‘UTOPIA (installation)’, and ‘PUPPETS’


This installation is inspired by artist and architect Vladimir Tatlin’s 'Monument to the Third International', a tower and building in honor of the Russian Revolution. Tatlin’s tower was a symbol of the new age of technological advancement and embodied utopian thought, yet it remained unrealized and (along with many of the ideals it was built upon) was more successful in theory than in practice. The symbol and legacy of Tatlin’s tower became the perfect structure to suspend the ‘Puppets’—small glass like images of my peers, which are illuminated from a central cone of light.

II. PUPPETS (Original Form)

16. Puppets (Orginal Form).jpg

These transparent objects combine representation and distortion to explore an ‘honest’ image. These double photographic exposure images of my peers are printed onto a clear plastic and then subjected to heat. Through this natural distortion process, as the artist, I give up control, and my subjects lose control over their image, and the way they will be represented. As these 2D images become three dimensional and tangible, they warp, shrink, and ultimately coalesce into a singular image from their overlapping portraits. I am disrupting this dimensionally limited photo based image to mine a more authentic version of my subject. These hybrids present a more honest image than the photographs they originated from, as they move from flat surface to 3D form they become reanimated, imperfect, distorted and ultimately more real. When photographing these puppets I had control over the scale, light, and arrangement, returning them to the two dimensional photograph.


Parker Lily is a Toronto based Visual Artist. Her practice includes painting, drawn photography and installation work. Her body of work explores the curated self, a persona constructed from messages informed by conditioning, stereotypes and the normative rules of mediated culture. Presentation and presence in social media are in conflict as the virtual subject rejects imperfection, and selectively chooses to reveal a more perfect version of itself.

Parker Lily is currently studying at Etobicoke School of the Arts, in the Contemporary Arts program. Her work has been exhibited in Canada and the U.S., including Toronto galleries; Stephen Bulger Gallery, Artscape, and New York Galleries; Albright Knox Gallery and TAG Gallery.

She’s on IG and has a website here for more of her work.