South Granville

South Granville is a photographic record of a neighborhood being transformed in the current Vancouver housing boom. This project’s effort is to document what is left before it is gone, as well as exploring a vernacular non-spectacular style of photography. It revisits the claim that both Ed Ruscha and John Baldessari had at one time to take pictures “like a real estate agent.” Since real estate and the growing unaffordability of Vancouver is a topic of endless debate, these photographs look at South Granville as one of the last well to do areas in Vancouver that is still sparsely populated with modestly priced low-rise multi-unit apartments. Largely built during the post-war building boom, and while no particular style is prevalent, each has a character type that can only be described as distinctly dated. Most are still lovingly maintained and offer a quirky variety of landscaping with a strong penchant for guard like sentinel bushes. The purposely chosen overcast days of the photographs set up a kind of minor topography in the style of Bernd and Hilla Becher to illuminate as much detail of the apartments and landscaping in a neutral and diffuse light. The proximity to the tony Shaunessy area and Granville St. means that these apartments are slowly being knocked down and replaced with luxury condominiums. The apartments in this survey represent some of the long-term residents that in all likelihood will be the next ones to go, along with the last vestiges of any kind of affordability.

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