TerrisVIVA Reece Terris, Ought Apartment, 2009. Photo: Rachel Topham.

Reece Terris


Chosen by: David Allison, member of the Gallery Acquisition Committee

“This installation piece, which filled the rotunda at the art gallery from the main floor all the way up to the peak of the dome, was one of the most engaging things I’ve seen, anywhere, at any gallery. It was jaw-droppingly attractive and cajoled me to visit and view the work over and over again.

Why? So many reasons:

  • the herculean effort required to collect the historically accurate artifacts from residential demolition sites;
  • the re-assembly of the component parts into decade-specific apartments, stacked on top of each other in the Gallery, like some kind of archeological excavation revealed to public eyes;
  • the way it played with memory, forcing deeply personal flashbacks and ‘remember when’ moments, projecting the viewer through time;
  • the raw interactivity of the people walking through the artwork and completing it, making it more than a series of empty spaces;
  • the ability of the piece to speak to casual gallery flaneurs and serious students of art theory simultaneously;
  • and, for me, the perfect wry irony of creating art in Vancouver using the bricks and mortar and drywall and chipboard that so many in Vancouver spend so much trying to wrestle a living out of in one form or another, myself included.


Isn’t the building of apartments, with cultural cues that make them exude desirability, the civic artwork of Vancouver?”


Reece Terris, Ought Apartment, installation view. Photo: Rachel Topham. Reece Terris’ Ought Apartment was on exhibit at the Gallery from May 6 to September 20, 2009 as part of the Gallery’s ongoing NEXT series. The Gallery holds floor plans of the Ought Apartment in its permanent collection. Floor plan photographs were purchased with the support of the Canada Council for the Arts Acquisitions Assistance program and funds provided by the Acquisitions Committee.

David Allison is a member of the Gallery’s Acquisition Committee, and one of thousands of people who follows the Gallery on Facebook. David Allison and Chris Nicholson have donated American Standard, an earlier work by Reece Terris, to the permanent collection of the Vancouver Art Gallery as a promised gift.

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