Critical Writing Index

Dream Homes: Far-out ideas for rebooting the 'burbs: Toronto Free Gallery displays dreams for brave new future for subdivisions crumbling corridors

by Murray Whyte

The Toronto Star, Apr. 23, 2006

Inspired by a United Way study outlining growing poverty in old suburbs of Toronto, Brenda Goldstein curates a collection of speculative work about the future of suburbia at the Toronto Free Gallery. The artists work seems divided between dystopian and utopian visions for the future;the work of Lorraine Oades seeks positive uses for suburban space whereas Jason Van Horne depicts a post-apocalyptic suburban street setting using scale models. Arbor Lake Sghool's Trench War! seems to get to the core of radical thinking surrounding suburban ideals by re-enacting famous battles with water balloons on a lawn in suburban Calgary: "the suburbs are...-a facsimile of an ideal that might have seemed to make sense at one time." Imagining a Kensington Market in the middle of Markham, Goldstein surmises the movement of re-imagined spaces is just beginning.

ITEM 2006.122 – available for viewing in the Research Centre

Videos, Artworks and Artists Cited

Garden CityLorraine Oades

Trench War!Arbor Lake Sghool

Homes for AmericaDan Graham

Soft CityUpper Parkdale Benevolent Art Guild

Pressure Treated Privacy SpaceFranco DeFrancesca