Duck | 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

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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



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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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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

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Duck

Definition



A type of architecture in which the shape of the structure is symbolic, often literally so.

Long Island’s Big Duck—an 18-by-30-by-20- foot duck-shaped concrete structure built in 1931 by duck farmer Martin Maurer to promote his business—was the inspiration for this term coined by Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour. “Where the architectural systems of space, structure, and program are submerged and distorted by an overall symbolic form. This kind of building- becoming-sculpture we call the duck in honor of the duck-shaped drive-in, ‘The Long Island Duckling,’ illustrated in God’s Own Junkyard by Peter Blake.1 The duck is the special building that is a symbol.”2

See also: carchitecture, logo building.

 

1 Peter Blake, God’s Own Junkyard: The Planned Deterioration of America’s Landscape (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1964), 101. See also Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi, “On Ducks and Decoration,” Architecture Canada (October 1968). (↑)

2 Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown, and Steven Izenour, Learning from Las Vegas: The Forgotten Symbolism of Architectural Form (Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press, 1977), 89. (↑)



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