Andrew Sharpe


  • Up and Down: Downtown Eastside Architecture

    March 15–April 19, 2003

    Arni Haraldsson’s photographs of buildings in the Downtown Eastside show us that to understand this neighbourhood and its politics and its fate, you must understand architecture. Shot from public and private spaces with the aid of local residents, these photographs show us a neighbourhood we didn’t know existed: a beautiful and stately procession of century-old hotels. Landmarks like the Carnegie, the Empress, and the Regal are given their due, and that staple of film noir, the alley, is provided for our edification. But this exhibition does not shy away from the seamier side of the DES, and grimy gated condos are shown in all their tired gentrification chic. Accompanying the exhibition will be a set of postcards, with Haraldsson’s photographs on one side and texts ­ imaginary messages ­by Burnham, on the other side. Taking on the voices of various DESers ­from tourists and the police to activists and residents, artists and workers—­these messages explicitly connect Haraldsson’s imagery with the social context of the neighbourhood: the language of architecture and the architecture of language.

    Born in Iceland and based in Vancouver since 1979, Arni Haraldsson has been exhibiting his work nationally and internationally since the the mid-1980s. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia in 1990, and currently teaches at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Since the late-1980s, ths scope of Haraldsson’s photographic work has expanded from an exploration of the lost aspirations of the utopian principle of modernism to an emphasis on the design and social life of the city. His interest in the city as subject centres on the the notion of urban space as a type of monad which encapsulates the characteristic features of the social and economic structure of our present age.

    Clint Burnham was born in Comox in 1962 and has lived in Vancouver since 1995. He teaches at UBC and Emily Carr. His work includes a collection of short stories, Airborne Photo, a work of theory, The Jamesonian Unconscious, a book of poetry, Buddyland, and the performance installation (with Mark Laba) Cop Puppet, which was at Artspeak gallery in 1999. For three years Clint was academic coordinator of the Humanities 101 program, a liberal arts introduction at UBC for low-income students; he has also taught poetry classes with the Carnegie street program, a humanities program with the Elizabeth Fry society in New Westminster, and a creative writing class for seniors on Commercial Drive. He is currently at work on a book about Vancouver photo-conceptual art, in which he locates the critical aesthetics of the Vancouver school in terms of local social, geographic, and historical conditions, rather than international art & theory.

    All works courtesy of the artist and Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver.

    anarchive 22

    anarchive presents a selection of intriguing objects, catalogues, publications and artists’ books from our archive collection, investigating the relationship between visual art and writing.


    Bellerby, Greg, ed. Vertical Cities, Vancouver: Charles H. Scott Gallery, 1999.

    Burnham, Clint, “Postmodernism is the Theory, Gentrification is the Practice: Jameson, Haraldsson, Architecture, and Vancouver”, Jameson Reader. Homer, Sean and Kellner, Douglas, ed., London: Palgrave, 2003.

    Brydon, Anne, at first sight: Arni Haraldsson, London: London Regional Art and Historical Museums, 1997.

    Kleyn, Robert, Beneath the Paving Stones, Vancouver: Charles H. Scott Gallery, 1993.

    Lawlor, Michael Christopher, Social Complex, Fredericton: Gallery Connexion, 1988.

    Ritchie, Christina, Arni Haraldsson: Firminy, Vancouver: Contemporary Art Gallery, 2001.

    Simon, Cheryl, “Arni Runar Haraldsson”, The Zone of Conventional Practice and Other Real Stories / À Propos de Conventions et Autres Fictions, Montréal: Optica, 1989, p. 211-222.

    Postscript 07: Andrew Sharpe and Kyla Mallett on Up and Down: Downtown Eastside Architecture (PDF)

Talks & Events

  • Book Launch/Talk

    March 28, 2003

    Artspeak is pleased to host the book launch of Up & Down: Downtown Eastside Architecture, a publication produced in conjunction with Arni Haraldsson’s exhibition at Artspeak from March 15th to April 19th, 2003. In celebration of the publication launch, Clint Burnham is giving a talk regarding Haraldsson’s work and book.