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Douglas Coupland: An Interview with Daniel Faria

March 15th, 2015



Curator, Daniel Faria, spoke to us about Douglas Coupland's latest exhibition, Our Modern World. In this show, Coupland explores three series of work: Deep Face, Trash Vortex, and The MonteCristo. The well-known West Vancouver novelist and artist expresses his ideas of the contemporary popular culture and technological trends through brightly coloured prints, and archival collages. This show runs concurrently with Douglas Coupland’s retrospective, everywhere is anywhere is anything is everything, at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA), and is currently on display at the Daniel Faria Gallery until March 21st, 2015.


Daniel Faria talks about what it's like working with Douglas Coupland, and why his work is still so important to contemporary art in Canada. 




Judy Zhong: What is it like working with Douglas Coupland, one of our country's most celebrated artists?


Daniel Faria: I’ve worked with Doug for over a decade, and it’s been a thrilling ride to see the evolution of Doug, the artist. In the beginning people didn’t realize he had actually gone to art school and had museum shows before he turned to writing and found extreme success. In that time, we’ve become dear friends. Working with Doug is always exciting because you never know what will come next. Watching his process and his thinking develop is inspiring. I can sometimes also predict what type of work will come next, such as the MonteCristo collages. I knew that after working on the large VAG exhibition, he would need to do something small and go back to basics. And we’re showing that work now.



JZ: I noticed you didn't show all of the pieces of Trash Vortex. How do you choose which pieces to show and which to hold back? Is this a collaborative decision with the artist?


DF: Doug has worked with Globes, and various found objects, for quite some time. We showed a series of Globes at ABC Berlin in September and that series was titled Optimism vs. Pessimism. This new series is slightly different and we’re showing all of the Globes that belong to this particular body of work.



JZ: Douglas Coupland has been a social/cultural commentator since the early 90's and has written countless iconic novels, such as Generation X, and created significant visual works. Today, his style and theme have not changed much. Why do you think people are still paying attention to his work?


DF: People are still paying attention because what he’s talking about is still relevant. Technology keeps changing, accelerating, and his work comments on these changes. His new series Deep Faces speak about Facebook Facial Recognition, a new software being developed by Facebook. It’s timely. He continues to be timely as well as working with grand themes that go beyond specific time.



JZ: Why do you think Douglas Coupland has become such a phenomenon?


DF: Doug has a new unique voice and a special way of looking at our world. There are many layers to his work so you can read it for surface or go deeper for multiple layers. He connects with people and he understands Pop Art so that work is accessible in a very smart and clever way. And, if you’ve ever met Doug, he is the most generous and kind person. You can’t help but fall under his charm.


Installation view, Daniel Faria Gallery, 2015

Installation view, Daniel Faria Gallery, 2015

MonteCristo, Coupland, Daniel Faria Gallery 2015

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