Douglas Coupland’s Canada House

Douglas Coupland, Canada House, photo by Martin Tessler

Douglas Coupland's Canada House, photos by Martin Tessler

The writer Douglas Coupland (“Generation X”), who has been interested in Canadiana for a long time, recently went about finding a classic 70s “builder’s special” house slated for demolition, filled it with objects constructed from the Canadian paraphernalia of his childhood, and then staged a party in it. He called the sprawling art installation “Canada House” and its eccentrically decorated rooms contained numerous sculptures assembled from items that only Canadians would really fully understand. Coupland’s Canadiana is not really the hunting lodge/maple syrup Canadiana of the East, but a specifically West Coast version referencing the ocean and all other things British Columbian. It’s a lesser known fact that Coupland had a career as an artist before he became a writer, graduating from the Emily Carr College of Art and Design in Vancouver where he grew up. Coupland’s interest in Canadiana, a lot of it quite odd, first appeared in his two books “Souvenir¬† of Canada.” The book and his “Canada House” installation spawned a recent film called Souvenir of Canada in which the entire process described above is documented. It’s a strange combination of dispassionate irony and deeply personal nostalgia. An interesting CBC review is here. These fantastic photos were shot by well-known Vancouver photographer Martin Tessler who has also shot covers for Metropolitan Home and many other shelter magazines. Photos, in order: fishing float lamps; whale vertebrae made from styrofoam jetsam; mussel shell midden; Haida button blanket.

Douglas Coupland Canada House/Souvenir of Canada, photo by Martin Tessler

Douglas Coupland Canada House/Souvenir of Canada, photo by Martin Tessler

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One Response to “Douglas Coupland’s Canada House”

  1. Gwen Plunkett Says:

    Love it!

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