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FLQ Hutch

Douglas Coupland2013

Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Art Gallery

"The FLQ Hutch is a piece of furniture based on all the misinformation about Quebec I had growing up. I remember driving from Ottawa into the Gatineau with my parents around the age of eight, and the moment you crossed the border all the houses were these strange colours. I asked: "why do they paint their houses such weird colours?" And my mother said: "Oh that's because they ship all the mis-tints to Quebec." And then you get an inkling of what Quebec was like in the 40s or 50s. Then there was the FLQ Crisis. Back when the FLQ were blowing up mailboxes both of my aunts lived within one block of a blown up mailbox, and it was something that the whole family looked at and said 'things are changing here.' And then the FLQ killed Pierre Laporte. In school we were all taken into the gymnasium and there was a tiny little tv, it was black and white but from a distance it looked blue. And we all had to sit there and watch the funeral, but we weren't told what it was. My two brothers were in the room that day and we've talked about it, we didn't know what was going on. It was like worshipping this lone blue object. It took years before we figured out what it was." —Douglas Coupland, speaking in the audio guide app that accompanied the Vanouver Art Galley exhibition Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything.

Through a wide range of media including assemblage, installation, painting, photography, sculpture and quilts, Coupland has persistently investigated Canadian cultural identity, both benign and menacing. Using imagery and objects latent with symbolic meaning for Canadians, he delineates what it means to be Canadian, offering a “secret handshake” not easily understood by others.

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  • Title: FLQ Hutch
  • Creator: Douglas Coupland
  • Date: 2013
  • Physical Dimensions: w183 x h207.6 x d55.2 cm
  • Exhibition section: Secret Handshake
  • Credit line: Courtesy of the Artist and Daniel Faria Gallery
  • Type: sculpture
  • Medium: plywood, steel, mistinted paint, vintage enamel coated metal door handles

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