Lisa Gonzalez’s photographs illuminate problematic aspects of American suburbia. The immaculate exteriors and perfect geometries of suburban homes hint at what is missing: a human presence. Gonzalez’s residences seem to reflect idealized notions of life more than actual human experience. Embodying the American dream, the homes bear no trace of the human hand or evidence of the interactions between structures and their inhabitants. On the other hand, the pristine facades suggest the impressive efficiency of modern suburban dwellings, which in spite of their sterility and impersonality might offer designers some lessons. The tension between these messages heightens the critical quality of Gonzalez’s work.
For this feature, students were asked to select and comment on end-of-year work by their peers, an assignment that gave them an opportunity to reflect critically on creative work outside of but related to their own practice.