-Nova, 36. If aesthetics is "the ... study of art and also of nature..." (Anthony Quinton, Modern Thought) and romanticism more than simply a return to nature, to the unconscious, the realm of imagination or feeling ... a synthesizing temper that transformed the entire character of thought, sensibility of art .... A specific revolt against formality in art, ideas, and notions of man.... proposing the organic relation of man and nature...." according to Malcolm Bradbury, "Romanticism," Modern Thought; then this passage is an aesthetic comment, in the romantic tradition. Joseph Beuys was also influenced by the aesthetics of romanticism: the art and literature of German Romanticism grounded Beuys's understanding of a world in which man and nature, spirit and matter, are interdependent and cannot be separated. Temkin, 13. 7.Lee-Nova, 36. S.David Thompson "Canadian Scene 1," Studio International 154. Thompson wrote for the London Times as well as Studio International. 9.Thompson, Canadian Scene 155. 94 lO.Balkind, "Regionalism," (Vancouver: U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, Oct. 1965). The different kinds of acceptable responses to this idea of regionalism is evident from the fact that both Iain Baxter and Jack Wise gave talks supporting their works in the' exhibition. ll.Toni Onley exhibition opening invitation, 1971. 12."Impeccably polite, that's Tony (sic) Onley," Vancouver Sun 29 Oct. 1971: n.p. 13.Bagged Landscape with two hills and two boats, 1966. Art and Artists 142. Baxter taught Ian Wallace and Burrows at U.B.C. in the mid-sixties. Burrows, telephone interview, March 11, 1993. 14.It had traveled from Seattle, where it was titled 557,087, in 1969. The numbers were the populations of the respective cities. 15.Lindbergh, "955,000: an exhibition organized by Lucy Lippard-- The Vancouver Art Gallery January-February 1970," artscanada Feb. 1970: 50. 16.Lindbergh, 50. 17.Watson, "Discovering the Defeatured Landscape," Vancouver Anthology: The Institutional Politics of Art, ed. Stan Douglas (Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1991) 255. 18.Watson. Discovering 251. 19.Wheeler, "The Limits of the Defeat(ur)ed Landscape: a review of Four Artists," (U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, Feb. 1970) artscanada June 1970: 51-2. Wheeler's title was mispelled in artscanada; the correct spelling is in his thesis. 20.Wheeler, Defeated. 21.Scott Watson, "Terminal City: Place, Culture, and the Regional Inflection," Art and Artists 230. 22.This article functioned as an art work in itself, in that it was a re-presentation of Burrows' work on the flats, by Burrows himself, using descriptive, not analytical or critical language. Dan Graham was the first artist to use publication in a journal as another site for art work in his "Homes for America," Arts magazine, Dec.-Jan, 1966-7. Thomas Crow, The Rise of the Sixties: American and European Art in the Era of Dissent (New York, Harry N. Abrams, 1996): 155 Artist pages are now common in many art journals, from Artforum to C and Front Magazine. 23.only take for granted 1972: 41. 95 24.Lee-Nova, 36. 25.Malevich was also the subject of Burrows' friend Dennis Wheeler's thesis. 26.Lee-Nova, 36. 27.only take for granted, 1982: 127. 28.Lee-Nova, 36. 29.only take for granted, 1972, 41. This anarchistic aesthetic contrasted with Japanese gardening, which Burrows saw as imposing a discipline on nature... preconceiv[ing] what nature will do to the thing and work with it rather than letting nature knock something over and leave it there. Lee-Nova, 36. 30.Brown, 79. by Micheal Goodman in only take for granted, 1972: 41. 32.Robert Linsley associates this cabin with his "motif of retreat to a cabin in the woods" (or retreat from the competitivenss and profit orientation of the city) in his essay "Landscape and Literature in British Columbia," in Vancouver: Representing the Postmodern City, 195, but it could have belonged to a solitary logger just as easily. 33.Lee-Nova, 36. 34.Theodor Adorno qtd. by Richard Wolin in "Mimesis, Utopia and Reconciliation," The Terms of Cultural Criticism: The Frankfurt School, Existentialism, Poststructuralism (New York: Columbia UP, 1992) 70. 35.Adorno qtd. by Wolin, 70. 36.A local history says that the neighbouring Burrard Band's culture had been diluted by some of these same social forces, such as land tenure and political and religious beliefs. The Indians believed that land did not belong to the individual but was the property of a group in which the individual had certain rights. Dawn Sparks and Martha Border, Echoes Across the Inlet (North Vancouver: Deep Cove and Area Heritage Association, 1984) 6. 37.Lippard, 955,000 (Seattle & Vancouver, 1969 & 70). The statements were printed and copied on individual file cards. 96 3 8.R.D. Laing, author of The Politics of Experience, qtd. by Lippard in 955,000 catalogue. 39.Lippard, 955,000. 40.Lippard 955,000. 41."Chronology," Art and Artists 332. The caption of the photograph which appears in Scott Watson's "Discovering the Defeated Landscape" (253), taken by Chris Dikeakos and showing Smithson with Lucy Lippard and Duane Lunden, states that the work took place on the U.B.C. Endowment Lands but the area's apparent ravagement by industry makes it look more like Brittania Beach, a former mining town. 42.555,000 and "Chronology" Art and Artists, 332. Carol Itter's Personal Baggage (1972) later continued the log theme but also strove to create community on a national scale by sending that ubiquitous symbol of the west coast, the tree, to the east coast. Watson, "Terminal City," Art and Artists 232-3. 43.Lippard 955,000. 44.Contrary to Judd's assertions. Minimalism was characterized by adherence to rational determinations, however inconsistent. 45.Scott Watson acknowledges this aspect of Smithson's work and its reception by Vancouver artists when he mentions that Dennis Wheeler's review of Four Artists was a latent critique of Smithson, who hung his thoughts around the discovery of monuments... [Wheeler] announced that the locals [as opposed to Smithson] had discovered the 'featureless' in this review. Discovering 257. 46.Watson, Discovering 253. 47.Stephen F. Eisenman, "The Space of the Self: Robert Morris' "In the Realm of the Carceral," Arts Magazine Sept. 1980: 107. 48.According to a government agency, Atlantis Glass would not have been destructive, but it was naive for Smithson to expect all Vancouverites to trust a government agency, in 1970, to tell them that it was safe. The remoteness of the site offended some Vancouverites' belief that wilderness should remain pristine (as spelled out by David Thompson). And, to industrialize the landscape with art, or to add another unwanted layer of industrial or consumer effluence to it, was no more acceptable than industrialization itself. More specifically, Scott Watson says environmentalists feared 97 that birds would cut their feet on the glass shards. Watson sums up the situation as "revealing a split between a critical avant- garde and other social movements fighting technology and entrepreneurialism." Discovering 253. 49.Watson, Discovering 253. 50.Smithsion qtd. in Lippard, 955,000. Robert Linsley says Smithson was an early critic of the view that art works were limited by their physical boundaries. He saw the individual art work as a provisionally demarcated area of a larger discursive region that included science, philosophy and literature. For Smithson, all art works are fragments of a larger text which finally is written in the stones, dust, and ever diminishing energy sources of the astronomical universe. Landscape and Literature 2 00. 51.Burrows, telephone interview. Mar. 11, 1993. 52.Burrows, telephone interview, March 1993. 53.Arte Povera emerged in Italy in 1970. Kenneth Baker, Minimalism fNew York: Abbeville Press, 1988) 107. Burrows encountered it when he was in Italy in 1969; he cited it as a major influence. Telephone interview Mar. 11, 1993. 54.Burrows, personal interview, 12 Dec. 1996. 55.Baker, 107. 56.Marlatt, "Steveston," Imago (Twenty), ed. George Bowering (Vacouver: Talonbooks, 1974) n.p. 57.Lowndes, Pyramids. This invocation indicates another rift between Burrows' and Smithson's work, which, as Scott Watson, says, "oppos[ed] both the organic, cyclical model of history and the positivist, progressive trajectory that had sustained not only the avant-garde but the dominant culture" in its introduction of entropy. Watson, Discovering 253. 58.only take for granted, 1982: 127. 59."In which he hacked up a record player and a piano with bags of animal blood and white mice inside, intend[ing] to force the audience to acknowledge its own destructive emotions. Joan Lowndes, "The Spirit of the Sixties," Art and Artists 147. 60.Squatter Helen Simpson qtd. by Robert Sarti, Vancouver Sun 27 July 1971. 98 61.Larry Pynn, "Indians reject offers for fear of losing land, Vancouver Sun 14 Dec. 1985: n.p. 62.Kapleau, 18. 99 figure 3.1 mudflats sculpture 100  figure 3.2 mudflats sculpture 101  figure 3.3 mudflats sculpture 102 m / ^ ^^^^^^^^^^•i % !gA ' w IJ î̂ MB^ cVu\ y f 4 "^'l^^^^ft—. ^Sttt^^^"^^ ^t^' Warn Jm figure 3.4 boat with sculpture at high tide 103  figure 3.5 Kasimir Malevich, Pencil Drawing No. 10 104 . K u / Ĵ ^ I « / ^ f^ r / figure 3.6 chain and glass sculpture at high tide 105  figure 3.7 chain and glass sculpture at low tide 106 I tJiTTt .lae - J -i?* • " ^ • w • ".> CHAPTER FOUR THE MOST BEAUTIFUL SCULPTURE The most beautiful sculpture is the sandstone cobble (or paving stone), the heavy square cobble, the cobble you throw at the police.^ The Situationist International, Paris, May 1968 This call for insurrection, scrawled on Paris pallisades during the massive general strike of workers and students, was an aesthetic and material incitement to Tom Burrows to include material culture and political activism in his work after 1968.^ Published in Ron Hunt's 1969 exhibition catalogue Transform the World! Poetry Must he Made by All!, it became known to Vancouver artists when it was published in conjunction with this exhibition at the V.A.G. in 1970. Burrows transformed the Situationist cobblestone of the slogan into mudflats driftwood, or cedar shakes, in a long-term strategy of resistance based on squatting's resistance to property rights. But he never abandoned art, as did the Situationists. Instead, he demanded that art include these material and activist practices. He developed slide exhibitions and confrontational sculptural exhibitions to fulfill these demands within his own work. Burrows became directly involved in Situationist related activism at Hornsey Art College in London during its six week occupation in 1968, prior to the May strikes in France.^ Covered by newsreels, television, and popular journals. May 1968 was not taken as a serious revolutionary effort by many in London,* 107 while to others it translated into the naive, aggressive optimism of the headline of the first issue of a political (working class and student oriented) paper: "We Shall Fight We Will Win Paris London and Berlin."^ Situationist Raoul Vaneigem's Totality for Kids^ had circulated in London since the early sixties, and a mainstream newspaper attributed Situationist headquarters to London by 19 6 9 .'' Vaneigem's text promulgated the Situationist critique of the location of power in consumer culture rather than the traditional Marxist view of power as located in the means of production. According to the Situationists, consumer culture was a spectacle that poisoned all, but the spectacle could be broken. Guy Debord, the leading Situationist theorist, described this "society of the spectacle" as "seeking the abolition of workers' direct possession of every aspect of their activity."