Skip to content
Join our Newsletter

Vancouver's Trans Am Totem taken down to be repaired, moved

It's going to be parked for a bit.
Vancouver's Trans Am Totem was taken apart this weekend on Saturday, Aug. 14, 2021.

One of the most recognizable pieces of public art in Vancouver has been taken apart.

The Trans Am Totem, erected in 2015, spent six years on a traffic island on Quebec Street at Milross Avenue. This weekend, it was taken down.

"We're taking down Marcus Bowcott and Helene Aspinall’s 'Trans Am Totem' to properly restore this public art piece, which has incurred significant damage from birds," stated the City of Vancouver in a tweet.

Along with restoring the piece of art, which is five cars stacked on a section of a cedar tree, the city is looking for a new place for the unusual piece of art.

The piece was created as part of the 2014-16 Vancouver Biennale exhibition before a donation from Lululemon's Chip Wilson meant it became a part of the city's public art collection.

North Vancouver's Bowcott created the piece as a commentary on throw-away culture, according to the sculpture festival.

"By stacking smashed automobiles and levitating them high above the roadway, Bowcott serves to remind us of the ultimate responsibilities we bear to our planet and future generations," states the Vancouver Biennale on the profile for the Trans Am Totem. "Trans Am Totem fantasizes a justified end to car culture even as countless automobiles zoom past on asphalt and concrete ribbons and ooze pollutants and spent carbon fuels into the atmosphere."