The Power of Story

We live in a post-truth world: fake news, shifting identities, reality shows, alternative facts, and knowledge denial: climate change, evolution, the holocaust, vaccinations . . .  On the occasion of Canada’s 150th anniversary and Vancouver’s 150+, the Museum of Vancouver brings some of the city’s most valuable treasures out of the vaults. And tells some stories.

Unbelievable explores what each of us knows and believes—and how we know it and why we believe it. Or don’t. This project links a white-hot contemporary issue to the heat of the museum’s wide-ranging collections and its power to bring diverse audiences together.

North Americans identify museums as one of their most trusted institutions. So who better to plunge people into the narrative struggles behind identity and community? Unbelievable spotlights fantastic objects, some of immense significance and rarity, as it immerses visitors in the amusing, confusing worlds of Indigenous culture, urbanization, history, innovation, and politics. Its three sections focus on story versus story; symbols as reflectors of community; and institutions that guard the narrative foundation of free societies.

Dreicer conceived Unbelievable and developed it with a team that included curatorial collaborators Sharon Fortney and Hanna Turner. HCMA Architecture + Design created an environment that brought to life the colorful, refractive world of story.

Presented at Museum of Vancouver, 2017.