Trans Am Totem sculpture of stacked cars dismantled for repairs and relocation

Aug 16 2021, 12:31 pm

Over the weekend, the Trans Am Totem was carefully dismantled — not for its permanent removal, but apparently for much-needed repairs and a future new home.

Vancouver Biennale states the public art sculpture of five crushed cars stacked on top of an old growth cedar trunk came down to be cleaned and bird proofed.

The sculpture was first installed six years ago on Quebec Street’s centre median, where it meets with Pacific Boulevard and Expo Boulevard — just north of Science World.

According to the non-profit organization, the new location for the sculpture will be determined by the City of Vancouver, which is also planning to rebuild the area’s road network as part of the Northeast False Creek Plan of removing the Dunsmuir and Georgia viaducts. This has always necessitated the eventual relocation of the Trans Am Totem.

In July 2021, the location will also be a part of FIA Formula E’s Vancouver E-Prix race circuit.

trans am totem august 2021

Dismantling of Trans Am Totem on August 14, 2021. (Roaming The Planet)

trans am totem august 2021

Dismantling of Trans Am Totem on August 14, 2021. (Roaming The Planet)

The sculpture was created by Vancouver-based artist Marcus Bowcott and his partner and collaborator, Helene Aspinall.

On the Biennale’s website, Bowcott described his piece in the following way: “The automobile holds a unique position in our culture. It’s a manufactured want and symbol of extremes; practicality and luxury, necessity and waste. We can see this in the muscular Trans Am, the comfortable BMW, and the workhorse Civic. Trans Am Totem also questions the cycle of production and consumption.”

trans am totem august 2021

Dismantling of Trans Am Totem on August 14, 2021. (Roaming The Planet)

trans am totem august 2021 trans am totem august 2021

Dismantling of Trans Am Totem on August 14, 2021. (Roaming The Planet)

The sculpture was originally intended to be a temporary piece as part of the 2014-2016 Vancouver Biennale exhibition, but it was made permanent in 2019 when Chip Wilson’s family donated $250,000 for its retainment in Vancouver’s urban landscape. Wilson also previously secured the Biennale’s Amazing Laughter statues at English Bay as a permanent installation through a $1.5 million donation.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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