Paola Poletto's work shifts between DIY and institutional-based practices. With both, she is interested in the representations of collaborative productions where visual constructions are rigorous narratives, exercising multiple points of view. Paola is the independent co-producer of art/lit projects including Ghosts of Monsters (2018-), a photographic project capturing the rapid transformation of Toronto/North York’s - housing stock and what it means. This project premiered as part of Contact Photography Festival in 2018 at Meridian Centre for the Arts. Paola is also Director of Engagement & Learning at the Art Gallery of Ontario where she currently oversees learning opportunities across all ages. She has an MFA from Western University, and recently completed the International Leadership Program in Visual Arts Management jointly offered by New York University, Deusto University and the Guggenheim Museum - Bilbao.
About the Works
ParkHome is a photographic installation of neighbourhood architecture, a representation of evolving tastes and an expression of shifting cultural capital. A street composition of 55 homes along Park Home Avenue in North York (north Toronto) combines the diverse front façades as viewed from the street with a backyard view of their collective landscape taken from the perspective of the adjoining cemetery. I set out to reflect the diversity of settlers, represented by their domestic architecture. The absence of humans in these photographs avoids documentary as an endpoint. Yet the people who occupy this streetscape and those buried in their backyards are present through headstone names as well as the aesthetic flourishes made by the homes' inhabitants. The headstones have been photo-collaged in with the front lawns of this streetscape, thereby removing driveways in favour for more idyllic landscapes that are backgrounded by Neo-eclectic monster homes alongside post-war CMHC bungalows. Generations thusly mix. It is impossible to see neither life or ghosts when viewing the source images independently. But when they are superimposed as a photo-collage, we enable our imaginative eye to see into fluctuating and impermanent worlds that surround us every day. The composites suggest a narrative that disrupts the idea of the colonial “heritage home.” When seen together, these images fold inward and upon ourselves as futile exercises of contemporary home-life in an urban reality aptly reflected a mere block away on Yonge Street, that is hinged on increasing density through a vertical axis of up and down, above ground and underground multi level skyscrapers.