The Raven and the First Men, Bill Reid
The next day, Jeff and Susan went to see a BC Lions game, so Steven took Sylvia and me on a short tour of the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia. I enjoyed the current exhibit, Border Zones: New Art Across Cultures, particularly a simple but shockingly effective short film depicting the stark reality of an industrial landfill. The film is a simple loop, about twenty minutes long, of train cars rolling past the dump, debris being added to the dump, and a crane shifting refuse back and forth. The bleak desolation, the lack of any life or humanity, paints a very effective portrait of the hidden costs of our industrial society. Even the nuclear-blasted apocalyptic landscape of James Cameron's Terminator films looks more appealing than this glimpse of an ugly reality most people never see or even consider.
That's the thing about art; it reveals truths, creates truths, questions truths - all in the hopes of helping humanity understand itself and the world around us. Our weekend in Vancouver reminded me that even though I'll never be an artist, I still benefit tremendously from the creativity of the people all around me - my friend Jeff, my cousin Keith, the clever creators of Star Trek: Chains of Betrayal, the artists ancient and modern featured at the Museum of Anthropology, and the millions of other artists around the world who are generous enough to share their talents with the rest of us.
Jeff, Susan, Steven, Keith - thanks for an inspiring weekend.