Personal Space: Michael Turner


                                                  Photo by: Lucas Finlay

 “I don’t want to live in a museum. I like gathering all my pieces and moving them around,” says author and curator Michael Turner. “I’m doing a new show in my house every three weeks”

1. Michael Turner doesn’t believe in gallery-style exhibition corridors (and the house doesn’t have blank expanses in any case), so the art is always shifting; at the moment, one of Jack Shadbolt’s final sports collages leans beside a Geoffrey Farmer cast bootie (the rolled note wishes Turner a happy birthday); to the right hangs a Stan Douglas photo of forest graffiti. (Turner helped instigate the publication of Douglas’s Every Building On 100 West Hastings)

2. Some of these pieces are inherited, like this side table from his father’s chinoiserie collection. (His dad was born in Shanghai just prior to WWII.) Collected works include the Charmian Johnson vase atop it, the paddle by Wayne Edenshaw, and the carved baseball bat by Brian Jungen; the text on it reads “Heros of Labour, United to Crush, Collective Unconscious, Work to Rule.” (The bat was a gift “mischievously given” by the artist for not catching the misspelling of “heroes”) 

3. Turner and artist Judy Radul (graduate program chair of SFU’s School of Contemporary Arts) have lived in this 1918 Cedar Cottage home for nearly 20 years, and seen their neighbourhood through numerous ethnic recompositions. They welcome the move to rename the area “Little Saigon” 

4. Turner has curated shows for a number of local galleries, including the Morris & Helen Belkin and North Vancouver’s Presentation House, which hired him to program the 17-day Candahar Bar installation during the Olympics. This Robert Kleyn table figured in that immersive show and drinking establishment. The puff ball perched atop it is by local jeweller Anna de Courcy 

5. The author of several books, including Hard Core Logo and The Porno­grapher’s Poem, Turner plays a mean “Mountain Dew” on his Hawaiian uke. (He was a founding member of the Hard Rock Miners.) He’s seated on a period sofa reupholstered by Bombast Furniture’s David Eichorn. (The velvet cushion flips for an everyday corduroy)