A while back, I posted some photos of ‘Zones of Immersion’, Stuart Reid’s art installation at Union Station. Now that it is completed, I decided to revisit it. There has been some talk about how depressing it is.
I’ll let you decide whether it is depressing or not.
If you are on the ‘northbound to Finch’ platform you get a clear view of all the panels.
If you are on the ‘northbound to Downsview’ platform you can only see some of the glass panels.
I’ve now been back a number of times and this is what I saw:
1) Of the figures with discernible gender, 12 or 13 were male.
2) The males are of different ages and shapes.
3) The number of females outnumber males by at least 2:1.
4) Almost all (or even all?) of the women are young. They are all thin, if not gaunt.
5) There is one child…. with a finger up his/her nose.
6) Only two or three figures are smiling.
“the way we settle into a seat
the way we stretch when the train is empty
and retract as it fills
the way we deflect a glance and simultaneously present
language of the body claiming, relinquishing and balancing
personal space in the interstitial realm
halfway between the worlds of here and there”
The panels that can be seen on the ‘northbound to Downsview’ platform are seen as the reverse of those viewed from the other platform.
“slicing through the clay of the earth’s first skin
steel rails and electric lines
going from going to
slicing through time and distance
darkness and light
station by station
releasing us into the city’s fabric
stop by stop
after a days labour
taking us home”
(added in October) I got off the subway at Union Station today. There were three guys in front of me. One of them stopped and pointed to the nearest painting which happened to be the one above. As he pointed he said “See what I mean, if that doesn’t make you want to jump… “.
I’m happy to be corrected if you can prove me wrong.