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Trans Canada Hutch

Douglas Coupland2013

Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Art Gallery

"Trans Canada Hutch... is an effecting paean to athlete Terry Fox. Having covered 5,373 kilometers in 143 days, Fox ended his run to raise awareness and funds to cure cancer on 1 September 1980, just outside of Thunder Bay. Made out of simulated highway signs from northern Ontario (with their signature rounded corners, green backgrounds and white lettering) Coupland's oblong box serves as a base for a replica of Fox's left leg which was accidentally mirrored in a CAD program and subsequantly milled out of foam. A consequence of a computer error, the perfect inverted copy of Fox's leg is an unexpected, unsettling, but ultimately magical, object. Reminiscent of a fragment of an ancient Greek sculpture of some fallen hero, Coupland's inclusion of the computer modelled copy of the runner's healthy limb in the Trans Canada Hutch raises the termporally challenging speculation that Fox would most likely have survived his illness with the advances in cancer research made possible through the monies he raised in his 'Marathon of Hope'." —excerpt from Michael Prokopow's essay, "Coupland's True North Strong and Free," included in the catalogue that accompanied the exhibition Douglas Coupland: everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything, published in 2014 by Black Dog Publishing and the Vancouver Art Gallery.

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: Trans Canada Hutch
  • Creator: Douglas Coupland
  • Date: 2013
  • Physical Dimensions: w152.4 x h204.7 x d45.7 cm
  • Exhibition section: Secret Handshake
  • Credit line: Courtesy of the Artist and Daniel Faria Gallery
  • Type: sculpture
  • Medium: plywood, steel, acrylic, high density urethane foam

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