Ai Weiwei, F Grass, 2014. Cast iron, 1328 hexagonal tiles, 13.5 x 13.5 meters. From the Vancouver Biennale.

Vancouver Biennale


A stack of five cars, precisely balanced on a twisted old-growth cedar trunk, erupts from a patch of green grass-an incongruity amid the spider web of roadways and elevated rapid-transit lines edging the downtown core of Vancouver. The 33-foot-high, 25,000-pound Trans Am Totem-its massive tree stump supporting the vehicles like an arboreal Atlas-is a tribute to, as well as a critique of the car, North America’s enduring symbol of personal freedom and technological innovation. Vancouver-based Marcus Bowcott, creator of Trans Am Totem, has loved cars since he was a teen-especially the Trans Am, which, gleaming and polished, crowns a heap consisting of a BMW, a Honda, a VW Cabriolet, and a Mercedes. “The cars on a pedestal refer, at once, to advertising, longing, and absurdity,” Bowcott says. The vulgarity of the crushed vehicles sitting on the still-dignified cedar testifies to the environmental impact of driving …see the entire review in the print version of Jul/Aug’s Sculpture magazine.