gumhead revisited

Posted: February 24, 2015 in locations, public art
Tags: , , , , , , ,

On the 4th of February I posted some photos and information on Douglas Coupland’s ‘Gumhead’.  This is the installation where people are meant to interact with a large head by sticking chewed gum to it.  The plain black head gets transformed into something new (a sticky mess?).  At that point, the head been inside Holts for Men for about two weeks.  One of the photos from early in February is this one:

A large (about 6 foot tall) black head sits in the front of a menswear store. People have been encouraged to add chewed wads of gum to the head. It is about one third covered.

Yesterday, almost three weeks later, I revisited it and this is the photo that I took:

Douglas Coupland's 'Gumhead' inside Holts For Men store in Toronto.  It is a very large black sculpture of a man's head to which people have been attaching gobs of chewed gum.

I was expecting to see more gum on the head.  After all, a similar piece in Vancouver was totally covered by the time the exhibit finished.   As I stood there in my winter walking clothes, i.e. not dressed for shopping at Holts, I thought of a few things.

The Vancouver ‘Gumhead’ was outside with easy access to all.

Although this ‘Gumhead’ is visible from the street, it doesn’t invite people to come inside and interact with it.   Unless they have heard about the exhibit, passersby may not realize that they have the option of sticking their own wad of chewed gum on some guy’s big face.  In addition, inside a store is not really a public place.  It would be interesting to know how many people came in off the street to take a closer look at it.  By ‘people’ I mean non-customers with no prior knowledge of ‘Gumhead’.

And anyway,  it’s ugly.  That’s my two cents worth.

You have until March 9th if you want to get yourself to Bloor and Bellair  (near Bloor & Yonge) to participate.  Gum is provided.



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