^ The English associates of the Situationist International were enthusiastic, but were sidelined by the original organization, and became its marketers and chroniclers. They [Sex Pistols manager Malcolm] McLaren and partner Jamie Reid] ... helped foment solidarity demonstrations in London [after May 1968 in France], painted the city's walls with cryptic slogans and later sold t-shirts decorated with May '68 slogans... [and they] helped publish the first English-language anthology of Situationist writings... [edited by Christopher Gray] in 1974....^ It was the stark contrast of this political and cultural activity with the pastoral landscape and mentality of Vancouver that beleagured Burrows on his return from London. Living on the mudflats enabled him to "break the spectacle" of consumer 108 culture^" but immersed him in the spectacle of nature. The gap between the critical position of Situationism and the more positivistic utopianism in Vancouver and North America is evident from Murray Bookchin's description of "those cultural prefigurations that point to a future Utopia" as: the outlook and praxis of young people, which range from tribalism to a sweeping affirmation of sensuousness. ̂^ Vancouver artists' romanticism contributed to the idealism of Bookchin's analysis. Where Bookchin's anarchist economics informed the socio- political structure of the community, and the Situationists informed his conflation of aesthetics with resistance, material structural anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss's notion of material culture informed Burrows' reading of squats as art forms. For the Situationists, workers "receive[d] the instruments of their liberation [their material equipment] in exchange for their real sacrifise" whereas for Levi-Strauss, the engineer^^ controlled his material equipment, but within the limits of period and material. For Levi-Strauss, the labour of the engineer is not alienated. The Situationists perspective is of a society where all labour is alienated. The engineer: ... never carries on a dialogue with nature pure and simple but rather with a relationship between nature and culture definable in terms of his particular period and civilization and.the material means at his disposal.^^ French philosopher Jean Baudrillard explains the difference between the society of consumption, as critiqued by the Situationists, and Levi-Strauss' material culture: 109 'What is consumed,' ... 'is the object not in its materiality, but in its difference [from other functionally identical objects] ...'." For Levi-Strauss, objects still have functional value emerging from the use to which they are put. In Baudrillard's analysis, objects have value only in relation to other objects: the fundamental articulation of ideological process in bourgeois society ... systematically strips both objects and subjects of their materiality and their history. ̂^ The tranformation of driftwood through labour on the mudflats was part of "the historical transformation of nature [in] the human world. . . .̂ ^ The Grosvenor Plan, a major commercial development for the mudflats proposed in 1970, signified the destruction of the mudflats as a place where 'engineers' carried on their dialogue between nature and culture with the material means at their disposal. The squatters' occupation and activities on the mudflats were curtailed when the district of North Vancouver considered the Plan, but never implemented it.̂ '' The more recent arrivals, professors and hippy dope dealers and craftspeople, as well as the mudflats' more traditional inhabitants, retired fishers and people who sold driftwood, were forced to leave, although the mudflats were never developed. It was the type of urban contest that the Situationists had engaged in elsewhere, specifically, the modernization of the Chinese quarter in London. Agreeing that modernization was a historically necessary goal, they requested the authorities to carry it out in their moral and political institutions rather 110 than in the living neighbourhood of Chinatown. ̂^ The District of North Vancouver did not take its modernist project elsewhere either. Burrows knew his mudflats shack would not last, having built it partly to provoke the argument over property rights and building standards, and provoked the local authorities were. Although most shacks were razed on December 18, 1971, some on private land remained until March of 1973; the commercial development that was the premise for the expulsions never happened. It seemed that the issue was really that squatters were not ratepayers; the proposed development served as an alibi to remove them (see Appendix 3: The Battle Over the Mudflats). Burrows made a performance event out of the razing of his shack. He hauled it over to a piece of disputed land and document its destruction by the District of North Vancouver through fire (figure 4.1). The legal battle prior to the razing was another kind of performance, as is evident from Appendix 3. But now the mudflats, sans squatting community, are most certainly the contemplative landscape that Ian Wallace depicts in Melancholie de la Rue, where a mudflats shack is depicted as a romantic ruin rather than the site of a social and political praxis in a Utopia-seeking community. The functional materials so important to Burrows' work on the muflats had emerged first in gallery exhibitions on his return from London. The relationship of outdoor and gallery sites, and the use of unmanipulated raw or industrial materials was the premise of much of Robert Smithson's 'site/non-site works.' Ill Smithson, Morris and Andre brought raw materials from the outside world into the gallery^^ and exhibited documentation of work with raw materials from outside the gallery in the gallery. For example, Smithson's Closed Mirror Box (1969) juxtaposed rock salt, an unmanipulated natural material, with the industrialized surfaces of mirror in a mirrored box.^° His Spiral Jetty's circulation in documentation was a part of this dialogue between gallery and outdoor sites. Morris brought earth, peat, steel, aluminum, copper, brass, zinc, felt, grease and brick into the gallery in Earthwork (1968),^^ which used some of of the same materials as his earthwork Observatory (Holland, 1970-77) . Trading Situationist paving stones for the flotsam and jetsam of the mudflats shacks was simultaneous with Burrows' showing of old, irredeamable objects: "machinery belts, coiled and snaky, rusty chains and slender iron pipes ... arranged on the floor," at a show at the Bau-Xi shortly after his return from London in 1959 22 -pĵĵg confused some of his viewers who preferred the illusionism of his fibreglass paintings, which he also showed.^^ Not framed off as sculpture by pedestals, a more direct, perhaps more threatening, relationship to viewers was created by these old ugly dirty objects. Burrows was embroiled in the quandary of whether to retain art as a separate category or subsume it to function for the revolutionary 'art into life.' Functional objects as art had been explored in the Mechanical Machine, and Chairs, exhibitions at the U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery in the sixties. Burrows' mentor, 112 activist and sculptor, Glenn Toppings, continued to make art, although it--kayaks, a table--was indistinguishable from its subject/model's ostensible functions, as mentioned in Chapter Two was appropriating the strategies prevalent when Russian artists believed it was possible for their work to be integrated into society At this time, they designed textiles, ceramics and graphics for the masses, who did, in fact, consume them. But Toppings' and Burrows' work was art in a capitalist society, limited to the local skirmishes of gallery or site. Toppings' Self-Explanatory Manufactured Object (1972) polemicized the gallery context by jutting into the viewer's space and thrusting Its text criticizing the economics of art as a commodity at them. Burrows' Sand Pile installation engaged the viewer less confrontationally than the Self-Explanatory Manufactured Object and the slide exhibition of the squats shown in 477-74-7 and SCAN. In the Sand Pile, the artist (as represented on the videotape) was linked with the viewer, removing the distance normally implicit in the relationship between viewer and art object. The instruction of the audience to play with the sand challenged the status quo of the gallery: DO NOT TOUCH. ̂^ In the early stages of his work on the flats. Burrows maintained a distance between art as non-functional and shacks as functional objects of material culture. He tried to "make that separation between living- structure and sculpture in the sense that sculpture has to be non-functional."^^ The Gas Works, an outdoor site in Auckland, New Zealand in August 1971 (figure 2.1) 113 amplified Burrows' division of the functional and the aesthetic. Like Flanagan's verb/noun sculpture, jbundle, the Gas Works was titled by the (former) function of its materials: steel he found in an abandoned gas works near the site, but it no longer did what it was named to do. Therefore, the materials' previous function was an element of its aesthetics, and not of its current function. Contradictorily, Burrows extracted the functional meaning of the material, describing Gas Works primarily in terms of its formal aesthetic: an ideal ... transforming the pattern comprehension of the viewer. Form at the limits of perceptual disorder. The further the limits of pattern comprehension are pushed, the more the mind can encompass.^^ Cobbles as a weapon and driftwood for building were low tech, accessible ojects. They had become the kinds of materials used in in art, especially since the emrgence of Arte Povera. Their functions and aesthetics were more easily collapsed. Industrial scale and materials had been left behind for materials at the lower end of the technological scale: Barry Flanagan used textiles and rope, Richard Long piled up rocks on his walks, and Carl Andre used construction materials. Minimalism's dimensionality provided an abstract model defining housing as sculpture;^^ the driftwood and cedar shakes were the substance of housing's aesthetics and corporeality. But it was Burrows' own experience on the mudflats, and his compulsion to aestheticize its raw materials, that compelled him to identify squatted and self-help housing as art, and retaining the aesthetic in his sculpture, 'detourning' reused chain, glass and wood into 114 beautiful objects that reconciled the landscape with human activity. The personal-sociological^^ aspects of Burrows' work on the mudflats set it apart from other works in the outoors. The undeveloped suburban North Vancouver location of the Maplewood mudflats occupied the middle ground between the urban sites of such works as Richard Serra's Tilted Arc and the remote uninhabited sites favoured by Heizer and Smithson. Smithson's practice of documenting his 'site' works for exhibition in the 'non-site' of the gallery, as he did in Brittania Beach Spill, set the precedent for Burrows' representation of the mudflats in the gallery, but the human scale and social site of the mudflats opposed Smithson's remote and monumental sites. Burrows used the gallery to polemicize, thrusting his demand that squats be recognized as art at viewers in SCAN at the VAG in 1972 (augmented in 477-74-7 in 1974 at the U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery) by introducing them with a sign reading: "This is art history."^^ Alice Aycock's outdoor dwelling-like ambulatory structures^" and Mowry Baden's indoor and outdoor ambulatory structres were the most closely related, but neither addressed more than an individual viewer. The squats occupied the liminal, intertidal zone of the mudflats; defined either as land or sea, depending on the map, they were, in effect, 'no man's land.'