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New Exhibit in The Rouse Gallery – "NORMCORE: CONFLATION: NORMAL / HARDCORE"


Exhibit: March 27 - May 21 in the Rouse Gallery.
Lecture: Friday April 6, 2018 from 5-6pm

Ken Smith is one of the best-known of a generation of landscape architects equally at home in the worlds of art, architecture, and urbanism. Trained in both design and the fine arts, he explores the relationship between art, contemporary culture, and landscape. His practice, Ken Smith Workshop, was established in 1992 and is based in New York City.

NORMCORE is a contemporary phenomenon, particularly in the fashion world, where common, ordinary or street fashion is elevated and transformed with new content and signification through artistic appropriation and manipulation. NORMCORE conflates normal and hardcore. NORMCORE typically takes the common bland normal and infuses it with wit, irony and craft.
Most landscapes are not designed by landscape architects. They are installed products procured from catalogs, big box retailers or maintenance supply sources. Walmart, Home Depot and Lowes® are the country’s largest suppliers of landscape products. Landscape aesthetics are typically derived from mainstream media images and precedents. Mostly these landscapes are created as expressions of normality and convention.

This lecture of the installation looks at the issues of NORMCORE aesthetics and critique in landscape design. What is normal in the profession and industry and what are the contemporary cultural conditions and questions that might be explored through NORMCORE inquiry, reworking, and commentary?


Ken Smith taking photo of his installation
Installation of the "Normcore" Exhibit