Inarticulate Vanity

by Zbigniew



A Vancouver House advert from Vanity Fair, July 2014.

A discordant agglomeration of text, images and tropes. What’s going on here?

Vancouver House, yet there’s no Vancouver, just a house -which isn’t a house, really.

“Canada’s first super prime real estate,” as opposed to sub-prime.

“A Total Work of Art,” but as Andy Warhol observed, people in Vancouver don’t but art. They do, however, buy property: so, property entrolloped as art to civilize/sucker the local philistines?

But with one local and five international sales offices, this isn’t really being sold to Vancouverites.

And how about those offices: London, Toronto, Vancouver, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing -the latest manifestation, the echo, of a 19th century British Foreign Secretary’s imperialist dream.

“Reserve your interest” meaning “get in line” or “return on investment”? Both, maybe.

And then there’s the accompanying photo of architect Bjarke Ingels -of the modestly entitled Bjarke Ingels Group- looking as if he just received a text informing him of the untimely demise of a pet. The caption suggests the photograph was taken on Vancouver’s seawall in front of Vancouver House -a physical impossibility, as the thing doesn’t -as yet- exist.

What does it all mean?

Perhaps the last dribs of text are a clue, the words that read like the subliterate expression of a hulking brute in the midst of a destructive frenzy, or -perhaps, suffering serious insecurity: Westbank BIG.