What do we do when a person, object or culture changes or disappears? History is defined as “acts, ideas or events that shape the course of the future.” What do we perceive and remember in order to enact that future?
This video adorns Mount Pleasant’s new skyscraper, using marks made by an artist from the neighbourhood’s first tower, one block away. Regan O’Connor (1952-2017) was a painter, MFA graduate of Concordia University, and 15-year preparator at the Vancouver Art Gallery. Before and after each day constructing installations of artists’ work, he sat at his window and took thousands of photographs of the views outside. These expansive vistas he likened to Pierre Bonnard’s “composition around an empty space.”
Artist Sally Buck grouped selections of his photos into passages – short visual stories with various emphases and rhythms. Looking through the eyes of a Lee Building dweller at the weather systems outside and the built and natural forms, this video transfers the act of watching from indoors through upper-storey glass windows to viewing a mediated screen of the future from the street.
Object Permanence refers to a skill we learn as children. With it, we know that an object exists – even if we look away or if it’s hidden. This video refers to our ability to remember what’s no longer there, to question the ways memory is represented, to embody change through media, and to collaborate artistically through time and place.
Sally Buck’s photographs and photo-collages have been shown in Canada and the US, Europe, and with Vancouver’s Capture Photography Festival. She’s interested in social justice and the street – portraying the pictorial and social dynamism between people, purpose, art, and architecture. With degrees in Art History and Visual and Performing Arts in Education, she teaches at museums and universities in Canada. She and photographer Kent Lins created VanGalleries and VanGalleries Press, alternative opportunities for artists.
Regan O’Connor (1952-2017) was a painter, draftsperson, collagist, builder, preparator and photographer. He re-purposed many sites for artistic use, including Woodwards for Artropolis ’93, and a Montreal bank for Guido Molinari’s painting studio. After earning an MFA in painting at Concordia University he exhibited and taught widely in Quebec, Ontario and BC. His last 15 years saw an emergence of his photography, and he installed hundreds of world-class exhibitions at the Vancouver Art Gallery.