Thursday, July 21, 2011

Nostalgia’s Weathered Charge

With the re-release of Vancouver Anthology, Stan Douglas is at ease abandoning himself to an equivalent mechanism. This is because he does not, or cannot, expand his project to encompass the present.
Instead, the possibilities of Vancouver’s past are locked into just another historical account, at times too scattered in its own right. At best, Douglas’ afterword is lazy; at worst, it is capitulation to the culture machine named “Vancouver.” As the VAG rallies us all to march further east with its building in-tow, certainly the project of neoliberalism is not over, and a language is needed to articulate this
fact. Douglas’ negligence transforms the book into just another valorization of our world, when it was once positioned differently. An apparent nostalgia for Operation Solidarity and its surrounding
practices are not necessarily regressive, as one might claim. Nostalgia here could also be envisioned as a powder keg laid at the threshold of the present, whose weathered charge, only requires a courageous match to throw down the door of the old order, forcing us to encounter the alternative located in our own eternal present.