xpace: External Space: A Proposal for Ontario Place by Ryan Ferko

Ryan Ferko, video and installation artist; Toronto based


Toronto based artist Ryan Ferko video A Proposal for Ontario Place was a response to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport’s request for proposals to architects for the revitalization of Ontario Place (RFP).

Ferko’s art practice includes video, installation, performance and site-specific intervention, rooted in his explorations of history of architecture and it’s significant impact on urban development.

In the video A Proposal for Ontario Place, Ferko documents his process of composing his painting as a painter in their studio, not using the conventional paintbrush, but instead a forklift and jerry-rigged paintbrush attached to an overhead crane. Paint from tubes are dragged and smeared across a large detailed pencil drawing. Ferko controls the movement of the jerry-rigged brush using a remote control to maneuver the overhead crane.

Ferko’s proposal draws attention to the original intention and purpose of Ontario Place theme park when built in 1971, which was to revitalize Toronto’s waterfront, and to create a friendly, appealing space, but this sentiment did not transcend through time and now the theme looks dated and no longer appealing.

Ferko’s proposal to RFP, replicates the failure of creating a futuristic space through his video and attached painting that was sent as a response to the RFP.

 The failure of Ferko’s proposal to actually suggest a use for the site is embedded in its creation. At the same time, it also considers the history of the site itself as a failure.”    Amber Landgraff

Ryan Ferko, A Proposal for Ontario Place


Ryan Ferko is a recent graduate of OCAD University Interdisciplinary Master’s in Art, Media and Design. He has exhibited across Toronto and Europe as well as published by the Journal of Architecture in Canada.

Visit the Learning Zone to view A Proposal for Ontario Place until February 17th

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About The Author

Heather Evelyn

Learning Zone Technician at OCAD University Library.

Other posts by

Author his web site


01 2015

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