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Symposium: Tree House as Utopia

Thursday, September 7, 6:00 pm
At the CCA
Canadian Centre for Architecture
1920 rue Baile

All are invited to attend: Tree house as Utopia Symposium, September 7th, 2006 6:00 PM

Presented by the Liane & Danny Taran Gallery at Saidye Bronfman Centre for the Arts, to be held at The Canadian Centre for Architecture

In association with the exhibition Tree house / Maison Dans L’arbre at the Liane & Danny Taran Gallery, Saidye Bronfman Centre 14.07.06 – 10.09.06

Tree house as Utopia will examine the tree house and its relationship to utopian impulses in contemporary art, design, architecture, and landscape architecture. Tree house as Utopia will explore the zones between human imagination and the environments we have fabricated for ourselves - buildings, models, landscapes, gardens - as well as artworks and writings. If we propose the tree house as both a physical and imagined space that holds personal memory and social meaning, the study of the tree house opens up a multitude of possibilities. Informed by art, architecture, fiction, geography, history, philosophy, and memory, these four lectures extend the tree house beyond the literal sense of a building in a tree toward a utopian typology.


Cynthia Hammond, Assistant Professor of Architectural History Department - Art History Concordia University
Using the exhibition as a point of reference, Hammond's presentation will explore the limits and potential of utopian thought through the varied form of the tree house in popular, architectural and literary culture, addressing themes of property, the vernacular, and multiplicity.
Hammond’s teaching and research interests include the history of architecture, women and the built environment, contemporary art practices that take the city as a point of departure/encounter, feminist theory and gender studies, and the history of interdisciplinarity in the visual arts.

Roberto Zancan, Visiting Professor of Landscape Architecture at L’Université de Montreal, and Faculty at the School of Architecture in Siracusa, Italy
Zancan will discuss design practices that focus on landscape in relation to the prosaic ‘hut in the tree’, and propose a new set of terms and conditions for the 21st C metropolitan green spaces and parks.
Roberto Zancan recently published “Corrispondenze Teorie e storie dal landscape”, a series of essays on critical values in contemporary landscape design.

Johanne Sloan, Assistant Professor of Art History at Concordia University
Drawing on examples from art and visual culture, Sloan considers the tree house in relation to the demarcation of other abodes, provisional spaces or secret enclosures within natural environments.
Johanne Sloan has written extensively about representations of nature in contemporary art. Her text on the conceptual landscape art of Joyce Wieland and Michael Snow is forthcoming in Beyond Wilderness, ed. John O’Brian & Peter White, McGill-Queen’s UP.

Ricardo L. Castro, Professor, School of Architecture at McGill University
Castro’s lecture will bring forward an analysis of place and connection as main points of entry for considering his own experiences as a tree house dweller in his elementary school days, his encounter with Italo Calvino’s short story The Baron in the Trees, and Invisible Cities, as well as his current interests in the sensorial aspects of architecture.
Ricardo L. Castro teaches architectural design, history, and criticism. He is a regular contributor to several publications in Canada, the United States, and Colombia, and he uses architectural photography as an expressive medium.

The exhibition Tree house / Maison Dans L’arbre will be up until September 10, 2006
All Events are free

Gallery Hours: Monday to Friday, 9am to 4:30pm, Sunday, 10am to 5pm.