^^ As a community, the mudflats was in the liminal tradition of other B.C. communities, such as the radical Sons of Freedom Dukhobors, who challenged 115 property rights, burning the property of other Dukhobers in protest against materialism (consumerism), as well as owning property in common. ̂^ Burrows' allowance of the squatters to appropriate elements of his sculpture levelled the hierarchy of art and material culture to that of the 'engineer.' If art was a means of effecting political change through consciousness, as Marcuse claimed, then the notion of 'material culture' eliminated class and quality hierarchies in art to value cultural production in general. The contradictions in Burrows' work of this period, between aesthetics, functionality, and activism were really a multi- pronged attack--non-art in the art gallery, art on the non-art site--integrating art into life or maintaining the 'aesthetic dimension'. only take for granted indicated the confusion these competing visions of art's role in socio-political change threw Burrows into. If "the political potential of art lies only in its aesthetic dimension,"^^ the aesthetic quality of the cobblestone, the landscape and the driftwood was indispensable to their politics. But, by 1983, the critic Hal Foster considered the aesthetic "...largely illusory ... as a necessary negative category, a critical interstice in an otherwise instrumental world."^* He proposed a "new strategy of interference" instead. In this light, the Situationist cobblestone seems an early, overt example of a "strategy of interference" and Burrows' Sand Pile, slide exhibitions and materiality of his work on the mudflats and in The Gas Works a transition from the 'aesthetic dimension' to a 116 'strategy of interference'. This work "positioned itself at the critical heart of social change,"^^ overriding the boundaries between politics and art, and the social and aethetic. If "the goal of revolution [was] the revolution of everyday life," as Murray Bookchin hoped in 1971,^^ after the Situationists, the Maplewood Mudflats squats were the most beautiful, and revolutionary, of its sculpture. 117 I.Sadie Plant, The Most Radical Gesture: The Situationist International in a Postmodern Age (London and New York: Routledge, 1992); Hunt, Transform the World, n.p. 2.A chapter in Wheeler's thesis, called "The Materialization of Utopia", seems to have served as a blueprint for Burrows' socio/political direction on the mudflats. 3.Burrows, telephone interview Mar. 11, 1993; Nigel Fountain describes the situation at Hornsey in Underground, 65. 4.Fountain, 66. "a ...comic strip account of the student-union takeover ... was explained ... by ... an ironically approving London Sunday Telegraph." Marcus 417. S.June 1, 1968. Fountain, 66. 6.Although Fountain says that Totality for Kids was little noticed since publication in 1962, (59), its citation by Bookchin in Post-Scarcity Anarchism in 1971 indicates that it had been noticed by then. 7.Scottish Situationist Alex Trocchi's sTigma environmental exhibition in 1966, which included "sigma: a Tactical Blueprint" and "Project Sigma," an "intergalactic switchboard of information, a project of'invisible insurrection," held at Better Books, may have had something to do with this. Fountain, 23. S.Debord, par. 53. 9.McLaren and Reid were on the fringes of a group Christopher Gray formed in London after he was excluded (like the artist Alexander Trocchi) from the SI. Marcus, 29-30. "In the pages of [their] short-lived sheet King Mob Echo [1968] all the old talismans appeared once more: a reprint of Vaneigem's celebration of dada, a photo of Rosa Luxembourg in her canal coffin..." Marcus, 438. "Reid started Suburban Press, a mimeographed journal devoted to an SI-style mimeographed critique of the planned London suburb of Croyden" (c. 1972). Marcus, 439. Jeff Wall's similar project. Landscape Manual of 1969, was earlier. 10.From Vaneigem's Totality for Kids, qtd. in Fountain 58-9. As Scott Watson describes it, the language that Jeff Wall used in the Landscape Manual was reminiscent of Vaneigem's: Wall hoped that The Landscape Manual "could be used to break the code and allow consciousness to apprehend a reality that current conditions denied it." Discovering 257. 11.Bookchin, 27. 118 12.Levi-Strauss' term for practitioners of material culture. The Savage Mind (Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1966) 19. 13.Levi-Strauss, Savage Mind 19. 14.Baudrillard qtd. by Craig Owens, in Beyond Recognition: Representation Power, and Culture (Berkeley, Los Angeles and Oxford: University of California Press, 1984) 281. Bookchin's optimistic projection of a cohesive, communitarian society, or 'post-scarcity anarchism', the positive interpretation of a Baudrillardian analysis. Although Baudrillard wrote in 1968, Justine Brown might consider the use of subsistence level technologies a result of the informed pessimism of post-sixties idealism. 15.Baudrillard qtd. by Owens, 281. le.Marcuse, One-Dimensional 236. 17.Appendix C documents the battle over the mudflats. 18.Fountain, 59 & 64. 19.D. Lurie, Review of "American Eccentric Abstraction," Art in America 131. Many artists worked with mirrors in this period. In Vancouver alone: Lucas Samaras' Mirrored Room, V.A.G., 1966, and Gary Lee-Nova and Micheal Morris' Prisma installation, V.A.G. 1966, illustrated in Art and Artists 145. Morris did a mirror piece in 1976-7. Eisenman, Space of the Self. Smithson did First Mirror Displacement in Yucatan in 1966. Anti-Aesthetic 40. 20.American Eccentric Abstraction 131. 21.Barbara Reise, "'Untitled 1969': a footnote on art and minimal-stylehood," Studio International Apr. 1969: 166. 22.He showed with two very different artists, Ian Wallace, the photoconceptualist, and Peter Choquette "a master of the found object," as well as a fellow Maplewood Mudfalts squatter. Lowndes, Sensual... and Charlotte Townsend, "The Artist as a Bureaucracy Fighter, Vancouver Sun Oct. 2, 1969: 42. 23.Lowndes Sensual... Burrows' explanation for the contradictions between the illusionistic and the materialistic work in the show was "I am against the bureaucratization of the mind." Townsend The Artist. . . 24.The title of Hunt's catalogue Poetry Must be made by All, after the poet Lautreamont's 1870 call (Marcus, 182) also anticipates the participatory nature of the Sand Pile. 25.Lee-Nova, 36. 119 26.only take for granted, 1982: 127. 27."Housing is a three-dimensional system that influences all peoples lives," Burrows stated in Squat Doc (1977-8). 28.Terra Bonnieman describes the difference of Burrows' outdoor work from other outdoor works as sociological as well. Bonnieman has been familiar with Burrows' work since they worked together at U.B.C., Bonnieman setting up printmaking when Burrows and others were developing the studio rogram. Bonnieman, telephone interview, April 16, 1996, and David Silcox, "An Outside View," Art and Artists 154. 29.Lowndes, "Look closely! The art objects go poof," Vancouver Sun 13 Feb. 1974. 30.Robert Morris discussed Aycock's work in a 1979 article about "sculpture's raiding of architecture," in which he extends a phenomenological reading of (sculptural) space to architectural space. Morris, "The Present Tense of Space," Art in America Jan.- Feb. 1978. Reprinted in Johnson, 210-215. 31.Burrows, audiotape interview with Gerry Gilbert, 1977. 32.Douglas Todd, "Doukhober Peace, But for How Long?" Vancouver Sun 9 Mar. 1996: D20. 33.Marcuse, Aesthetic Dimension xii. 34.Foster, "Postmodernism: A Preface," The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern (Seattle: Bay Press, 1983) xv. 35.The description is Ian Wallace's. Joanne Birnie Danzker, "Decolonizing Regimes," Vancouver Forum: Old Powers New Forces, ed. Max Wyman (Vancouver: Douglas & Mclntyre, 1992) 113. 36.Bookchin, 11. 120 figure 4.1 Burrows' mudflats shack being burnt 121 -;.-;-i>*;^J?J^ •'''x-J^^H ' • ' • • ' • ^ ^ H H • aH^3 i-:v.'Vi"v ^ f U H • . • • ' * v ' ; .•• . • • • • • 3 ^ H -fm^r--''t^M 'Smim^ X . V. :- -'̂ '. ' • < - > ; ^ « ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ H :'$t^%'^.^^sf^^H ^ .*V^4,VJ . :# ;*^ |^^^ ^asft^lM . -• -V-.--' s', • '"TT^iffl > -t^-- :• • • -•• -• ;- ' • • : - l J l •̂  :'••'- J "*• "̂  -/>^ " \ ^yvu^wx i V B f K J. JtkAQsBn^'^ fc-^^jOyT v^^ mgm ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^K A> ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^IHrVi~ft ^^^^^^^^BB ^̂ ^̂ ^̂ ^̂ ^̂ 1̂ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^H ^^^^^H ^^^^^^K ^^^^^^^^^^^^^F! ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ K . j ^ ^ ^ ^ V r i ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ H B 1 ^^^^^^^I^K^^F' ^̂ ^̂ ^̂ BK» • H^^HP?^ BP^^ flB^Kw- -' * ? ' .̂ -' « * V * . v*>^^a2 ^ M ^ ^ l EL ^^^I ^p ^ ^ H l 5#^ * *fim ^ • '. J Ifl ^ 3 3 ' •̂ flj f W ^ '?^ "'-SI , ,« '̂ P^̂ ^w li ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^H^H ^^^^^^^^HH^^^^^^^^H^ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^H '-?^'^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^H| ' -̂ ^̂ ^̂ ^̂ ^̂ ^̂ ^̂ ^̂ ^̂B 'l̂ ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^H ' '^ I^ ^^ ^^ ^^^ ^^ ^^I^IR . ^ I ^ ^ ^ ^ I ^ I ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ I ^ H B I I ^ '• J s l ^ ^ H i V l i ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ B t s ., . ^ • ^ • I f ' V p ' ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ ^ H H H ' '̂<1?̂ ^W w ^^^^^^^^^^I^^^^^^^^^HHKB rj^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^Hj i;V11' CHAPTER FIVE THE EVERYDAY UTOPIA OF SQUATTING . . . life will not be the content of art, but rather ... art must become the content of life, since only thus can life be beautiful. •"• Kasimir Malevich quoted by Dennis Wheeler, 1971 In 1976-77, Burrows travelled from Europe to North Africa and Asia, documenting squatted and self-help housing^--"sculpture of concrete, sculpture of dreams"--as both a sociological and an aesthetic project. This Squat Document consisted of colour photocopies of photographs and text providing historical, social, political and economic context for each city. As a finished visual and textual document, it was completely portable in an old suitcase, which was also exhibited as a demonstration of economic efficiency, reuse of materials, and relevancy to an impoverished audience.^ The work was shown during its production to elicit feedback from its subjects in London, Amsterdam and Berlin (this was not possible in the Asian locations due to translation problems). The finished work was shown in slides at the Western Front in October 1978,'* and as a sculpture and photograph installation in the gallery of the Carnegie Community Centre in downtown eastside Vancouver in 1983.^ Although the Squat Doc's link with Burrows' earlier work seems tenuous, the three-dimensional tenets of Minimalism provided the model from which he defined and represented the spatial, 122 corporeal and economic aspects of housing as sculpture.^ It also perpetuated Minimalism's idealism, although its materials and forms were very different than most employed in Minimalism. Burrows made the link explicit in his 'esthetic rationale' for the project: "Housing is a three-dimensional system that influences all peoples lives."'' Burrows' previous geometric preoccupation, the pyramid in 1-2-3, the Sand Pile, and the Cement Pyramid was now abandoned for the functional geometries of housing. Despite the truly irredeemable content of some of the Squat Doc's images, it still exemplified Burrows' Utopian ambitions. It affirmed and represented the solutions that communities generated in response to their own experiences, and delineated an international network of these communities. In this way, it drew Utopian possibilities out of the everyday. At the same time, the project denied the high-low hierarchy of western European art by demanding recognition of this self-help and squatted housing as art. This position was informed by the Situationist assertion that art "on the level of Utopia was life itself...",® and Murray Bookchin's communal anarchism. The Squat Doc documented the impact of people's everyday lives on architectural form. It was a practical concomitant to artist and writer Peter Halley's analysis of the culture of geometry, which addressed the effects of everyday life on the geometry of architecture. Halley describes Michel Foucault's "deconstruct[ion of] the great geometric orderings of industrial society" in his 1977 book. Discipline and Punish, as revealing: 123 The omnipresent unfolding of geometric structures in cities, factories, and schools, in housing, transportation and hospitals ... as a novel mechanism by which action and movement [behaviour] could be channeled, measured, and normalized, as a means by which the unprecedented population of the emerging industrial era could be controlled and its productivity maximized.