“Young men were asked to take pictures as part of a UBC study funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research about losing a male friend to accidental death. Part research, part art show, this exhibition is a selection of these photos. Accompanied by quotes from participants’ interviews, the images collectively challenge notions of men’s invulnerability to grief and reveals the different ways men find meaning in tragic loss.” Presented by the UBC School of Nursing and the Department of Education.
The opening is tomorrow night, April 27, starting at 7:30PM at The Fall Gallery, 644 Seymour Street, Vancouver, BC.
April 27: The exhibition was beautifully done, and very moving, and illuminating. There were several dozen images on the walls (usually photos of some meaningful place or of an item belonging to a male friend who had died, in almost all cases, due to youthful recklessness — snowboarding off an embankment, getting stabbed at a nightclub, overdosing, DUIs, getting hit by a car while skateboarding — with quotes 2 – 3 sentences long beneath them, from a male friend of the young man who had died) that possessed talismanic radiance for the grievers and which seemed, too, to bless the exhibition space with a kind of buoyant calm and even contentment. It’s a profoundly courteous (and I think *so* useful) creation of social science research that my former colleague from the Gangs Project, Jennifer Matthews, who works at UBC, turned into a really cool show. The opening was packed — the show had received some good publicity — Jennifer was interviewed by the CBC, and the Vancouver Sun ran a little feature on it today.
Walking home down Granville Street afterwards, as Friday night was getting underway, was a jarring but appropriate coda to the experience — you could see groups of guys already buzzed, marching 3 or 5 abreast, belching and bumping along the sidewalks outside of the clubs …
FYI: Here’s a link to Jennifer Matthews’ remarkable “Whistler Guys Study” website, which presents some of her earlier research, on young men doing extreme things in their lives.