Jan 31, 2013

Placebo 4.9, hanging outside the Langara/49th Ave Canada Line Station. Photo: Tomo Tanaka.

Vancouver, BC
– A new public art installation created by Langara College students has been unveiled outside of the Langara/49th Ave Canada Line station. The project is the second to be produced through a public art initiative created in partnership between Langara College and InTransit BC. 

The provocative piece, entitled Placebo 4.9, features 28 compartments designed to suggest the daily chambers of a pill organizer. The contents of the compartments are fairly realistic representations of pills and capsules along the top row, but become more abstract as the “days” progress. The intention of the work is to call to mind ideas of lifestyle and coping mechanisms in our urban environment. The piece was conceived of and constructed by students in the Public Art Studio Practice class in Langara’s Fine Arts Program.

"Once again I am delighted by the intelligent and engaging work that our public art students have produced for the Langara Station of the Canada Line,” said Julie Longo, Langara’s Dean of Arts. “We are so proud them. It is inspiring to see how they have embraced our unique relationship with InTransit BC and the Canada Line by working collaboratively to create compelling and challenging public art." 

The main structure of Placebo 4.9 is made of painted plywood, with doors of clear acrylic sheet attached by stainless steel hinges. Letters representing each day were sandblasted onto the surface of each acrylic sheet, and the doors have been left partially open to allow for them to blow open and shut, as well as for moisture to escape. The materials inside are made of found objects, wood, acrylic tube, wool, chicken wire, and other items (including a teddy bear). They represent the trials and tribulations of daily routines, and how individuals create habits and coping mechanisms that may be initially helpful, but gradually fade to become mere abstractions of their original purpose.

The students in the Public Art Studio Practice course who designed and fabricated the work are:

Kelsey Jacobsen
Mayeli Alvarez
Claire Blazi
Natalia Nguyen
Janine Sakai
Stephen Shorthouse

The College would like to extend its thanks to the Langara Centre for Art in Public Spaces, the Canada Line's art coordinators Janice Fairley and Coleen Nemtin, and Brian McGibney for technical advice. 

Learn more.

Annie Mullins
Communications Officer,
Communications & Marketing
T 604.323.5058