Crown Of Thorns

BC Place Stadium Roof

Vancouver Canada


January 6, 2014. Walking into downtown Vancouver along the threatened Georgia Street Viaduct, on a particularly grey winter day, surrounded by colourless concrete and constant construction, I enter the gaming zone where I come across the Crown Of Thorns topping BC Place stadium– a new roof replacing the old Giant Marshmallow In Bondage.

The Marshmallow, built during the 1981 “period of restraint,” was the first inflated mega sportsplex roof in Canada. Air pressure generated by humongous fans kept the roof afloat for twenty-one years, and its plastic fabric endured  Expo 86, half a dozen Grey Cups, the Pope, Prince Chuck & Lady Di, Sir Paul, three Mick Jaggers, two U2s, one Madonna, the Who? and Monster Truck Challenge before springing a leak and deflating in 2007. Though patched up and re-inflated for the 2010 Olympics, the Giant Marshmallow In Bondage’s time was up.

The 2011 replacement roof isn’t inflated, except for its $563 million price tag– nearly four times the cost of the original stadium. The pricey new roof is retractable– supported by the Crown Of Thorns’ cables and profits from an adjoining casino currently under massive expansion.

Henri Robideau 2014

Small photo captions:

(Left) Giant Marshmallow In Bondage 1982-2010 à la the Google helicopter.

(Right) Crown Of Thorns à la the Google 3D helicopter.

2014, narrative collage, 40 x 30 inches, dry mounted colour ink jet prints, hand written text.

Exhibited April 2015, Eraser Street show, grunt Gallery, Vancouver Canada

Exhibited April 2014, Winsor Gallery, Vancouver Canada