25 November 2006 to 13 January 2007

Oona Stern

Diaz Contemporary presents the first Canadian solo exhibition of New York City-based artist Oona Stern, featuring the site-specific installation work, Patio.

For Diaz Contemporary, Oona Stern has created a large re-imagined patio walkway made of painted lumber and carpet. Appearing either as if dragged inside, or trying to make an escape to the outside, Patio spans these two spaces—the indoors and the outdoors—through the portal of the gallery’s rolling garage door. Incongruous in both areas, Patio becomes a misfit island adrift on cement and asphalt; a displaced homage to the suburban conventions of the construction of outdoor leisure zones.

Oona Stern’s practice is concerned with the transposition of the ubiquitous material languages of construction and architecture in ways that accent and highlight structures that might otherwise remain overlooked or passed by, as a means of investigating the forms and cultural practices of the urban and suburban environments. Stern creates installations using materials associated with architecture, landscape architecture, and interior spaces, such as drywall, carpeting, advertising posters, and fake or real greenery, and graphic references to construction materials such as brick, stone, and lumber. Frequently hybridising materials so that one is made to mimic the form or appearance common to another, Stern suggestively re-inserts the historical appearance of a structure, masquerades one façade style to mirror another, or purposely mistranslates construction standards and locations. Stern’s work invites the viewer to reconsider habitual spaces or to rethink familiar structures, achieved through transpositions that are practically alchemical, allowing the viewer to play the role of the catalyst.