A while back, I posted some photos of ‘Zones of Immersion’,  Stuart Reid’s art installation at Union Station.   Now that it is completed, I decided to revisit it.  There has been some talk about how depressing it is.
I’ll let you decide whether it is depressing or not.

If you are on the ‘northbound to Finch’ platform you get a clear view of all the panels.
If you are on the ‘northbound to Downsview’ platform you can only see some of the glass panels.

I’ve now been back a number of times and this is what I saw:
1) Of the figures with discernible gender, 12 or 13 were male.
2) The males are of different ages and shapes.
3) The number of females outnumber males by at least 2:1.
4) Almost all (or even all?) of the women are young.  They are all thin, if not gaunt.
5) There is one child…. with a finger up his/her nose.
6) Only two or three figures are smiling.

 

Part of an art installation at Union Station, paint on glass panels - a rough drawing, black outline with some grey shading of a couple

paintings on glass panels, Union Station art installation, two women. One on the left looks very sad, like she's been crying. The other woman is painted very dark grey with a few red highlights.

Looking along a subway platform at Union Station, the far wall is an art installation, paintings on glass panels of people

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels,

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, a woman's head in dark blues and blacks, heavy paint around the eyes

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, a large face in red
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part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, three men sitting on a subway

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, on the left are white words on blue background, on the right are two women in profile

“the way we settle into a seat
the way we stretch when the train is empty
and retract as it fills
the way we deflect a glance and simultaneously present
language of the body claiming, relinquishing and balancing
personal space in the interstitial realm
halfway between the worlds of here and there”

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, a woman in yellow on a green and blue background, a man is waiting for the subway and his reflection is in the photo

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, woman standining

The panels that can be seen on the ‘northbound to Downsview’ platform are seen as the reverse of those viewed from the other platform.

black and white painting on glass of a woman holding a mobile phone

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, upper part of a man sitting and reading, in profile, on the left is the reflection of a woman waiting for the subway
“slicing through the clay of the earth’s first skin
steel rails and electric lines
going from      going to
slicing through time and distance
darkness and light
station by station
releasing us into the city’s fabric
stop by stop
after a days labour
taking us home”

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, four women sitting on the subway

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, a group of people standing. The word because is also visible in the picture

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, a woman sitting on the subway with a child on her lap. The child has a finger up its nose

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, on the left side is a man on blue and on the right is a woman's head drawn in blue

painting on glass panels, two women, on the left is standing, on the right is pointing to the left.

(added in October) I got off the subway at Union Station today.  There were three guys in front of me.  One of them stopped and pointed to the nearest painting which happened to be the one above.  As he pointed he said “See what I mean, if that doesn’t make you want to jump… “.

 

I’m happy to be corrected if you can prove me wrong.

 

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