- Hide menu

Ought Apartment: Vancouver Art Gallery Installation (2009)


1950s and 1960s Decades:


1970s and 1980s Decades:


1990s and 2000s Decades:


Architectural Drawings:

Virtual Tour of Ought Apartment at 4pi Media:

Ought Apartment Virtual Tour

Time lapse video of the construction of Ought Apartment:

Ought Apartment

Ought Apartment was a six-storey installation that rose up through the main atrium in the Vancouver Art Gallery’s rotunda. The installation consisted of a tower in which six full-scale apartments were stacked one on top of another. Using household objects that have been discarded for more up-to-date models in the process of home renovation, the artist recycled these items, transforming them from objects of neglect into an inclusive work that comments on interior decoration and renovation as a social phenomenon ― as an important element in the process of locating a population as social subjects.

Each apartment was furnished with the rejected and dated items from the 1950s (located on the lower level of the tower) through to the present decade (located at the top level). In keeping with the authenticity and architectural accuracy sought within the work, the dimensions of each apartment fluctuate so that the overall design at each level was indicative of the floor plans specific to each decade. Thus each level reflects the décor, dimensions and layout of a specific decade, becoming emblematic of that period’s interior design and domestic living.

The installation had multiple viewing points on the ground floor, the second and third floor escalators and the fourth floor balconies that overlook the rotunda. The varied heights and widths of the installation in relation to the gallery levels presents visitors with many unusual sightlines and unorthodox viewing angles into each apartment. Through this process of “making strange,” the viewer is invited to consider their relationship to the consumption and construction of domestic space.

Ought Apartment’s engagement with the changing nature of apartment/condominium living and the economy of obsolescence that often drives the process of home renovation takes on a heightened resonance through its relation to Vancouver’s ever-escalating development boom.

Ought Apartment installation photos: Rachel Topham, Vancouver Art Gallery