Book Launch

Vancouver Anthology Second Edition Launch

July 16, 2011

“Vancouver Anthology was a revelation when I first read it and remains an essential and inspiring document twenty years later. It is a model of how histories can be generated from the still-living past and forwarded as a guide to the future. Each of these essays is evidence of original and independent thinking by artists and writers who have worked at the heart of the Vancouver scene. It is first-rate and first-hand art history.” – Ian Wallace, artist


“This book is required reading for those wishing to grasp why art in Vancouver is bent in certain directions but not others.” – John O’Brian, Professor of Art History, University of British Columbia


Twenty years after the publication of its first edition, the Or Gallery is pleased to announce the launch of the second edition Vancouver Anthology, edited by acclaimed Vancouver artist Stan Douglas.


The essays collected in this book were first presented in the autumn of 1990 as part of a lecture series entitled Vancouver Anthology: Lectures on Art in British Columbia, a forum in which each contributing writer could test his or her research on the question of art and politics in public, before their papers were sent to print. The papers documented a range of Vancouver cultural practices, including the emergence of artist-run centres, experimental performance and video, feminist activity, collaboration, sculpture, painting, art criticism, conceptual art and landscape, as well as critical reflections on perceptions of aboriginal cultures.


Vancouver Anthology has been out of print for several years. Earlier attempts to reprint the book were thwarted due to lost or destroyed design files and production films. In the absence of a second printing, scarcity and high-demand drove up prices for existing volumes, making the book unaffordable to artists and to students in particular. The new edition, which has been over two years in production, was recreated using early text files of the essays and by sourcing and re-scanning images from their original negatives and transparencies. A new design by Derek Barnett pays tribute to Douglas’s 1991 original, yet provides the opportunity to move to a larger hardcover format. Most significantly, the second edition features a new afterword by Douglas, reflecting on sociopolitical changes since the anthology’s beginnings in 1990.


Essays in the book include: A Particular History: Artist-Run Centres in Vancouver by Keith Wallace; Daring Documents: The Practical Aesthetics of Early Vancouver Video by Sara Diamond; Expanded Consciousness and Company Types: Collaboration Since Intermedia and the N.E. Thing Company by Nancy Shaw; Independent Film After Structuralism: Hybrid Experimental Narrative and Documentary by Maria Insell; Some Are Weather-Wise; Some Otherwise: Criticism and Vancouver by William Wood; A Working Chronology of Feminist Cultural Activities and Events in Vancouver: 1970–1990 by Carol Williams; Sculpture and the Sculptural in Halifax and Vancouver by Robin Peck; Painting and the Social History of British Columbia by Robert Linsley; Discovering the Defeatured Landscape by Scott Watson; and Construction of the Imaginary Indian by Marcia Crosby.


Vancouver Anthology is co-published by the Or Gallery and Talonbooks, Vancouver. Printing and production of the second edition project was generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, Vancouver Cultural Olympiad, British Columbia Arts Council, and the Audain Foundation for the Visual Arts in British Columbia.


Vancouver Anthology may be purchased online here:

Related Publication

Vancouver Anthology (2nd ed.)