Burb Bets

Outskirts: Art For the Suburbs at Gallery 1313 (1313A Queen West) to September 29. 416-536-6778. Rating: NNN Rating: NNNNNSuburbanites aren't.


Outskirts: Art For the Suburbs at Gallery 1313 (1313A Queen West) to September 29. 416-536-6778. Rating: NNN Rating: NNNNN


Suburbanites aren’t exactly asking for it, but a group of artists have gathered anyway to show their visions of art for commuter communities. Co-curated by Gary Michael Dault, art guy for the Globe and Mail, and Gallery 1313 director Phil Anderson, this body of work isn’t going to turn the burbs on their heads, but it is interesting.

Artist Robert Durocher ventured up to Unionville, where people like their artists dead and hanging from a pole. In Unionville you can live on a street named after a famous artist like Emily Carr Durocher photographed himself standing at the corner of Krieghoff and Varley. He would like to see some streets named after contemporary artists and has devised a cute little street sign with the name “Durocher” on it to kick off the campaign.

Michael Trommer has created a lullaby for an empty mall. Late one Sunday night he captured the sounds of a near-vacant Yorkdale mall and mixed them with voices he recorded earlier in the day. The result is a haunting work that awakens the empty mall with the wheezing, clicking and whirring of the lungs of the building and the ghostly voices of those who’ve passed through its doors.

Leslie Peters and Jeremy Drummond both make videos shot out the side windows of moving vehicles. Peters’s DVP:01 focuses on the walls and barriers that separate suburbs from the highways that are their lifeline. The shots are smoothly edited into a visual symphony.

In Drummond’s jumpier piece, the camera is jostled as it captures row after row of unfinished brown houses, one much like another. A jaunty song creates a soundtrack for the visuals, with a jovial voice that practically laughs out the chorus, “Life is sweet as honey.” It’ll leave you humming the catchy tune as you stroll back out into the heart of Parkdale, as urban as urban can be. thmoas@sympatico.ca

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