July 9, 2011
by Canadian Architect
A new website created by the Vancouver Art Gallery gives visitors the opportunity to follow gallery curators over the next two years as they develop a major exhibition. As part of the Gallery’s longstanding commitment to exhibitions examining architecture, design and visual culture, Grand Hotel will explore both the design and social construction of hotels. The exhibition opens in June 2013 and curators Jennifer M. Volland and Bruce Grenville will share their explorations in a dedicated website and blog as they shape the presentation.
“We’re very excited about this blog and the opportunity to open the doors of Grand Hotel so that visitors can see behind the scenes as we develop this exhibition,” says Bruce Grenville, senior curator of the Vancouver Art Gallery. “Writing publicly about the unfolding of an exhibition in advance of the opening is a first-time experiment for us.”
Grand Hotel aims to chart the evolution of the hotel from its humble origins as an isolated and utilitarian structure to a cultural phenomenon on the contemporary global landscape. The exhibition will offer an extensive survey of historical and contemporary hotel design from around the world.
“At the beginning of our work on this project,” says guest curator Jennifer M. Volland, “we came to see the hotel as an early example of a network. We wanted to trace the proliferation of the hotel across time and space – both as a formal object and as a conceptual idea – from the outset.”
The blog component of the Grand Hotel website will function as a research tool for the curators, a platform for diverse invited contributors, a source of content for the exhibition and the book, and a resource for hotel aficionados. The website can be found at www.grandhotelexhibition.org.
The blog features continually updated information about the development of the exhibition, critical writings and excerpts, personal reflections by the curators and other contributors, photo essays, interviews and topical observations on diverse research subjects. The website will also share various versions of the floorplans and design sketches for the exhibition as they unfold. Current posts include essays on the evolution of San Francisco’s renowned Clift Hotel, the influence of hotels in selling a lifestyle, and the origins of the hotel as a building type.
Updates are available via Twitter @grandhotelex or RSS.