^ This "omnipresent unfolding of geometric structure" was of course not limited to the west. As writer and filmmaker Trinh T. Minh-Ha notes No system functions in isolation. No First World exists independently from the Third World; there is a Third World in every First World and vice-versa. Therefore, housing as a system is part of these global systems. Economic and institutionalizing pressures are present everywhere. They are not isolated to 'First' or 'Third World'. But the Third World, with its larger population, more urgent need and less money available to the majority of the population, has responded with more diversity to the problem of housing. The work of Dan Graham, known in Vancouver since the early seventies,^" connected Minimalism, previously confined to the laboratory of the gallery or strictly delimited outdoor situations, with the socio-political world of the larger systems to which Foucault and Minh-Ha are referring. Scott Watson described how Graham's photographs of tract houses in his 1966 work Homes for America "had an uncanny resemblance to Judd's rows of boxes ... implicat[ing] the minimalist row of boxes in in a more general economy." Watson linked Graham's work to Foucault's dicussion of power's investment in institutions although Foucault's discussion was not published until 1971 .-^-^ 124 Burrows' Squat Doc was an attempt to map concrete, material solutions at a number of different sites and Graham's Homes for America critiqued the state of housing in America. But Graham's work connected housing to the high art context. Jeff Wall's Landscape Manual,^^ utilized a similar analogy to Graham's. Watson describes this analogy: Abstraction in a monochrome on the wall became an analogue of the abstraction of the entrepreneurial capitalism as it chewed up wilderness, farms and city blocks to create new 'wilderness'.... The constructed was conflated with the despoiled; wilderness and order collapsed into each other so that the narrative of entrepreneurial capitalism would reveal itself in the way the urban space was built. ̂^ But, the Landscape Manual was constructed from the vantage point of a car in motion: it participated in the conditions it was critiquing. In contrast, the Squat Doc addressed the problem of the relationship of land to capital as property, not narrative. It represented the concrete social and material consequences of these relations. Burrows had established this in his contestation of the property on which his shack was built on the mudflats. It was now a theoretical framework guiding the Squat Doc's production. At the time of the Squat Doc's production, idealism was forced to become more pragmatic by changing economic conditions and knowledge of the effects of global economics on 'Third World' economies and environments. According to Justine Brown these changing circumstances engendered a: whole contemporary strain of anarchist-inspired environmentalism, aim[ing] for a balance between 1960's idealism and the informed pessimism of later decades. ̂^ 125 Murray Bookchin described various elements of this emergent anarchist/environmentalist social structure as: emphasiz[ing] ... tribalism as against atomization, community as against urbanism, mutual aid as against competition, communism as against property, and, finally, anarchism as against hierarchy and the state.... 'Dropping out' becomes a mode of dropping in--into the tentative, experimental, and as yet highly ambiguous, social relations of Utopia.-"-̂ Bookchin had an important caveat for this lifestyle, though: Taken as an end in itself, this lifestyle is not Utopia; indeed, it may be woefully incomplete. Taken as a means, however, this lifestyle and the processes leading to it are indispensable in remaking the revolutionary....^^ Brown's question "Can ecological principles be grafted with technological expertise to form a new economy for B.C. 7"̂ '' summarizes the ambitions of Burrows' squatting projects. Burrows' relation to the "retreat to a cabin in the woods," a motif that Robert Linsley sees in the art of many B.C. artists, a retreat in which modern artists act out their rejection of the competitiveness and profit oriented busyness of the North American city,-̂ ^ is, in fact, more complex than Linsley's argument would allow. The material, social, and political positions of the Squat Doc and Burrows' earlier documentation of the mudflats mitigate against the mudflats or squatting communities as part of the 'strategy of retreat' that Linsley describes. Burrrows had inherited the 'disenchanted' landscape and had to work within its constraints and with its possibilites. ̂' Linsley overgeneralizes when he links what he describes as Malcolm Lowry's "suppression of urban conflict and diversity" in his squatting experience at what is now Cates Park with the 'counterculture' of the Maplewood 126 mudflats squat. ̂° Linsley does not differentiate among the various approaches taken by 'countercultural' groups in the sixties: This is the violence buried deep in the passive rejection of modern society practiced by the counterculture of the sixties. The search for peace through the building of self- sufficient alternative communities in the countryside was doomed from the start, because when the counter culture turned its back on the city it turned away from the social struggles taking place there, which alone are the generator of Utopian energies. The log cabin falls out of history, just as the mystical experience recounted by Lowry was outside of time.^^ His citation of Ian Wallace's image of an abandoned mudflats shack, a group of people in front of a blank modernist building and a suburban house in his triptych Melancholie de la Rue perpetuates the romantic image of the mudflats that Linsley is critiquing. ̂^ No human activity is shown. But the mudflats shacks were historical, made of gathered driftwood, hand-made cedar shakes, and the flotsam and jetsum that fell off the ships in the Harbour; and supported by labour in the immediate vicinity. Burrows' research for Habitat Forum and publication of the history of squatting in Vancouver in Architectural Design, and his battle over the status of the mudflats as property, quells Linsley's inference that the 'counterculture' of the mudflats, like Lowry, preferred the area clean[ed of the] clamour of immigrant languages," and "turned away from the social struggles" of the city. Contesting property rights is a social struggle, and without Burrows' history of squatting in Vancouver (and Lowry's reference to "howling and singing in a dozen languages"), even less would be known about the clamour of 127 squatters.^^ The Squat Doc's depiction of the conditions endured by squatter's and self-help builders and their struggles to take "power within these conditions denies any romanticism that may be attached to squatting. While Burrows' 'anarchist-inspired environmentalism' began on the mudflats, his self-built house on Hornby Island on a l/lO share of 32 hectares collectively owned by painters and potters Jack Shadboldt, Gordon Payne, Wayne Ngan, among others, gave him the opportunity to build on it. According to Burrows life [on Hornby was] organized along sound ecological principles, [through] recycling and relying on assorted forms of natural materials.^* He described how he applied what he learned from squatting to his house on Hornby in the article he contributed to in Architectural Design: When my squatter house was torched by offialdom, I chose to build again, on a small island with no building code. I used my experience of squatter building and have secure land tenure. Using scrap materials combined with a rich local supply of indigenous materials, I built my new home of 1200 sq. ft. for $3.00 per sq. ft. This was about one-tenth the cost of purchasing the equivalent building code house in B.C." Burrows linked his self-built house on Hornby and squatted shack on the mudflats with squats and self-help housing in several cities around the world in Squat Doc. It covered the European cities of Amsterdam, Copenhagen London and Paris; the North African towns of Gorma and New Gorma; and the Asian cities of Bombay, New Delhi, and Bangkok. The European squatters generally had more power over the circumstances of their housing, thus, it was often more 'aesthetic' than the shacks constructed 128 by some of the Asian squatters, but both Europeans and Asians are shown as community organizers and artists. The political and aesthetic^^ dimensions of the European squatters' activities resulted in work that resembled 'high' art based on political topics. Burrows' reproduction of squatting movement graffiti on the side of a building on a major thoroughfare in Amsterdam (figure 5.1: Decimation of the neighbourhood) reads: "are you one of the 100,000 people who are being forced to leave the inner city or have you already left?". It resembled Hans Haacke's critical work within 'high' art institutions,^'' but the squatters' subject was more concrete and immediate than analytical and critical: more than 30,000 people were said to have been displaced from housing. The squatters' efforts were at once politically concrete and aesthetic: they added housing stock out of buildings not considered viable dwellings, ̂^ organized gas and electrical service, stopped plans for urban development by devising an improved plan for traffic circulation, and 'greened' and revitalized the inner city.^^ England's squatting culture was similar to Amsterdam's.^" Graffiti on a London wall read: "Dear Bailiff Please don't read this notice following orders can make you blind and as soon as people stop being deceived they stop doing as they are told." Another ' detourned'•'^ a carpet advertisement: the words "Joe Levy. You'll not make us homeless" appear in front of a picture of three sheep (figure 5.2). Squatting, legal in England since 1381 to compensate for land lost due to the introduction of the 129 Enclosures Act,^^ had a history and a mythology as well as a current practice. France had the same conjunction of aesthetics and politics. The poster on the decorated building front (figure 5.3: Eviction in Bellevue) reads "housing should be a public service." It addressed a situation where squatters have been evicted despite a law legalizing squatting: "once you have established residence in a place it's against the law for the policeman to enter."^^ Nevertheless, the police broke and entered and evicted squatters, who then had to take to them to court while deprived of the housing.-'* In Paris, squatters resisted urban development by occupying buildings: occupied buildings were harder to tear down and left wing parties rang a siren to call for help when an eviction was in progress. ̂^ Squatting also provided a place for various political and environmental groups to meet.^^ = Squatters in Christiana, a large open collective in a huge area of Copenhagen formerly used by the navŷ '' (figure 5.4) went beyond resisting urban development to alternative forms of development and production. Cars were banned, a barter system for trading goods and services was established, iron work and recycling were done. Like the mudflats squatters, they built with reused materials. ̂^ Christiana's directly democratic structure-- small areas were managed by small meetings and all areas met to manage the collective as a whole--was ideally seen as a training ground for young people who will one day replace older politicians .