Title of Work
Date of Exhibition
Title of Exhibition
Prograde & Retrograde
Images of suburbia are a ubiquitous metaphor for
nostalgia and the myth of the American dream.
Growing up moving around the Eastern US, the
American suburbs were the backdrop of my childhood.
These seemingly identical neighborhoods existed no
matter which county or state lines my family crossed.
This made suburban homes feel reliable yet, in a way,
inescapable. In this way, my art takes a critical look at
the gap between the promise and the reality of the
American dream and suburbia.
Type of Work
Memory Lane is a manifestation of these nostalgic
memories through self-reflection and collaboration
with my family. To begin, I asked my parents to
each draw every house I ever lived in from memory.
I then combined their designs and added my own
memories to create the final renderings for each
house. The result is an imaginary suburb, birthed
from inaccessible memories and flawed nostalgia.
By using the theatrical device of the façade, I am
emphasizing the temporary and undefined nature of
each house. These houses do not exist in reality, not
in the way that they are represented here. Time has
altered each house; memory has added windows,
changed colors, made things larger or smaller. This
is my childhood, and yet it isn’t. The weathering and
overgrown look of my sculptures implies that the
memory has been eroded over time. Some houses are
more eroded, or more forgotten, than others. I have
represented the superficiality of suburbia through
creating the houses as façades, like those on a film
set. The renderings that my parents and I created are
featured in the installation to call to mind a process
behind the neighborhood. Behind each cookie-cutter
suburb is an impersonal artistic process in which a
house is designed, then copied and pasted with a few
HOA approved colors and trims. Here, that process
is disrupted by lingering memories and emotions,
leaving each house with a distinct personality that
turns the once monolithic American suburb into my
unique Memory Lane neighborhood.
20 in x 14.5 in x 55.5 in
polystyrene foam, phenolic foam, polyester fiberfill, gypsum plaster, cork board, wood, static grass, paper, thread, electrical wiring
Date of Online Publication
Copyright 2022, Sophia DiMarzio. Reproduced with permission. The artists and/or collaborators who contribute to the Rollins College Student Art Gallery and Archive retain the rights to their own works. In making these collection materials available, Rollins College does not grant permission to reproduce or redistribute them, in part or in full. The College does not own the copyright to any of the materials, cannot grant any requests for permission to reproduce them, and will forward reproduction requests to the artists and/or collaborators.
mixed media, suburbia, nostalgia, America, American dream, memory, reflection, neighborhoods, homes