Who knew American suburbs could be so inspiring?

Lush green landscaped lawns; paved driveways designed for multiple vehicles; retail chain-stores linked in a row: these of course, are all typical characterizations of suburbia.  I mentioned the Carnegie Museum of Art’s current exhibition, Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes in a previous post.  The exhibition features more than 75 paintings, photographs, sculptures, video and models from over 30 artists and architects. Just like the Walker Art Center, the Carnegie Museum of Art is encouraging the public to create a video of their own interpretation of the suburban experience.  Less than a month into the exhibition, one video is already posted on YouTube:

The first major museum exhibit of its kind, the press release describes the framework of the exhibition as:

The suburbs have always been a fertile space for imagining both the best and the worst of modern social life. On the one hand, the suburbs are portrayed as a middle-class domestic utopia and on the other as a dystopic world of homogeneity and conformity. Both of these stereotypes belie a more realistic understanding of contemporary suburbia and its dynamic transformations, and how these representations and realities shape our society, influence our culture, and impact our lives. Challenging preconceived ideas and expectations about suburbia (either pro or con), Worlds Away hopes to impart a better understanding of how those ideas were formed and how they are challenged by contemporary realities.

There’s also a companion book appropriately named after the exhibition.  A list of artists, a wiki style dictionary of suburbia related lexicon, as well as exceprts from the book can be found on the Worlds Away homepage.

Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes is on exhibit in the Heinz Architectural Center until January 18, 2009.

– Lisa

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s