Monday, February 24, 2014


The German language is big on compound words. An example of a compound word whose form speaks to its content is Gesamtkunstwerk, which translates into English as "a total work of art."

Imagine my surprise, then, as I approached the Granville Street Bridge last week, where I saw the word Gesamtkunstwerk partitioned like those towers that have retail shops on the bottom (WERK), office space in the middle (KUNST) and residential units up top (GESAMT). And then to learn that this sign is in fact an advertisement for an art exhibition that celebrates the "evolution of the city's built form," presumably from the first pre-contact long houses to the integration of tall buildings, view corridors and parks in a porridge of Culture and Nature.

GESAMT/KUNST/WERK is due to open ("to the public") March 22. For more information, click here.

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