Luke Siemens -- You Could Live Here Too

November 1, 2014 to December 5, 2014


Exhibition Statement

I am interested in how a plan, once it is made, written down, or drawn, is perceived as a rational document. In an architect's studio a plan will tell you where the parts of a building go, but extended outside that setting a plan can be changed, tied to ideology, used irrationally, or simply fall apart. Robert Moses, master plans for New York is a historic example of a plan disconnected from the reality, as is Ordos, the city in China made for a million people, that now sits empty. When Looking at such examples one must inquire what role the aesthetics of authority and the rationality of the plan have in moving one to irrational action? If we assume that these examples started out as plans in good faith, how can a plan be constructed so that it can root around such disastrous results. In my practice I incorporate the rational/irrational of committing to a plan by making work that positions a tightly controlled aesthetics with to a looser chaotic element.

In past work I looked at retro futurism as former plans gone to seed. I created Boomtown, a where's Waldo-like world of intertwining bits of outdated futurism. By arranging competing images into an all over aesthetic, I created a challenge for the viewer, where paths of discovery had to be taken to orientate themselves within the graphite world presented.

Recently I've made work based on condo presentation centres, titled You Could Live Here Soon. The gallery-like spaces of condo presentation centres are currently all over Toronto, selling building and lifestyles in a language similar to the futurism I studied for Boomtown. I became interested in how the architectural floor plans in the presentation centres lost their rationality and started communicating about the “perfect” living condition. They became advertisements rather than information. I sought to make them rational again by including everyday actions into the plans. I warped the floor plans sleeping on them, putting them on my studio floor, using them as pencil holders and as fans on days I had no air conditioning. I then put them forward as plans to continue to build from.

Artist Biography

Luke Siemens was born in Calgary, Alberta and split his time growing up between Charlottetown, PEI and Saskatoon, Sk. Siemens received a Bachelors of Fine Art from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters from York University in Toronto. He now lives and works in Toronto and teaches at OCAD University. Luke has shown across the country and has received support from the Ontario and Toronto arts councils.

Exhibition Images
Line Gallery

Interview with Luke Siemens