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The Hill Team has the pleasure of discovering The Listel Hotel almost a year ago. We were staying somewhere else, and came upon the Listel by accident. The restaurant is quite special with delicious food and great service and the hotel always has a wonderful art collection. On our next trip back to Vancouver, we will stay at the Listel Hotel.

This new exhibit struck us as well-worth mentioning.

Fallen Princesses @ Vancouver’s “most art-full hotel”
The Listel Hotel exhibits the work of Vancouver photographer Dina Goldstein

ROBSON STREET: “Cynical realism” seems to best describe Dina Goldstein’s series – Fallen Princesses – opening this week at The Listel Hotel. The exhibit looks at familiar fairy tales stripped of their “happily ever after” endings –

● Snow White in a domestic nightmare surrounded by unkempt children and a lout of a prince
● Rapunzel dealing with the aftermath of chemotherapy in a stark hospital room.
● An overweight Red Riding Hood on her way to her grandma’s, carting fast food in her basket.

The project was inspired by Goldstein’s observation of three-year-old girl. As a new mother she has been able to get a close up look at the phenomenon of young girls fascinated with Disney princesses and their desire to emulate them. The stories almost always have a sad beginning, with an overbearing female villain, and the end is predictably a happy one. The Prince usually saves the day and makes the victimized young beauty into a Princess.

Goldstein’s Fallen Princesses however takes a cool, but humorous look at these fairy tale characters in modern day scenarios. In all of the images the princess is placed in an environment that articulates her conflict: “happily ever after” is replaced with a realistic outcome and addresses current issues.

As a young girl growing up abroad, Goldstein was not exposed to fairy tales. “These new discoveries lead to my fascination with the origins of fairy tales. I explored the original Brothers Grimm stories and found that they had very dark and sometimes gruesome aspects, many of which were changed by Disney. I began to imagine Disney’s perfect princesses juxtaposed with real issues that were affecting women around me, such as illness, addiction and self-image issues.”

The collection of photos was recently exhibited at Buschlen Mowatt Gallery and her work continues to be a controversial and exciting topic currently being published in numerous art publications across Europe, Asia and North America. At The Listel Hotel until January 2010.

The Hotel/Gallery. The Listel Hotel has long been known as Vancouver’s “most art-full hotel” and “a cultural tourist’s dream” and for its strong ties and creative partnerships with some of the city’s most dynamic cultural organizations such as the Buschlen Mowatt Gallery. In 2008 the Hotel created a new gallery space – Buschlen Mowatt @ The Listel Hotel – where the works of painter Bernard Cathelin, photographer Pieter Hugo and sculptors John Henry and Betty Gold have all been recently exhibited.

“We are thrilled to have Dina’s work on display,” states hotel General Manager, Jim Mockford. “It somehow manages to be both provocative and entertaining and it is being really well received by guests and locals. We’re lucky to have such talented artists in our city.”

The Listel Hotel
1300 Robson Street (@ Jervis)
Vancouver, BC V6E 1C5

Big Blend Magazine

“Success” was Indie Finalist in the Writing and Publishing category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards