Glenda Bartosh

freelance writer, editor, artist

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Potential for ... Demolition

collage: mixed media; bricks: laser cut millboard

Tremendous Potential for... Demolition is a multi-valence art project literally based on the proposed demolition of a heritage-registered building in Vancouver’s national historic district of Gastown. It is a provocative meditation on a problem confounding everyone from professional planners to concerned residents. With skyrocketing land values, we are witnessing the rampant demolition of buildings that have anchored the narratives of our neighbourhoods and streets for decades. Around 1,000 buildings are demolished in Vancouver each year; one 2,000-sq-ft home alone can generate up to 150 tons of trash.

Copyright Glenda Bartosh

The grounds for the collages are pages literally ripped from a developer’s prospectus booklet for an actual proposal in Gastown to demolish a heritage building and build a replica of the same building in its place. The “bricks” — called Past Cards with messages about waste and heritage — have been made as actual postcards that can be taken off the wall and mailed or otherwise shared, effectively demolishing the art piece.

The title is taken from an actual real estate listing for the sale of a beautiful, 4,000-square foot Edwardian home on Vancouver’s tony west side: list price $3.5 million.