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Public Art: Paradise Has Many Gates

By SHERI RADFORD
Oct. 2018

Photo by Caroline Toth

Thanks to the Vancouver Biennale, locals are accustomed to eye-catching artwork springing up all over the city, everything from an upside-down church to a totem pole made of cars. The fourth iteration of this outdoor art exhibition, which runs from 2018 to 2020, kicked off in the summer with “Paradise Has Many Gates” (pictured). Saudi Arabian artist Ajlan Gharem constructed his version of an Islamic mosque from chain-link fence. By evoking thoughts about religion, freedom, imprisonment and interculturalism, this provocative piece fits perfectly into the Biennale’s theme, “re-IMAGE-n.” And its location in Vanier Park guarantees that it is accessible to all, whether for a scholarly discussion about what makes a space sacred, or a leisurely outdoor picnic, or both.

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