Inside Douglas Coupland: art, chaos, lots of Lego at Vancouver Art Gallery

Douglas Coupland has been collecting the stuff for years: toy guns, adding machines, little astronaut figures, tiny cribs and toilets, a giant molar, a punching bag. They came from Craigslist, dumpsters, garage sales, eBay. Now gathered in an enormous installation – white items on white shelves; colourful trinkets on black shelves; a precarious Tower of Babel constructed with children’s blocks; odes to Japan, Germany, Coupland’s childhood piano teacher and what he calls “hillbilly culture” – they have become a depiction of Coupland’s brain: a fascinating, cluttered mess that is both tempered and augmented by distraction.

“[The show] really is, in kind of like a John Malkovich way, being inside my own head,” Coupland told The Globe and Mail, as he sat perched next to an installation of three enormous Tide, Downy and Pennzoil bottles.


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