^^ 130 Squatters in Rome used the painted image to signify a political issue, evident from this painted door in Rome (figure 5.5). According to Burrows, this image was "softening the community for a future squat by making them aware of exploitive property holdings"*"--a Haacke strategy with an Italian aesthetic. Squatting, like in Paris, was also a way of building political community centres for anarchist and other groups of the revolutionary left.*-̂ Asian and North African squatting politics were geared more to surviving, rather than resisting, the crushing forces of development. Rural traditions of land claiming translated into squatting in cities such as Cairo, a city which could not afford to provide squatters with conventional housing.'*̂  The draw of the cash economy created housing crushes all over the Third World. Although these squats in Bombay (figure 5.6: "interface of two realities") appear destitute, the squatters' housing choices were not based solely on survival, but were pragmatic: they preferred to live close to facilities and work rather than travelling long distances.*^ In New Delhi, the destruction of some squats was an impetus for the organization of an aesthetic community of acrobats, puppeteers, balancing girls, dancers, musicians, magicians and jugglers, working out of a communal studio.*'' An old tribeswoman in Egypt retained a traditional aesthetic in a small shop she built out of mud and roofed with dry reeds in a week.*^ The New Gorma text panel describes how windows 131 designed by Egyptian architect Hassan Fathy, based on an indigenous design, were largely bricked in, since the aesthetic of the inhabitants had changed (figure 5.7: Hassan Fathy's bricked in windows). The 'young squatters' of Calcutta, shown in front of an overwhelming mountain of garbage, in a photograph captioned "in front of their hovel" (figure 5.8), exemplifies the universality of consumer culture. Even in such abject circumstances, these children took pride in their ability to blend in with global consumer culture through their choice of clothing. A photograph of a Parisian sleeping on a subway grate (figure 5.9) undercuts the individual and community agency documented throughout the Squat Doc and the utopianism of the Squat Doc as a whole. Its placement in a sculpture at the art gallery in the Carnegie Community Centre*^ in 1983 reinstates the corporeal relations of viewer and object that informed the Sand Pile. (It is placed on a Minimalistic sculpture of a sidewalk grating, like that in the photograph, at the level of the viewer's head, to provoke viewers into physically identifying with the person in the photograph.) We do not see any Marcusian transcendent possibilities here, any hint of abundance. The sculpture is a ladder, the rungs of which read: "on subway, grates, sleep, warmth." The empty frames correspond to the position of the viewer's body. The framed and back-lit photographic image of the sleeping person was placed equivalent to the spectator's head. The Constructivist ladder linked the viewer's and the subject's 132 bodies. There are no glimpses of the marvelous on this Paris street, for viewer or subject.*'' Material immediacy is all there is. The subject sleeps, the dream is over. 133 l.Malevich in Painting and the Problem of Architecture Vol. II: Essays on Art, qtd. by Wheeler in Art and Revolution. 2.Housing is squatted when an abandoned building is inhabited; self-help housing is built by the housing consumer with allocated resources rather than being supplied by the state or international development agency. 3.Barb Daniel, "Rev. of 'Tom Burrows,'" Vanguard Dec.-Jan. 1983- 84: 35-6. 4."Burrows, a veteran of Vancouver's 'Mudflats' community, travelled all over the world collecting images and information about squatter communities. Squatters were making news in Europe but were an established tradition in Hong Kong." Wallace, Whispered 50. This passage form the chronology misses the point that Burrows had tried to establish in his earlier work on squatting in Vancouver: that squatting had been an overlooked tradition in Vancouver and was related to European, as well as other, immigration. 5.Daniel, 35. 6.This development was parallelled by Robert Morris' discussion of the architectural forms of different cultures in behavioural and experiential terms in his 1978 article "The Present Tense of Space." {Art in America Jan.-Feb. 1978; reprinted in American Artists 210-215.) 7."Esthetic Rationale" panel. Squat Doc, 1976. Although Burrows' linking of Minimalism with squatted housing evacuates the human reality of squatting, the photographs reintroduce it. S.Marcus, 147. 9.Peter Halley, "Crisis in Geometry," Arts Magazine Summer 1984: 111. 10.If Scott Watson is correct in asserting that Wallace and Wall's interest in Graham's work began around 1971 (Discovering 252), then Burrows must have been familiar with his work since that time. 11.Watson, Discovering 252. 12.Produced before Wall was familiar with Graham's work, but around the same time as a similar work by London, England Situationist .Jamie Reid. 13.Watson, Discovering 256. 134 14.Justine Brown claims that this movement, called 'ecotopianism,' may have originated with the 1975 novel of this name by Ernest Callenbach. Brown, 90. IS.Bookchin, 16. le.Bookchin, 16. 17.Brown, 90. 18.Linsley, Landscape and Literature, 195. 19.The fact that the mudflats squatters 'partied' with members of the neighbouring Burrard Band indicates that the landscape was just as 'disenchanted' for the Native population as it was for the squatters at that time. Burrows, telephone interview, Mar.11 1993. 2 0.Linsley, Landscape and Literature, 198. 21.Linsley, 201. Most alternative communities outside the city at this time were economic co-operatives, some linked to city co-ops (Fed-Up was the name of the main wharehouse, redistributing between city and country.) A farm near 100 Mile House still provides this function for people associated with the Carnegie Community Centre. 22.There is some irony in that Wallace had was an active member of the mudflats community himself. He 'housesat', with his small son, for Burrows for extended periods of time, and according to writer Dorothy Trujillo Lusk, who has known both Burrows and Wallace since this period, Wallace considered himself to be a member of the mudflats community. Trujillo Lusk, telephone interview, July 1996. 23.Linsley, Landscape and Literature, 198. Linsley never explores the meaning of immigrant squatting any further in this essay. The lack of life in Wallace's Melancholie de la Rue is never questioned as an evacuation of the material culture and social life of the mudflats. These images are critical of the absence of life in each place, not generalizing about how each is essentially lifeless. 24.Burrows in Ian Hogan, "Self-Help/Squatting, Vancouver," Architectural Design 10/1976: 592. 25.Self-Help, 592. 26.When Burrows first encountered squatting in London in 1968-9 it was motivated by need and political resistance to property rights. Burrows, telephone interview. Mar. 11, 1993. In Amsterdam, squatters were active in a political party related to 135 an offshoot of Situationism, the Provost Party. Auke Bylsma, community organizer, in Burrows, "Dialogue on the Squatter's Movement," unpublished manuscript component of Squat Doc: 7. 27.For example, his 1974 Manet Project, mapping the social and economic positions of people who had owned a Manet, and the piece in the Guggenheim which documented landlords holdings. 28.Bylsma, "Composite Dialogue," 7. 29.Bylsma, Dialogue, 9-11. 30."The Squatter's Movement [began] in England in 1968... because, at that time, there were thousands of people who were either completely homeless, or in temporary accomodation...." Nick Wates, architect and squatter. Dialogue, 1. 31.The Situationist term for transforming the normal use of an object. 32.Caroline Lewin, squatter and architect. Dialogue, 1. 33.France also has a treve d'hiver or winter truce: evictions are not legal during the four months of winter beginning on November 1. Kirt, Dialogue, 20. 34.Dominique Delassus and Katherine Kirt, sociologist. Dialogue, 18. 35.Kirt and Delassus, Dialogue, 18. 36.Delassus, Dialogue, 21. 37.Neil Herskind, architect and squatter. Dialogue, 13. 38.Herskind, 14. 39.Herskind and Valiant, a social worker. Dialogue, 17. 4 0.Burrows, Dialogue, 22. 41.Simon Rossi, Dialogue, 23. 42.Geoffrey Payne, London architect and planner. Dialogue, 2. A3.Squat Doc text panel #77. 44.Rejeeve Sethi, Composite Dialogue, 13. 45.Hassan Fathy, Composite Dialogue, 3. 136 46.The Carnegie provides food, activities and inexpensive services to the residents and homeless of the poorest neighbourhood in Canada. It has a small art gallery on the top floor. 47.The Sex Pistols were singing "There is no future/in England's dreaming" in London at this same time. 137 figure 5.1 Amsterdam--the decimation of the neighbourhood 138 THE D E C I M A T I O N OF THE NEIGHBOURHOOD figure 5.2 London "you'll not make us homeless' 139  figure 5.3 Paris--eviction from Bellevue 140  figure 5.4 Copenhagen--overview of Christiana 141  figure 5.5 Rome--uninhabited building 142  figure 5.6 Bombay "interface of two realities" 143  figure 5.7 New Gorma--Hassan Fathy's bricked-in windows 144 M A R K E T P L A C E f A T H Y ' S W I N D O W S B R I C K E D IN BY S Q U A T T E R S **4 * figure 5.8 Calcutta--in front of their hovel 145  figure 5.9 Parisian sleeping on a grating 146  EPILOGUE FROM UTOPIA TO DYSTOPIA The Utopian record, with its assorted outcomes, presents a number of detours. The history of Utopia suggests other models and other scenarios for a possible British Columbia. They remind us not of how life should be, but rather how it might be.^ Justine Brown, 1995 It's impossible today to be optimistic and intelligent at the same time.^ Krzystof Wodicizko, 1980 Although Burrows' intention with the Squat Doc was to map the idealized tenets of sculpture onto the beleagured Third World squatting communities, it in fact marked his transition from Utopian goals to dystopianism. The work, in its engagement with the larger socio-political world, could no longer avoid the difficulties of current conditions. But there was not one response only to this awareness. The directions that Burrows' socio-politically engaged Utopian artwork took in the 1960's and 1970's can be seen as promulgating in a myriad of directions in the 1990's. Burrows' more recent work, as well as that of many other artists, has been inflected with the pessimism and violence present in the larger world. The dystopian present has overcome Utopian dreams. Others have continued to work in 'communities': as groups involved with a particular socio-political issue or in the larger social community in which they live. The American 147 group Gran Fury's work on AIDS exemplifies the former; the Vancouver Association for Non-Commercial Culture, the latter. Although Burrows is no longer involved in community-based work, his work on the mudflats staked out the territory for artwork that not only took place outside the gallery, in the public domain, but also dealt with the politics of its situation. The Utopian-dystopian transformation of the landscape has been more recently explored in the art of Stan Douglas and Jeff Wall. Douglas' photographs of Ruskin show this Utopian town, named after the 19th century art and social commentator, John Ruskin, as a picturesque ruin. Jeff Wall's Bad Goods (1985) is an image of Vancouver not unlike some of Burrows' images of India in Squat Doc: a Native man is shown in front of a pile of discarded vegetables. Untamed urban squalor now overshadows untamed nature. As Scott Watson describes it: urban dead zone [appears] with mountains in the background serv[ing] as the stage for an essay on commodity exchange and the dispossessed. This urban scene, where capital has constructed an unadorned environement, is 'posed' to draw forth the abstract qualities of what has been constructed....