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Coupland’s Museum of the Rapture, 2012, by Douglas Coupland
Coupland’s Museum of the Rapture, 2012, by Douglas Coupland

Douglas Coupland’s favourite apocalyptic place in Toronto Add to ...

The Globe asked three artists contributing to the apocalypse-themed Nuit Blanche exhibition at City Hall some end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it questions.

Douglas Coupland

 

What harbingers of the end of the world do you discern in

everyday life?

The thing about the end of the world is that not just the West collapses, the whole world does. So one needs to look at global issues rather than regionalized boutique trends. The overabundance and hyper-democratization of information is, if not a harbinger, certainly a precursor to whatever shoe could be about to drop.

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Is there a place in Toronto you find inspiring, apocalyptically speaking?

An old boss of mine was an engineer and in the late eighties I asked him what would happen if a 747 were to slam into the middle of the CN Tower and he got furious at me, saying I was stupid for even asking because it simply could not happen. So, since then, the tower has been rather charged in my mind.

 

If you could rescue an art work from the end of the world, what would it be?

Wikipedia.

Christine Davis

 

What harbingers of the end of the world do you discern in

everyday life?

Twitter! Not really – but I do worry about the tendency to never fully be where one is any more. Not to be able to inhabit a time and space with physical presence is kind of numbing.

 

Is there a place in Toronto you find inspiring, apocalyptically speaking?

The Eaton Centre – now that is the apocalypse. I like it, as it feels like being inside a kaleidoscope, all that dismembered movement made by noise and light, super-connected and disconnected from everything at the same time.

 

If you could rescue an art work from the end of the world, what would it be?

I would want to save the entire Family of Man exhibition that Edward Steichen put together [for the Museum of Modern Art in 1955]. It has a nuclear mushroom cloud at the centre and I was thinking about that a lot while making World Without Sun [Ms. Davis’s Nuit Blanche project]. A copy of Chris Marker’s film La jetée [1962] would be wonderful, too.

An Te Liu

 

What harbingers of the end of the world do you discern in

everyday life?

For many people, myself included, the end of the world is happening all the time! It is a form of criticality that paradoxically gives us hope for change and improvement.

 

Is there a place in Toronto you find inspiring, apocalyptically speaking?

Driving up Dufferin Street always strikes me as particularly grim. But, as in other parts of the city and as in nature, vital forms of life can thrive in hostile environs.

 

If you could rescue an art work from the end of the world, what would it be?

Bach’s Brandenburg Concertos. But these have already been sent to outer space on the Voyager probe so, hopefully, they’ll be safe if just our world ends.

 

These interviews have been condensed and edited.

 

 

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