The Garden of Future Follies
The Garden of Future Follies is a sculpture garden that brings together elements from over 80 existing public sculptures and architectural details from around the City of Toronto. A folly is typically a constructed park with architectural elements that appear to have no particular use or exist in a state of ruin. In the 19th Century, such gardens offered a place for people to informally gather for leisure activities and contemplation. Designing The Garden of Future Follies required working on public sites using a casting technique the artists invented by pressing a matte, black foil normally used in theatre lighting directly onto a sculpted surface. Over 150 unique impressions were collected and subsequently cast in bronze. The individual sculptures reflect tendencies in public artworks, both Classical and Modern. The white paving stones under foot articulate the outline of a typical Victorian home in ruin. The overall sculptural collage-work asks, “what happens when we fragment, reiterate and recollect the repeated forms and gestures that normally contribute to the perpetuation of dominant ideology as told by existing public sculptures and architectural structures?”
Many of Toronto’s original public sculptures commemorate colonial power and reflect the permanent dwelling of dominant histories throughout the city. Because these sculptures are often larger than life and out of reach, The Garden of Future Follies deconstructs the hierarchy, scale and orientation of these sculptures and brings them down to street level. The garden frees existing figures to be re-imagined by the public, and to challenge the limits of our political, social and architectural imaginations.