"I still think the social function of art is that kind of negative aesthetic. Otherwise there’s no social function for it."
About the artist
Stan Douglas was born in Vancouver in 1960. He reenacts historical moments of tension that connect local histories to broader social movements of struggle and utopian aspiration. In the artist’s intricate works, time and place fold back onto themselves to create a parallax of both vision and narrative: multiple moments in history and geography are experienced by the viewer simultaneously and reconciled into a new story. The artist’s hometown of Vancouver often serves as inspiration for research into transitional periods—the raucous early twentieth century, the noirish aftermath of World War II, the revolutionary and libertine 1970s—while Douglas’s investigations take him around the globe to explore moments of crisis and change in Cuba, Detroit, Berlin, Paris, New York, Lisbon, and Angola, among others. Working at the forefront of new media technologies, Douglas’s works have taken the form of mobile apps, virtual reality simulations, live cinema, theatrical productions, and multi-channel video installations where the narrative alters continuously through recombinant editing software. Douglas also produces photographs with the period detail and staging of a feature film director, freezing both reenactments and imagined scenes from the past in sumptuous color and rich black and white.
Stan Douglas attended Emily Carr College of Art + Design (BFA, 1982). Douglas’s awards and residencies include the Hasselblad Foundation International Award in Photography (2016), Scotiabank Photography Award (2015), ICP Infinity Award (2012), Honorary Doctoral Degree from Emily Carr University of Art + Design (2009), Documenta Arnold Bode Prize (2001), Gershon Iskowitz Prize (1999), and a DAAD Scholarship (1994-95). Douglas has had major exhibitions at Wiels Centre d’Art Contemporain, Brussels (2015); Brooklyn Academy of Music (2015); Haus der Kunst, Munich (2014); The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh (2014); Minneapolis Institute of Arts (2012); The Power Plant, Toronto (2011); Documenta (2002, 1997, 1992); and the Venice Biennale (2005, 1999, 1990), among others. Stan Douglas lives and works in Vancouver, BC, Canada.