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
Drawn Here: Sean Griffiths of FAT
Target Free Thursday Nights
Thursday, March 6 7:00 pm
Escape to the Suburbs!
Free First Saturday
Saturday, April 5 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Next Exit: The Shifting Landscape of Suburbia
Target Free Thursday Nights
Thursday, April 24 7:00 pm
All essays are originally from the companion book for this exhibition, Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes. Some essays appear in excerpted form where noted.
American, b. 1976, San Jose, California; lives and works in Goodyear, Arizona
Matthew Moore has reinvented the legacy of earthworks to comment on the loss of farmland to urban growth since earning his MFA in sculpture from San Francisco State University in 2003. The artist’s belief that today “the urban and rural do not meet; they collide” comes from personal experience. His family has farmed the same land outside of Phoenix, Arizona, for four generations, and they have gradually sold acres of their land over the past several years as development has moved closer to their home. The artist’s first response was (2003–2004), a twenty-acre field of barley next to newly built suburban homes on which Moore carved out an enlarged plan of a typical single-family tract home. The lines on the floor plan were actually six-foot-wide rows of overturned earth that the artist hoed by hand, laboriously marking the banal patterns of homes that would soon overtake the field. In 2005, Moore began the next work in his series, Estates. He attained the blueprints for a developer’s planned community on land purchased from the artist’s family, and re-created it at one third scale in sorghum and wheat on 35 adjacent acres. The artist used a computer-aided-design program and a global-positioning satellite system to plot the roads and rows of homes on the field, and this first step allowed him to visualize how suburbanization would change his land. However, over the next two years, as the sorghum “houses” grew thick and strong and the black-beard wheat “roads” were allowed to run their full cycle and turn brown for harvest, their organic growth stood in marked contrast to the rapid, unsustainable suburban growth happening next to it. Moore’s work has been exhibited at the Arizona State University Art Museum, Tempe; Sonoma County Museum, Santa Rosa, California; the University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg; and MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts.
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.
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.