Generation X

Douglas Coupland2005

Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Art Gallery
Vancouver, Canada

These delicate sculptures were created from pages of Coupland's books, chewed by the artist until the paper was reduced to pulp. The pulp was dried out, the pages gently peeled open, and the fragments restructured into sculptures that mimic hornet’s nests. In using cultural tomes to construct works that recall “natural” objects, Coupland calls attention to the dissonance between cultural and evolutionary time, highlighting the fragility and transience of the former. In this work, the artist has literally eaten his words from the context in which they were so carefully placed. His actions question: what is a word, what is a book, how long do they last and how do ideas get reshaped into others?

As a writer and visual artist, Coupland has often disregarded the traditional divide between these disciplines. Using letters, words and books as material and content for his art, Coupland harnesses the power of language in the visual realm.

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  • Title: Generation X
  • Creator: Douglas Coupland
  • Date: 2005
  • Physical Dimensions: w32 x h21 x d29.5 cm
  • Exhibition section: Words Into Objects
  • Credit line: Private Collection
  • Type: sculpture
  • Medium: chewed up book, magnolia branch