The Pop-Up Condo Box: Animations By Luke Painter

Luke Painter is a Toronto-based visual artist whose recent work has explored architectural symbolism and representation through large-scaled ink drawings, print and animation. A new show at the York Quay Centre in Toronto showcases some of his animation work called ‘Fiction and Invention: Utopic Visions for the 21st Century’. The work features animations of condominium sales centres, which unfold to reveal their inner machinations.

He describes the show as follows:

“My animations depict sites in Montreal and Toronto that have come under heavy condo development and gentrification in the last decade. These areas have become populated by colourful prefabricated condo sales centres that are a precursor to higher-income housing. The once industrial shipping neighbourhoods have since become a beacon for a particular type of lifestyle typified in the overly optimistic advertisements that now inhabit these sites. While creating these animations, I researched the histories of these particular areas (Harbourfront in Toronto and Saint-Henri in Montreal) and integrated some of the historical architecture that once inhabited these spaces back into the sites. Previous buildings and details sourced from historical photos including machinery and bygone industrial materials are included within the new incarnation of the sales centre as a compression of the history of these areas — references to 20th century utopic and fantasy-based architectural projects are evident in the project, including work by Le Corbusier, the British architectural group Archigram, and the Italian artists Superstudio. The expansion and contraction of the animations suggest that these planned social projects, large or small, are continually being conceived, constructed and inevitably replaced in an endless cycle.”