Chroma Lives is a multi-stage exhibition and archive project by Erin Alexa Freedman and Lili Huston-Herterich.
The exhibition, mounted in Toronto from June 1 – June 30 in Camrost Felcorp's Yorkville Plaza Condo Presentation Centre, featured works by Joshua Brolly, Connor Crawford, Laura Dawe, Mike Goldby, Heather Goodchild, Oliver Husain, Tim Jocelyn, Laurie Kang, Brittany MacDougall, Tammy McClennan, Pasha Moezzi, Manden Murphy, Roula Partheniou, Shakeel Rehemtulla & Dynasty, Wanze Song, Kristian Spreen, and Brad Tinmouth.
Chroma Lives is a performative exploration of Toronto's 1983 exhibition Chromaliving: New Designs for Living. Chromaliving, curated by the late artist Tim Jocelyn, Andy Fabo, and the figurative painting collective ChromaZone, was staged in a vacant retail space in Toronto's Bloor Street Colonnade. Featuring 150 artists, Chromaliving took the form of a hallucinogenic home decor show, with imaginative room environments parading influential artistic movements and commercial enterprises of the twentieth century. The labyrinth-like setting of domestic room displays deliberately challenged the hierarchies of fine over applied art and design, making gentle parodies of both.
Chroma Lives calls attention to the individuals behind the furnishings and the subsequent generations of Canadian artists who work in this vein. For the month of June 2016, Chroma Lives remobilized Chromaliving's formula for theatricalizing domestic space by staging a workspace in the sales centre of the new Yorkville Plaza at 21 Avenue Road — a few blocks away from the Colonnade — filling it with furnishings by contemporary Toronto-based artists and designers. The site functioned both as a public exhibition space and an oral history hub where the curators conducted recorded interviews with Chromaliving participants, spectators, and critics. Archival documentation was collected in conjunction with oral testimonies, allowing subjective histories to determine the course of data collection. The project will culminate in an online digital archive, housed permanently on this URL, by spring of 2017.
Commissioned by Dutch arts organization If I Can't Dance, I Don't Want To Be Part Of Your Revolution in conjunction with their programming edition Event and Duration, the Chroma Lives exhibition was presented in partnership with Camrost Felcorp, and supported by the Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts.