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Wikipedia About Stan Douglas
biography Stan Douglas, Let’s Entertain: Life’s Guilty Pleasures 2000
Stan Douglas’ work often deals with the social and physical damage wrought by development and progress in the last half of the twentieth century. As one critic has written, through the tools of mass media–video, broadcast television, and photography–Douglas “slyly raises abstruse scholarly material to lyrical intensity.” At once seductive and deconstructive, his work flirts with the traces of sentiment and memory embedded in the contemporary urban landscape. For instance, in Win, Place, Show (1998), he takes viewers to the Vancouver neighborhood of his youth through the architectural plans for a housing project that was almost built there in the 1950s. Douglas links this social engineering initiative to the utopian, modernist ideals of Le Corbusier as perverted by the social realities of 1950s Canada. Let’s Entertain features the video work Monodramas (1991), a compilation of ten short vignettes produced for insertion between regular broadcast television programs. These pieces, often focusing on the mundane, were intended to confound, intrigue, and challenge the assumptions of the viewer. As much about social commentary as about political discourse, the work holds up a mirror to the viewer’s dysfunction. Douglas explores the intersections of memory, truth, and identity through the familiar vehicle of television, but in his hands the medium is not as familiar as previously assumed. Douglas’ work was featured in documenta X in 1997.