^ Roy Arden's photgraphs of urban landscapes (1991) and labour strife show other elements of urban Vancouver life that cannot be reconciled with a Utopian viewpoint. Burrows, Wall, and Arden all temper their criticism with abstraction. Meanwhile, Judith Williams is reconstructing the history of B.C. to emphasize incidents of European oppression of the (Ab)original inhabitants, in books and installations. Although Burrows has ceased to work with communities as a site 148 for or subject of art production, it is innate to the work of many younger artists, and many others work in communities or site their work in the community at large. Sculptor Alan Storey's work often creates a dialogue among or between members of communities. The Neo-Nativists, a group of First Nations artists, have been working together in the art/political process* as well as as artistic collaborators, taking over the board of the Pitt Gallery in the early nineties. The Western Front continues to work as a semi-collaborative project, as do the Or Gallery and the Kootenay School of Writing. Public art is now often part of a community process or critical of urban spaces rather than simply imposed on communities from outside. The Association for Non-Commercial Culture, including Kati Campbell, Warren Murfitt, Lorna Brown, Carol Williams and Don Gill, placed art work on public sites and in a storefront window for several years throughout the eighties. In Chicago, Inigo Manglano-Ovalle created a dialogue with young people in his neighbourhood in his "Tele-Vecindario" video project, part of a public sculpture project there.^ Kryzstof Wodizco, the Polish-Canadian and now American artist, has become well-known for his work dealing with the homeless and critiquing public monuments by projecting images onto them. Vancouver artist Chris Dikeakos critiques the domination of the built environment over previous inhabitatation in various urban sites around Vancouver in his work. The work of another Vancouver artist, Glenn Andersen, ranges from subterfugic direct action (carrying 149 out an action in public pretending to be somebody he is not) to collaborating on tile mosaics at local community centres. Burrows has returned to work as an individual artist using polymer resin,^ exploiting its ambiguous depths and luxuriant colour in two series of works: Hematoma and Blanket Statement. Superficially seductive because of their colour, scale and depth, they should, and do, appeal to the commercial market that Burrows turned his back on at the time of the work discussed in this thesis. Because of this aesthetic appeal, these series are more subterfugical than overt, more akin to the Situationists' predecessors, the Nouveaux-Realistes or New Realists, than the Situationists themselves. This change in strategy--the return to the making of portable and beautiful, and so marketable, art objects is part of the change in economic circumstances of the individual artist and the society in which he/she must live--from the scarcity of funding and the lack of corporate buyers, to the domination of deficit reduction in economic thought on the national and international levels. Despite these circumstances, Burrows is "allow[ing] himself the luxury of abstract painting in the 1990's," or so he claims. In the Blanket Statement series: the complete multi-panel piece becom[es] the field-object in the individual blanket statements. This is akin to hanging aboriginal blankets on the wall for aesthetic contemplation. The whole of the abstracted field of the object is perceived in unity with its particular colour and pattern.'^ Although this statement may sound like another retreat or an attempt "to hide" in abstraction, as he contemplated on his 150 return from London in 1969, it does not mean that this work is not critical. The images in the Blanket Statement series are derived from Hudson Bay blankets--the kind dispersed to the Native population by traders in the early days of European/Native contact. Burrows represents the spread of death caused by these blankets often infected with disease by placing black panels between the panels representing blankets, and making black part of the blankets' pattern. Insidiously, black creeps in, like death. The meanings of these works are available only in certain contexts: at the Bau-Xi, meaning may not discernable. But it emerges in texts such as the catalogue for the Tokyo exhibition, into which a picture of a group of Native men wearing the blankets has been placed, to provide the history of this object of material culture, and so its larger, socio-political context. He identifies this context in his statement for this exhibition: From a more regional socio-political stance as a Canadian, Blanket Statements is a reference to the blanket as a major historical trading commodity. The industrial revolution in Europe fueled European expansion over the vast ranges of northern North America. One of the most prized trading currencies being the mass produced blanket, a product of the mechanical loom. The wool blanket was readily adopted by the aboriginal peoples both as an aesthetic object and as basic shelter. The blanket became a fulcrum point in cultural interface, a distant point to which my work aspires.^ The blanket is another verb/noun. An object of material culture shared by Aboriginal and European peoples through trade, the blanket killed Aboriginal peoples as it blanketed them. The Blanket Statements locate the moment when cultural exchange between equals changed to decimation of one by the other. In the Hematoma series. Burrows abstracts and beautifies 151 violence inflicted on the body. The titles, such as Hematoma-- Black and Purple, offer only the abstract, medical word for the more visceral 'bruise', 'hematoma', and the aesthetic element of colour, to identify each work. There is no social link between the bruise and the colour field that it is represented as here. This is analogous to the representation of violence in mainstream media--our culture relies on it as an element of, or gloss on, storytelling. Burrows wanted to call this series "Bruises for corporate walls" in anger at "downsizing" but doubts he can make this reference in the context of his commercial gallery. These two series indicate that Burrows' work remains as immersed as ever in politics, only now politics are subterfugic rather than overt. 152 I.Brown, 91. 2.Douglas Crimp, with Rosalyn Deutsche and Ewa Lajer-Burcharth. "A Conversation with Krzystof Wodicizko," Discourses: Conversations in Postmodern Culture, ed. 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Washington, DC: Association of American Geographers, 1971. Sparks, Dawn and Martha Border. Echoes Across the Inlet. Ed. Damian Inwood. North Vancouver: Deep Cove Heritage Association, 1989. Tallman, Warren. In the Midst. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1992. Thompson, David. "A Canadian Scene 1." Studio International. Oct. 1968: 152-7. Todd, Douglas. "Dukhober Peace, But for How Long?" Vancouver Sun 9 Mar. 1996: D20-21. Townsend, Charlotte. "The Artist as a Bureaucracy Fighter." Rev. of Burrows exhibition at the Bau-Xi Gallery. Vancouver Sun 2 Oct. 1969: 42. Second Look at Fine Artist." Vancouver Sun 1971: n.p. Trujllo Lusk, Dorothy. Telephone interview. July 1995. Tuchman, Phyllis. "An Interview with Carl Andre." Artforum June 1970. Reprinted in American Artists on Art from 1940 to 1980. Ed. Ellen H. Johnson'. New York: Harper and Row, 1982. 120-21. Tuer, Dot. "Parables of Community and Culture for a New World (Order)." Questions of Community: artists, audiences, coalitions. Banff, Banff Centre Press, 1995. 1-22. Turnbull, William. "Notes on Sculpture." Studio International Nov. 1968: 198-9. 165 Turner, John. Housing by People. London: Marion Boyars, 1976. Ward, Colin. Preface. Housing by People. By John Turner. London: Marion Boyars, 1976. 4-10. Wallace, Keith, ed. Whispered Art History: Twenty Years at the Western Front. -Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 1993. Watson, Scott. "Discovering the Defeatured Landscape." Vancouver Anthology: The Institutional Politics of Art. Vancouver: Talonbooks, 1991. 247-265. Watts, Alan W. This Is It and Other Essays on Zen and Spiritual Experience. New York: Pantheon Books, div. of Random House, 1958, 1960, 1967. Wheeler, Dennis. "Kasimir Malevich and Suprematism: Art in the Context of Revolution." Master's Thesis, U.B.C, 1971. "The Limits of the Defeatured Landscape." Rev. of Four Artists exhibition at the U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, Feb. 1970. artscanada June 1970: 51-2. "The Spiral Jetty is a Verb." artscanada Feb./Mar. 1971: 78. Wolin, Richard. "The Frankfurt School: From Interdisciplinary Materialism to Philosophy of History" and "Mimesis, Utopia, and Reconciliation: a Redemptive Critique of Adorno's Aesthetic Theory." The Terms of Cultural Criticism. York: Columbia University Press, 1992. 45-61, 62-79. Wollen, Peter, et al. On the passage of a few people through a rather brief Moment in time: Situationist International 1957-1972. Cambridge, Mass. and London: MIT Press, 1989. Wolper, Andrea. "Making Art, Reclaiming Lives: the Artist and Homeless Collaborative." But is it Art? The Spirit of Art as Activism. Seattle: Bay Press, 1995. 251-282. Woodcock, George. "There are no Universal Landscapes." Documents in Canadian Art. Ed. Douglas Fetherling. Peterborough: Broadview Press, 1987. 257-269. Unsigned Articles and Other Documents The Building and Social Housing Foundation. Handbook of Readings Prepared to Mark the International Year of Shelter for the Homeless. Nottingham: Russell Press, 1987. 166 For Immediate Release, U.B.C. Information Services, Sept. 191 A. (On Mowry Baden's 1974 sculpture between the Frederick Wood Theatre and the Lasserre building.) "Impeccably polite, that's Tony (sic) Onley." Vancouver Sun 29 Oct. 1971: n.p. Joseph Beuys Talks to Louwrien Wijers. Rotterdam: Kantoor voor Cultuur Extracten, 1980. "Mudflats guardians ending vigil." Province 26 Mar. 1973: n.p. "Mudflats Living." N.F.B.: Thirty Years in B.C. Vancouver: KNO, 1971. Broadcast 23 Oct. 1995. "North Vancouver District, new study backs town centre project." Vancouver Sun 1 Apr. 1972. "Utopia not always a perfect place," Vancouver Courier 18 Feb. 1996: 21-22. Vancouver Art Gallery Bulletin. May 1968. Vancouver Sun 11 Sept. 1970, 8 Feb. 1971, 13 Oct. 1971 & 2 Dec. 1971. "Wilderness concept rejected, ex-Grosvenor planner raps report." Vancouver Sun 6 Nov. 1970. Exhibition Notes and Catalogues Balkind, Alvin. Joy and Celebration. Vancouver: U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, July 1967. Chairs. Vancouver: U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, 1968. Regionalism. Vancouver: U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, Oct. 1965. "Worlds Within Worlds and Hemispheres." Vancouver: Art and Artists: 1931-1983. Guest Ed. Nora Kembar. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1983. 188-89. with Dennis Wheeler and Chris Dikeakos. An Alternate Press. Vancouver: U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, Nov. 1972. Bau-Xi Gallery. Notes to Toni Onley exhibition Sept. 1993. Baxter, Iain. Piles. Vancouver: U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, Feb. 1968. 167 Real, Graham. "Barry Flanagan: 'Twice as Hard in a Negative Way'." A Quiet Revolution: British Sculpture Since 1965. Ed. Terry A. Neff. London: Thames and Hudson, 1987. 92-96. "Richard Long: 'the simplicity of walking, the simplicity of stones'." A Quiet Revolution: British Sculpture Since 1965. Ed. Terry A. Neff. London: Thames and Hudson, 1987. 