“Blair Brennan’s work exemplifies how art can create compelling contradictions. Brennan’s art touches on serious topics, but it is also immediately fun and devoid of pretence. It is comical and spontaneous, while still giving the impression that it has been carefully crafted. The work provides a fresh take on contemporary issues, but, at the same time, it somehow stirs old memories. I love how Brennan riffs on pop culture because, well, I love all things pop culture! His wonderful sculpture, Typing Table, is a great example of how Brennan tricks us with the familiar. What the heck is going on here? Is it a giant, science-fiction-y typewriter or a medieval torture device? I have no idea, but I want to see more!”
Timothy Caulfield is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta. His interdisciplinary research on topics like stem cells, genetics, research ethics, public representations of science, and health policy issues has allowed him to publish over 350 academic articles. He has won numerous academic and writing awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, the Trudeau Foundation and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He contributes frequently for the popular press and is the author of two national bestsellers: The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness (Penguin 2012) and Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash (Penguin 2015). Caulfield also has a strong social media presence and is the host and co-producer of the documentary TV show, A User’s Guide to Cheating Death.
Typing Table (detail), 2000
Metal desk, steel, propane torch, propane bottle, miscellaneous hardware, miscellaneous tools and equipment
Art Gallery of Alberta Collection, gift of the artist
Image courtesy of the artist