David Wisdom, Mudflats House 1, Dollarton, 1971

David Wisdom: Vancouver 1970 – 1975

May 17 – August 29, 2009
Teck Gallery

A new exhibition by Vancouver-based broadcaster David Wisdom offers locals as well as summer visitors an extraordinary glimpse of the pre-history of today’s Vancouver. Drawn from his personal archive of thousands of slides shot in the first half of the 1970s, the 30 prints in this show reveal Vancouver’s strange beauty prior to the economic expansion that occurred with the ‘this town was ripe for the picking’ realization of the early 1980s.

These pictures began their public life in a series of “slide festivals” held each year from 1969 to 1979 with participants including Ian Wallace, Rodney Graham, and Jeff Wall, among many others; by the time of the last slide show in 1979 the four of them were among the members of the legendary rock band the UJ3RK5.

Wisdom worked in colour at a time when 99% of street photographers worldwide worked in black and white. He realized that the scene one sees from the street is as important as any “street theatre” that one might find in the street. For those working in colour, shooting slides rather than colour negative film was common in the 1970s; Fred Herzog, who is now famous as a key recorder of the Vancouver scene from 1955 to the present, was working almost exclusively in slide film for that entire time.

This is the first exhibition of David Wisdom’s photographs in print form. David Wisdom is a well-known member of the Vancouver art scene and is also known for his 30 years of broadcasting on CBC Radio with shows such as Nightlines, RadioSonic, and Pearls of Wisdom, which he hosted until 2007.

Curated by Bill Jeffries.


Artist talks & ‘slide’ shows
Friday, June 5 and Friday June 12, 2009, 7pm
Room 1600, Harbour Centre, 515 West Hastings Street

Reception for the artist
After the June 5. 2009 talk, SFU Teck Gallery