I have a chapter in the recently-published book Canadian Critical Luxury Studies: Decentering Luxury (Intellect, 2022), edited by Jessica Clark and Nigel Lezama. The book is the first study of Canada’s historical, economic and cultural relationship to luxury. From the fur trade to Indigenous resurgence, Eaton’s Made-in-Canada campaign to Toronto Fashion Week, Vancouver public artworks to Montréal’s fashiontech sector, this collection explains what makes Canadian luxury.
In my chapter, “Vancouver’s Monuments to Capital: Public Art, Spatial Capital and Luxury,” I perform material analyses of Douglas Coupland’s Digital Orca (2009)and Ken Lum’s Monument for East Vancouver (2010), two public artworks that emerged out of funding initiatives related to Vancouver’s successful bid to host the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games. Given that public artworks have a unique relationship to their viewership and as such necessitate a different interpretive perspective and framework than other forms of art, I closely consider the spatial and historical contexts for the artworks’ commissions, and explore how they have contributed to the construction of space during a dramatic period of commerce-led development that transformed the city.