Alex Grunenfelder with qwa’upulhp (Pacific crabapple, Malus fusca) Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island

 

2016 August 12 Alex Grunenfelder with Pacific crabapple IMG_0083

2016 August 12 Alex - crabapple - Burgoyne IMG_0187

photograph by Gordon Brent BROCHU-INGRAM

2016 August 12 completing the photographic documentation work for the 2016 City of Vancouver Coastal City public art series: Alex Grunenfelder with qwa’upulhp (in Halkomelem) (Pacific crabapple, Malus fusca) Burgoyne Bay, Salt Spring Island

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Julian Castle in Railtown Studios roof garden 2009 & 2010

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Patrick Blaeser & Emilio Rojas, Railtown Studios, Vancouver

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John Greyson as filmic @ the historic Vancouver Court House now the Vancouver Art Gallery

In the previous year, John Greyson had collaborated on a film about a serious of racist and homophobic trials in Vancouver, from 1908 to roughly 1928, targeting South Asian men, the great majority Sikhs coming from various parts of imperial India. John’s work in Rex vs. Singh (2008, directed by Greyson /Richard Fung / Ali Kazimi) focused on the site of the trials: Vancouver Court House now occupied by the Vancouver Art Gallery. In those years, John and I had a series of conversations about the artefacts and half-lives of imperial racism and homophobia at the former Court House.

I rarely make videos but the images from one of those conversations felt filmic recording a series of debates and dilemmas about the implications of colonial and homophobic histories for contemporary culture and politics. In  posting this progression, evocative of the work of Eadweard Muybridge, that was so transformative to life, politics, and culture in the years of those anti-Sikh sodomy trials.

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Noam Gonick, Stanley Park, Vancouver

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Ali Kazimi filming Rex v Singh, Sun Yat Sen Garden, Vancouver

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Peer Badshah: 2006 & 2007

Peer Badshah on a May 2006 Fokker flight from Gilgit

Every person has that year in their mid-twenties when only a few paths have been chosen and their beauty is as much about vast opportunity and looming ethical choices as about their youth.

Sometime around 2006, Peer Badshah went from being scion in an exceptional family of Sufi saints and activists to becoming a successful barrister and Punjab government official in an office of a Deputy Prosecutor.

Mediating the shift in his life was Peer Badshah’s passion for the lands of northern Pakistan, on one hand, and enjoyment of the modernizing and often consumerist masculinities manufactured and peddled through Bollywood.

The resulting essay is the screen test for a life of great promise and socially progressive impact but without the music soundtrack — and only some of the dancing.

Peer Badshah in Naulakha Pavilion, Lahore Fort, May 2006

Peer Badshah in Lahore Fort, May 2006

Peer Badshah in Gilgit with famed Rakaposhi Peak, Karakoram Range, May 2007

Peer Badshah in Gilgit with famed Rakaposhi Peak, Karakoram Range, May 2007

Peer Badshah north of Karimabad  in the Karakoram Range in an area of rapid glacial melt and retreat, May 2007

Peer Badshah north of Karimabad  in the Karakoram Range, May 2007

Peer Badshah north of Karimabad  in the Karakoram Range in an area of rapid glacial melt and retreat, May 2007

Peer Badshah at the foot of the Passau Glacier north of Karimabad  in the Karakoram Range in an area of rapid glacial melt and retreat, May 2007

Peer Badshah at the foot of the Passau Glacier north of Karimabad  in the Karakoram Range in an area of rapid glacial melt and retreat, May 2007

Peer Badshah at the foot of the Passau Glacier north of Karimabad  in the Karakoram Range in an area of rapid glacial melt and retreat, May 2007

Peer Badshah in The White Palace near Swat, August 2006

Peer Badshah in Malam Jabba above the Swat Valley, August 2006

Peer Badshah near The White Palace near Swat, August 2006

Peer Badshah in Saidu Sharif, Swat Valley, August 2006

Peer Bad Shah in the upper Swat Valley — Atror Valley above Kalam, August 2006

Peer Badshah in Saidu Sharif, Swat Valley, August 2006

Peer Badshah in Saidu Sharif, Swat Valley, August 2006

Peer Badshah in Saidu Sharif, Swat Valley, August 2006

Peer Badshah in Saidu Sharif, Swat Valley, August 2006

Peer Badshah in  Kalam, upper Swat Valley, August 2006

Peer Badshah in Usho above Kalam, upper Swat Valley, August 2006

Peer Badshah in Uch Sharif, western Punjab, March 3, 2007

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Historian, Lokesh Mathur, of Jaipur during field studies in Rajasthan

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Historian, Lokesh Mathur, at Humayun’s Tomb outside of Delhi

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Shifting masculinities in a building boom: Some portraits of men in Vancouver in the summer of 1998

Self-portrait near False Creek Vancouver July 1998 photograph by Gordon Brent Ingram

Dan Gawthrop in Vancouver’s Chinatown, at Pender and Carroll, in the summer of 1998

The nineteen nineties saw the most rapid construction, a beginning of a normalization in modern history, of the ‘gay’ or ‘queer’ male identity. Other periods in the twentieth century saw more conflict, and pain, and far fewer social gains. The men in these photographs were all individuals who in 1998 were reflecting carefully on the pain of their pasts and the new opportunities of being ‘gay’ or ‘queer’ and, in particular, in being better able to construct their lives, rather than simply adapt to or resist a limited set of public identities.

Ryan and Ryan who had just moved into the recently opened Railtown Studios in late August 1998, Vancouver, photograph by Gordon Brent Ingram

The nineteen nineties also saw the beginning of the most extensive and extended construction boom in Vancouver’s history. So as these men were exploring how to remake their lives, through to new possibilities and options from better political organization, still constrained human rights protections, and growing cultural tolerance, much of the first century of Vancouver was being obliterated and reconstructed in the most far-reaching process of globalization ever before seen here.

Exposure were with found urban light requiring the subjects to stay still for up to several minutes. The inevitable movements created small blurs that were intentionally painterly. These portraits involved considerable discussion with each individual about how they would like to portray themselves. To some extent their choice of sites and poses paralleled shifts in their personal lives, away from identities defined primarily as activists and sexual outlaws, to personal statements defined by more nuanced and personal desires, and dreams, as well as relationships to Vancouver, The Terminal City.

Michael Morris on False Creek in Yaletown in the summer of 1998, Vancouver

Joe Sarahan, near East Hastings east of Victoria Drive, Vancouver, August 1998 photograph by Gordon Brent Ingram

Peter Coomb near Vancouver’s English Bay,  August 1998 –  photograph by Gordon Brent Ingram

Ryan & Ryan, roof of Railtown Studios in Gastown, 321 Railway Street, Vancouver, August 1998 #1 – photograph by Gordon Brent Ingram

Ryan & Ryan, roof of Railtown Studios in Gastown, 321 Railway Street, Vancouver, August 1998 #2 – photograph by Gordon Brent Ingram

Ryan & Ryan, roof of Railtown Studios in Gastown, 321 Railway Street, Vancouver, August 1998 #3 – photograph by Gordon Brent Ingram

Ryan & Ryan, roof of Railtown Studios in Gastown, 321 Railway Street, Vancouver, August 1998 #4 – photograph by Gordon Brent Ingram

Don Hann behind the bar Numbers on Davie in the West End of Vancouver, August, 1998 photography by Gordon Brent Ingram

Walter Lister, on Vancouver’s False Creek, July 1998 – photograph by Gordon Brent Ingram

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