Dream House takes the form of a diminutive yet powerful three-dimensional ‘house image’, perched atop a mighty sculptural ‘stilt’. The piece is situated in downtown Toronto in an area of intense urban development. Dream House is visible from the ground level, from the dwellings above and from the busy highway south of the site that brings commuters and visitors into the city. During daylight hours Dream House is a striking sculptural object with multiple resonances: reminiscent of a tree house, an eyrie or a cabin the piece also makes reference to the emblematic ‘Monopoly houses’ used in the internationally played board game. The reference to the archetypal house object is direct and strong but there is also a sense of nest-like fragility and precariousness in the way Dream House sits, delicately held aloft by the outstretched ‘fingers’ of the robust stilt.
Phaophanit and Oboussier have repeatedly explored the image and concept of the house in their practise as both source and receptacle of poetic images. Here they explore the house as an archetypal image, cross-cultural in its signification. It is the ecumenical ‘readability’ of Dream House that in fact roots it in downtown Toronto and in its surrounding neighbourhoods. With its reputation as one of the most metropolitan cities in the world where trans-cultural processes have vastly expanded the boundaries and definitions of ‘belonging’, Toronto is ‘home’ to almost all of the world’s culture groups and is the city where more than 130 languages and dialects are spoken. Dream House claims its own home, nestled within this specific, cosmopolitan locus and can be read as inviting a re-imagining of notions of what it means to belong: how new ideations of home can be created in an expanded, global city such as Toronto.