and now for my next trick

Posts Tagged ‘suburb

michelle lord future ruins

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Ballard was the great chronicler of the real and present dystopia – the American suburb.  The photographer Michelle Lord pays homage with her haunting images.  They show ‘ancient’ appliances stacked like blocks to make monuments and totems – pyramid, obelisk – against a backdrop of midcentury brutal prefab concrete facades.  The concrete looks plastic.  And in each an onlooker and his dog standing at the margins of the sickly aura of a highway light.

From Michelle Lord’s show Future Ruins  on Ballardian.

Familiar architectural locations around the city take on the appearance of evacuated spaces occupied by strange, carefully arranged structures, built from the technological detritus of abandoned television sets, cars, computers and domestic appliances.

Written by Peter Rudd

May 15, 2009 at 9:48 pm

sarah mckenzie

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[crane, 2007, oil on canvas|aerial #69, 2004, oil on canvas]

Sarah McKenzie’s paintings of wood frame houses, cul de sacs and suburban developments.  They seem to merely document, but we’re too literate for that, with all the talk of sustainable life.  By her own admission they show more than beauty:  hints of distopia.

From her website –

At this point, my work is only minimally about suburbia. Tract homes and strip malls provide the fodder for the paintings and help to place them in a specific cultural moment in time, but the work is ultimately about paint and the nature of pictures. To the extent that my paintings still comment on suburbia, it is through the moments of visual rupture described above, which may be interpreted as revealing cracks in the suburban American dream.

Written by Peter Rudd

April 6, 2009 at 10:31 am