110-114. Blackman, Peter with Nora Blair, Rosemary Emery and Ina Lee. "Chronology." Vancouver: Art and Artists 1931-1983. Guest Ed. Nora Kembar. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1983. 190-205, 332-361. Burrows, Tom. "Notes on Recent Sculpture." Tom Burrows: Dialectical Totems Apr.-May 1990. Cambridge, Ontario: The Library Gallery, 1990. Reprinted as "Notes and Images." Capilano Review Fall 1989: 43-49. Culley, Peter. "Notes on Tom Burrows: Contradiction and Doubt." Tom Burrows: Dialectical Totems Apr.-May 1990. Cambridge, Ontario: The Library Gallery, 1990. Originally published in Capilano Review Fall 1989: 50-56. Danzker, Jo-anne Birnie. "Vancouver: Land- and Culture- scape." Vancouver: Art and Artists 1931-1983. Guest Ed. Nora Kembar. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1983. 208- 225. Farrell-Ward, Lorna. "The Sixties: Alternating Currents." Vancouver: Art and Artists 1931-1983. Guest Ed. Nora Kembar. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1983. 132-141. 477-74-7. An exhibition of the work of 7 professors in the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program at U.B.C. Organized by the students in Fine Arts 477 under B.R. Collins. Vancouver: U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, Jan.-Feb. 1974. Harrison, Charles. "Sculpture's Recent Past." A Quiet Revolution: British Sculpture Since 1965. Ed. Terry A. Neff. London: Thames and Hudson, 1987. 10-33. Hunt, Ronald. Poetry Must Be Made By All! Transform the World! Stockholm: Moderna Museet, 1969; Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, July 1970. and Abraham Rogatnick. Mechanical Machine Creator-Destroyer. Vancouver: U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, 1971. Lang Art Gallery. Barry Flanagan: A Visual Invitation--Sculpture 1967-1987. Newcastle-on-Tyne: Newcastle-on-Tyne Museum Services, 1987. 168 Linsley, Robert. A Tour of the Monuments of Passaic, New Jersey: 'Tripping with Robert Smithson'. Vancouver: Contemporary Art Gallery, 1990. Lowndes, Joan. "The Spirit of the Sixties by a Witness." Vancouver: Art and Artists 1931-1983. Guest Ed. Nora Kembar. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1983. 142-151. Misner, Mary and Gordon Hatt. Dialectical Totems Apr.-May 1990. Cambridge, Ontario: The Library Gallery, 1990. Morehart, Mary. The Cosmic Breath. Vancouver: U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, 1965. 955,000. Organized by Lucy Lippard. Seattle: Seattle Art Museum, 1969; Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1970. O'Brian, John, et al. Capitalizing the Scenery: landscape, leisure and tourism in British Columbia, 1880s-1950s. Vancouver: Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, U.B.C, Oct. 1995. "Personal Perspectives." Vancouver: Art and Artists 1931- 1983. Guest Ed. Nora Kembar. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1983. 256-273. Pinney, Marguerite. "Voices." Vancouver: Art and Artists 1931- 1983. Guest Ed. Nora Kembar. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1983. 174-187. Rockman, Arnold. Painting '66: Vancouver Centennial Award Exhibition Nov. 1966-Jan. 1967. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1967. ---. Random Sample, N=42. U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery, Feb. 1968. Rosenberg, Ann. Glenn Toppings Remembered. Victoria: Greater Victoria Art Gallery, Dec. 1977-Jan. 1978. Reprinted in Capilano Review 1/1978: 151-199. Sculpture '67. Toronto: National Gallery of Canada, June 1967. Temkin, Ann. "Joseph Beuys: An Introduction to His Life and Work." Thinking is Form: The Drawings of Joseph Beuys. New York and Philadelphia: Phiadelphia Museum of Art and The Museum of Modern Art, 1993. 11-25. Vandewege, R. "Joseph Beuys and the Multiple Problematics of His Work." Joseph Beuys: Tekeningen, Aquarallen, Gouaches, Collages. Gent, Germany: Stad Gent Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst, 1977. 169 Watson, Scott. "Terminal City: place, culture, and the regional inflection." Vancouver: Art and Artists 1931- 1983. Guest Ed. Nora Kembar. Vancouver: Vancouver Art Gallery, 1983. 226-255. 170 APPENDIX 1 Burrows' Chronology: Education, Exhibitions, Travels, Positions, Publications, Awards 1950-54 studied painting privately with Toni Onley in Ontario 1959 moved to B.C. to attend pre-medicine studies at U.B.C. 1961-63 travelled around the world studied art and literature, privately in London, England, for one year Met expatriate Jerry Pethick 1965 exhibited kinetic sculpture for children and in the annual juried B.C. exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery 1966 exhibited sculptural painting Matches, or Homage to the Draft Card Burners in Painting '66 V.A.G. annual juried B.C. exhibition 1967 exhibited sculpture 1-2-3 in Directions '67 V.A.G. annual juried B.C. exhibition and Joy and Celebration group show at the U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery exhibited sculpture Conjugality in Sculpture '67 national group sculpture exhibition in Toronto interview published in Sculpture '67 catalogue Conjugality was bought by the Canada Council exhibited sculpture Perspective '69 chosen by Arthur Erickson for Habitat House at Expo '67 in Montreal began freelance designing of special effects sets, props and models for film and video 1964-67 B.A. in Art History, U.B.C. peers were Ian Wallace and Iain Baxter 171 1967-69 post-graduate work in sculpture at St. Martin's School of Art in London, England worked under Anthony Caro and with Philip King peers were Barry Flanagan, Gilbert and George, and Richard Long received two Canada Council B grants 1968-9 exhibited fibreglass sculpture in a solo show at the Edinburgh Festival also exhibited fibreglass paintings solo show at St. Martin's Gallery group show at the Galleria Ariete in Milan, Italy 1969 outdoor sculpture Chained Image commissioned for the Department of Public Works, Chilliwak, BC exhibited fibreglass paintings and found objects Bau Xi Gallery, Vancouver two reviews: A Sensual Tom Burrows by Joan Lowndes Province Oct. 1, 1969, p. 29; and Artist as a Bureaucracy Fighter by Charlotte Townsend, Vancouver Sun Oct. 2, 1969, p. 42. 1970 exhibited Recent Things: Hard, Soft and Liquid sculpture made of ink, fibreglass, rubber, concrete and foam in Four Artists group show with Ian Wallace, Jeff Wall, and Duane Lunden at the U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery reviewed by Dennis Wheeler in artscanada June 1970, pp. 51-2 The Limits of the Defeat(ur)ed Landscape also exhibited Gas Works outdoor installation commissioned for the city of Auckland, New Zealand's New Zealand Invitational Symposium 1969-72 built mudflats studio-residence and sculpture/outdoor installation on the mudflats interview with Gary Lee-Nova about work on the mudflats published, with photographs, in Our Beautiful West Coast Thing article on West Coast artists and their 'lifestyles,' artscanada June 1971, pp. 34-7 172 published only take for granted the things that you can touch in artscanada Feb./Mar. 1972, pp. 41-5 article on work and experience on the mudflats and in New Zealand 1970-72 received Canada Council Art Bursary B Grant for Sculpture helped organize the new B.F.A. program and taught sculpture and design part-time at U.B.C. colleagues were Mowry Baden, Ronald Hunt, Glenn Toppings and Glenn Lewis 1972 exhibited sculpture at the Musee des Beaux Arts, Montreal also exhibited slides of the mudflats sculpture and squats in S.C.A.N. (Survey of Canadian Art Now) group show of artists' slides at the V.A.G. 1972-74 taught sculpture, full-time in the U.B.C. B.F.A. program acting chairman of the program 1972-3 1973 exhibited the Sand Pile installation (sand on a table with a video monitor showing Burrows constructing and destroying a pyramid of sand) V.A.G. Exploratory Space reviewed by Joan Lowndes Pyramids Endure in the Vancouver Sun Apr. 4 1973 Sand Pile was also exhibited in Trajectoires group show of Canadian artists curated by former U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery curator Alvin Balkind at the Museum of Modern Art in Paris 1974 exhibited slides of mudflats sculpture and squats in 477-7-74 faculty group show at the U.B.C. Fine Arts Gallery excerpt from only take for granted in the catalogue 1975 exhibited Sand Pile at the 3rd International Video Symposium in Argentina 173 1975-76 built eco-sensitive studio-residence on Hornby Island taught part-time at Langara College 1976 co-ordinated information on non-tenured architecture (squatting) at U.N. Habitat Forum, Vancouver exhibited squatting documentation at Habitat Forum contributed to Self-Help/Squatting, Vancouver article on history of squatting in Vancouver by Ian Hogan Architectural Design October 1976, pp. 591-2 1977 lecture tour of British and Irish art colleges exhibited sculpture The Temptations of Mao Tse-Tung Pender Street Gallery, Vancouver Tom Burrows/Recent Sculpture interview with Ann Rosenberg, Annette Hurtig and Peter McGuigan on this exhibition, published in Capilano Review 1/1977, pp. 92-112 reviewed by Ann Rosenberg in artscanada Nov. 1977, pp. 46-7 1976-78 received Canada Council Bursary for Sculpture and Housing Design (B grant) 1977-78 embarked on seven-month documentation tour of non- tenured housing in Europe, North Africa and Southeast Asia 1978 Stainless Steel Abacus sculpture commissioned by the federal Department of Public Works, B.C. Taxation Centre, Surrey, B.C. 1979 exhibited sculpture/outdoor installation group show: The Greater Victoria Art Gallery Invitational with Mowry Baden, Tom Burrows, Elza Mayhew and Greg Snider reviewed by Russell Keziere in Vanguard Feb. 1980, pp. 27-8. 1981-2 received Canada Council A grant for sculpture and photography 174 spoke on on non-tenured housing at Oxford University Polytechnic in Oxford, England exhibited Squat Doc, phototextual documentation of squatting produced on 1977-78 trip Sailors Mission Gallery in London, the Cafe Reodoma in Amsterdam and the Bauhauf in West Berlin 1982 only take for granted was reprinted in artscanada in March 1982, pp. 126-7 1983 exhibited Sand Pile at V.A.G. inaugural exhibition in the new gallery Vancouver: Art and Artists 1931-1983 also exhibited Out of Site Out of Mind, sculpture with Squat Doc Carnegie Community Centre Gallery, Vancouver reviewed by Barb Daniel in Vanguard Dec. 1983, pp. 35-6. 1984 guest speaker on non-tenured housing, I.B.A. Conference, West Berlin exhibited Squat Doc at I.B.A. conference exhibited Berlin/South Bronx Transfer a transference and translation of squatter graffiti from Berlin to walls of the Fashion Moda Gallery, New York article by Rosemary Donegan in Border Lines Issue #3 1985 also exhibited Squat Doc at the V.A.G. 1985 stainless steel and plexiglass sculpture commmissioned by a West German consortium in Vancouver exhibited Squat Doc and documentation of Hornby Island house Piazza della taverna, Rome and Baucentrum, Rotterdam 1986 guest lecturer in sculpture and design at Emily Carr College of Art and Design 175 Art Director, British Columbia Pavilion, Expo '86 exhibited Sand Pile and the more recent sculpture Ewe Guise at Artists Resource Centre in Toronto and Eli Grin Gallery in Vancouver sculpture Bird and Frog in a Pool of Testosterone acquired for the V.A.G. permanent collection in 1986 reference to Hornby Island house by Charles Jencks in his book What is Post-Modernism? 