Chameleon | Worlds Away

Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes

WawHeadline

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

Related Events

Lecture

Drawn Here: Sean Griffiths of FAT
Target Free Thursday Nights
Thursday, March 6 7:00 pm

Family Program

Escape to the Suburbs!
Free First Saturday
Saturday, April 5 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Film

Next Exit: The Shifting Landscape of Suburbia
Target Free Thursday Nights
Thursday, April 24 7:00 pm



Edit Home Page

Essays

EssaysHeadline

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



Edit Essay List

Video

VideoHeadline
 

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

See all submitted videos

Original Submission Call

See YouTube video call

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.



Edit Video

Lexicon

LexiconHeadline

Chameleon

Definition



A gay man who lives in the suburbs and travels to “identity-specific spaces to be his ‘gay self,’” often in the evenings or on weekends.1

In the book Peacocks, Chameleons, Centaurs: Gay Suburbia and the Grammar of Social Identity Wayne Brekhus studies three identity management types: lifestylers, commuters, and integrators. Being gay is a central to the identity of a lifestyler, or peacock, who lives openly in gay-specific ghettos in urban areas. Chameleons on the other hand are commuters, who live in the heterosexual space of the suburbs and “travel to identity-specific spaces to be their ‘gay self’” often in the evenings or on weekends. They see their gay identity as a mobile verb that they can turn on or off at will. Some structural factors that affect gay suburban identity are that “oppression truncates against integrating and in favor of commuting” and “visible minority status truncates against commuting and in favor of lifestyling,” 2

For other types of suburban residents see centaur, Claritas lifestyle clusters, empty nester, food court druid, lifestyle commuter, mall rat, Patio Man, Realtor Mom, and soccer mom.

 

1 Wayne Brekhus. Peacocks, Chameleons, Centaurs: Gay Suburbia and the Grammar of Social Identity, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003: 28. (↑)

2 Ibid., 216–217. (↑)



Images

Edit Images



Locations

Edit Locations