John Lehr | Worlds Away

Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes

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Walker Art Center,
February 16 - August 17, 2008

Carnegie Museum of Art,
October 4, 2008 - January 18, 2009

Yale School of Architecture
March 2 - May 10, 2009

Because suburbia occupies a dominant presence in so many lives—a place of not only residence but also of work, commerce, worship, education, and leisure—it has become a focal point for competing interests and viewpoints. The suburbs have always been a fertile space for imagining both the best and the worst of modern social life. more

Exhibition Photos

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Essays

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All essays are originally from the companion book for this exhibition, Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes. Some essays appear in excerpted form where noted.



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Artists

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John Lehr

American, b. 1975, Baltimore, Maryland; lives and works in Brooklyn, New York

Since graduating with his MFA from Yale in 2005, photographer John Lehr has been working on the series Sound and Fury, which captures commercial signage from unlikely angles. Lehr’s imagery denies the viewer the signs’ primary surface and message space, thus negating their communicative function. Emptied of their references, they become totem-like forms that bisect the image and draw us into non-places we rarely notice, such as medians separating traffic lanes or shoulders of roadways where such signage is anchored. A concurrent series, Mirage, documents scenes in the suburban landscape where the commonplace is revealed as both familiar and sublime. Mounds of gravel, mulch, and dirt are so perfectly arranged that they look like earthworks, and stacks of garbage and an electrical box stand as minimalist sculptures. Poughkeepsie, NY (2005) depicts a strange scene where a small set of concrete stairs leads to nowhere, or rather to the edge of a wooded development. The absent focal point—a future home or a missing sidewalk— is left as conjecture. Lehr’s work has been shown at Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; and Yale University School of Art, New Haven, Connecticut.



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Video

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We asked people to make a video telling us about the suburbs and put it on YouTube. Selected videos are showing in the gallery at the Walker Art Center during the run of the exhibition.

Selected Videos

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Original Submission Call

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Do you live in a suburb? Do you work or go to school in one? What is your experience of the “burbs? ”…

Whether you love them or hate them we’re interested in your thoughts on the phenomenon of the American suburb. We invite you to make a 5-minute video about strip malls, cul-de-sacs, office parks, and green lawns or whatever suburbia means to you. A select number of videos will be chosen to screen as part of the exhibition Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes in the Target Gallery from February 15 to May 18, 2008.

To participate, upload your video to YouTube and add the tag “walkerworldsaway” or post it as a response to our video above. We’ll feature all videos on the Walker’s YouTube page. To be considered for gallery screening, entries must be 5 minutes or less and be online by January 18, 2008.



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Lexicon

LexiconHeadline
A
Adaptive Reuse
Alligator
Anchor Store
Asphalt Nation
Auto Park
B
Baby Boomer
Ball Pork
BANANA
Bedroom Community
Big Box
Blandburb
Boomburb
Brownfield
Burbed-out
C
Carchitecture
Category Killer
Centaur
Chain Store
Chameleon
Claritas
Cloverleaf
Cluster
Collector Road
Community Interest Development
Compact Land Use
Crunchy Suburb
Cul-de-sac
Cup-holder Cuisine
Curb Appeal
D
Dead Mall
Deeded Community
Discount Department Store
Disneyfication
Drive-thru
Drive Til You Qualify
Drosscape
Duck
E
Edge City
Edifice Rex
Empty Nester
Ethnoburb
Exurb
F
Family Room
Fast Food
Fast Food Cluster
First Ring
Food Court Druid
G
Garage
Garage Band
Garage Mahal
Gated Community
Greenfield
Greenway
Greyfield
Gridlock
Group Attributes
Growth Machine
H
High Density
Home Office
Home Owner Association
HOV Lane
I
Infill
Inner Ring
L
Landfill
Leapfrog
Lifestyle Commuter
Light Rail
Logo Building
Low Density
LULU
M
Mall Rat
McMansion
Media Room
Megaburb
Megachurch
Megasite
Minivan
Mixed-use Development
Monster Home
N
NASCAR Dad
Nerdistan
New Suburbanism
New Urbanism
NIMBY
Node
No Growth
Noise Barrier
Non-place
NORC
NOTE
O
Office Park
Outer-ring Suburb
Outlet Store
Outparcel
Ozoner
P
Park and Ride
Patio Man
Pedestrian-friendly
Peter Pan Suburb
Picture Window
Pod
Pork Chop
Power Center
Privatopia
Property Owner Association
Q
Quality of Life
R
Ranchburger
Re-anchor
Realtor Mom
Ring Road
Roundabout
S
SLAPP Suit
Slow Growth
Smart Growth
Snout House
Soccer Mom
SOHO
Speed Bump
Sprawl
Sprawl Stress Syndrome
Spread City
Sprinkler City
Starter Castle
Streetcar Suburb
Strip Mall
Subdivision
Suburban Plantation
Superstore
SUV
T
Tank Farm
Technoburb
Telecommute
Terms
Theme Park
Theming
TOAD
Tower Farm
Tract Mansion
Trailer Park
V
Value Retailer
W
Walmartization
Warehouse Club
Weekend Home
Weekend Warrior
White Flight
Wigger
Willow Syndrome
Y
Yea it is That Way
Z
Zillow
Zoomburb


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