1987-88 guest lecturer in sculpture and design in the Fine Arts Dept. at the University of Toronto 1988 exhibited Squat Doc at A.R.C. in Toronto exhibited the whole of Dialectical Totems sculpture based on images of animals and everyday objects, and using lead Isaacs Gallery in Toronto 1988-89 restored historic George Brown Mansion, cl875, in Toronto for Heritage Ontario and Parks Canada 1989 exhibited Bird and Frog in a Pool of Testosterone V.A.G. exhibited cement and wood sculpture Hurtig-Hornby Invitational 1990 exhibited Ozone Objects architectural paintings in pigmented polymer resin and glass fibre (similar to fibreglass) Artropolis 90 Vancouver's triannual warehouse show also exhibited Out of Site Out of Mind group show Housing a Right with Robin ColIyer and Janice Carbert at the Power Plant in Toronto also exhibited Ewe Guise sculpture in Shear Follies at The Durham Regional Gallery in London, Ontario also exhibited sculpture from 1983 to 1990 Dialectical Totems at the Cambridge Civic Art Gallery, Cambridge, Ontario 176 catalogue with exhibition notes by curators Mary Misner and Gordon Hatt, and Peter Culley Culley's essay Notes on Tom Burrows: Contradiction and Doubt originally published in Capilano Review Fall 1989 pp. 50-56 also exhibited Ozone Objects in group show An Interim Report with Robert Markle and Micheal Snow Isaacs Gallery, Toronto 1992 exhibited Ozone Objects Bystriansky Gallery, Toronto New Zones Gallery, Calgary Alexander Gallery, Vancouver 1993 exhibited the Blanket Statement series: fibreglass paintings based on Hudson's Bay blankets Artropolis '93 1994 exhibited Blanket Statements at the Canadian Embassy in Tokyo exhibited one Blanket Statement in the 25th anniversary group show at the Bau-Xi Gallery in Vancouver. Blanket Statement series was shown at the Bau-Xi, Toronto, as Works from the Tokyo Embassy Exhibition 1995 exhibited Ozone Object in Wall to Wall drawing show at the Or Gallery exhibited Hematoma--Black and Orange and Hematoma-- Black and Purple from polymer resin series, Hematomas group show Milieu: of the order of presentation monochromatic work by Canadian artists at the S.L. Simpson Gallery in Toronto exhibited Sand Pile in Vancouver 1967-1977: Contexts and Influences group show of works of this period from the V.A.G. collection Hematoma--Purple and Orange Shift bought by V.A.G. 177 APPENDIX 2 'Zen' and Other Asian Influences in the Art of Sixties Vancouver It was mainly the American 'beat' literature of the fifties and sixties--Jack Kerouac {Dharma Bums), Gary Snyder {Turtle Island), Alan Watts {This is It) and Alan Ginsberg {Howl)--that propagated the version of Zen Buddhism that circulated in Vancouver in the sixties, rather than the theosophy of Fred Varley,^ Jock MacDonald and Lawren Harris from the twenties, but both streams co-existed in sixties Vancouver. Alan Watts, who spent three days in Vancouver, was said by artist Jack Dale to have "something to do with the whole spirit of the West Coast at that time."^ The Black Mountain poets who spent time in Vancouver, Charles Olson and Robert Greeley, were understood to have been influenced by Zen. Ginsberg was also an important intermittent visitor to the city. Kerouac's book took place near the Canadian border; its subject, the poet Gary Snyder, worked as a fire lookout throughout the northwest, developing a "similar aesthetic complex of oriental philosophy and wilderness experience ... on both sides of the border,"^ updating Varley and MacDonald's theosophical interpretations of nature, and creating a contemporary 'oriental' perspective on nature. Vancouver artists developed direct relations with the east, even though American interpretations were compelling. Mary Morehart's notes for the 1965 Cosmic Breath exhibition are an example of this relationship. Asian art forms were interpreted as resources for Western artists to explore at that time: 178 The truth is that modern western art has come to a point where it meets the ancient Chinese tradition. Recent developments in western art, such as action painting and abstract expressionism, seem to be exploring for the first time ground which has long been familiar to the Chinese painter and calligrapher.* Certain 'West Coast patterns' of travelling and working in Japan were noted by David Thompson in 1968;^ Doris Shadbolt recognized the influence of the 'Orient' in terms of religion and philosophy at that time.^ Roy Kiyooka, a native speaker of Japanese from Moose Jaw, had made three trips to Japan before 1970. He produced StonedD Gloves, a series of photographs and poems, while on a sculpture commission for the Canadian pavilion in Osaka, Japan's 1970 world fair.'' Jack Wise researched Indian and Tibetan art on a six-month tour in 1966.^ Wise's Tibetan mandala-based paintings^ were ubiqitous, and lauded, throughout the sixties. His use of calligraphy was often compared to Seattle painter Mark Tobey's.^° Tobey's association with the B.C. art community connects twenties theosophy with Wise's version in the sixties: he stayed in Emily Carr's studio in Victoria while teaching art classes;^^ Wise was known to have modelled his work on Tobey's. Al Neil, who has squatted in Deep Cove since 1966,^^ brought art and an "eclectic blend of of theosophy, alchemy, kabbala, existentialism, tantra and Zen Buddhism" together in the mid- sixties.^^ Jeff Wall was even interested in Zen as a political philosophy in the late sixties; he believed that as [his] works approached invisibility, they aproached a condition of nothingness and nonpolarity that marked an end to dialectic tension. •'•'* 179 German artist Joseph Beuys, influential throughout the seventies, was a follower of theosophist Rudolf Steiner. Steiner, according to Beuys, apparently broke with the Theosophists because he believed that spiritual investigation must lead to world change, while the mission of Theosophy was inner-directed.^^ Beuys' preoccupations with nature can be related to his interest in Theosophy, although it is doubtful that it led other artists to its study. The interaction of Zen and Western European art, ongoing from the twenties, has been cyclical; predecessors are forgotten to venerate a new artist's staking out of the same territory. As late as 1979, Wise was said to have done much to consolidate the cross-fertilization of Eastern and Western systems of thought which is beginning to characterize the particular flavor of B.C.'s cultural consciousness,-^^ making it sound like this cross-fertilization was only beginning in 1979. But, such works as Lawren Harris' Atma Buddhi Manas of 1962, must have kept theosophic symbolism and forms in Vancouver eyes and minds until the period in which Burrows and Wise began to work. 180 1.Varley saw the importance of Vancouver's position on the Pacific Rim as early as the 1920's, advocating the fusing of Occident and Orient in an international art movement. Varley in letter to H.O. McCurry, 16 April 1934, File 7.1 - Varley, National Gallery of Canada Archives, qtd. in Bice, "Time, Place and People," 66 & 91. 2.Pinney, "Voices", Art and Artists 175. B.Robert Linsley, "Landscape and Literature in the Art of British Columbia," Vancouver: Representing the Postmodern City , ed. Paul Delaney (Vancouver: Arsenal Pulp Press, 1994): 197. 4.This exhibition combined the work of a contemporary California artist of Chinese extraction with "paintings... calligraphy and decorative arts... in traditional form from the People's Republic of China..." Dr. Mary Morehart, Professor, Dept. of Fine Arts at U.B.C., exhibition broadsheet. S.Thompson, "Canadian Scene 1" 157. e.Lorna Farell-Ward, "The Sixties: Alternating Currents," Art and Artists 135. 7.Joan Lowndes, "Photo and wood sculptures combine in life, death show," Vancouver Sun 21 Nov. 1970: n.p. 8.Burrows sublet Wise's apartment when Wise was on this tour. Burrows, telephone interview. Mar. 11, 1993. Apparently, Wise "travelled to Nepal to study with Tibetan refugee artists" according to Richard Simmins in his review of Wise's show Magic, Mandalas and Moods: "Strange worlds for mind to wander in," Province Sept. 1967. 9. Wise's use of Chinese symbologies is described as "challeng[ing] us with more esoteric meanings. There are, as always, the dragon births, the hexagrams of the Chinese Book of Changes." Vancouver Sun 25 Nov. 1992. The headline for a 1967 review by Ann Rosenberg is even clearer: "Jack Wise finds in the philosophy of the east the mysticism he needs to create a trend as an Artist." Vancouver Sun 15 Sept. 1967. 10.Andrew Scott, "Visual Arts: Jack Wise," Arts West April 1979: 19; and Rosenberg, "Jack Wise...". Wise was directly influenced by Tobey, according to Burrows, telephone interview, June 8, 1996. 11."Chronology", Art and Artists 341. 12.Brown, 79. 181 13.Burrows attributed Neil with leadership in this area in his Mar. 11, 1993 interview. Also, Gloria Davies, "Elder of the avant-garde," Vancouver Sun 27 Mar. 1993, C4. 14.Watson, "Discovering..." 251. IS.Temkin, 13. 16.Scott, 18. 182 APPENDIX 3 THE BATTLE OVER THE MUDFLATS I think in terms of some kind of international fine art network and I live in the midst of pleasure fairs.^ Tom Burrows, 1977 Burrows' court battle over the mudflats, resulting in the bulldozing of his and other shacks, was precipitated by the 'Grosvenor Plan', which included a multi-purpose town centre with apartment blocks, marina, shopping centre, hotels, theatres, office buildings, and other amenities.^ It met with overwhelming opposition from residents of North Vancouver^ and planning authorities* after its appearance in the fall of 1970,^ due its scale in area and density, its environmental impact, and its lack of respect for the Burrard Band's territory and economy.^ The only complaints by residents about the squatters that would be displaced by the development seem to have been made by the districts' bureaucrats: the land was owned by L & K Lumber and the National Harbours Board, who expressed no objections to squatting. The lumber company was forced to evict the squatters on instructions from the municipality^ because of purported "unsanitary conditions," but their willingness to sell the land to the district for development indicates their economic interests in clearing the squats. The charges of unsanitary conditions were trumped up, according to several newspaper reports, such as Robert Sartie's article "Sun Investigation 183 Finds: Mud Flats no Shanty Town,", which described: two and three storey homes, fashioned with proper beams and covered by shakes or shingles. Light pour[ing] into the high-ceiling rooms paned with glass. The rooms have all the usual furniture. Four of the nine houses have electricity supplied by B.C. Hydro to run their fridges, radios and lights. All have cold water piped in from a nearby well. For sanitation, the inhabitants use lime pots which convert sewage into compost.^ Another reporter, James Spears, noted the cleanliness of the flats despite the lack of sewage outlets or garbage collection service.^ This fusion of architecture, appreciated by some architects (an architect seen taking picture of the mudflats houses said it was the last interesting architecture left in this area^°), everyday life and eco-sensitivity was an affront to the ideologies of consumption and taxation, and the squatters were evicted even though the development was postponed. The issue for one Alderman was that squatters should be required to conform as ratepayers of the district. Therefore, this battle over the right of squatters to squat was ideologically based, with the North Vancouver district councillors the mouthpieces for a capitalist enterprise in which virtually no-one was interested. The plan was shelved due to the criticism it received; a new one appeared to take its place in the spring of 1972,^^ but nothing came of it, and the area is now mostly a permanent sanctuary for wildbirds. North Vancouver district council designated the Maplewood flats for conservation in its official community plan in April 1990, after another battle with residents angry with council's plan to designate the land as multi-use.-"-̂ Burrows' legal contestation of this development was covered in 184 several newspaper articles, as well as documented in his contribution to the Self-Help Squatting article in Architectural Design:^^ "Squatter Trial set for Nov. 3,"" in which he is named as one of the squatters charged with trespassing, and "Squatters lose Supreme Court Case."^^ 185


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