June 19 – August 15, 2010

Empire of Dreams Phenomenology of the built environment Contemporary artists from Toronto

The things that we build embody our highest aspirations and our essential instincts to survive. They also express our will to find place, to establish dominion over territory, over our destiny. Empire of Dreams is an exhibition of recent work by artists that looks at ways in which we exist within our built environment – the phenomenon that is our experience and interaction with structures and architectures that shape complex sensory and cognitive relationships to our surroundings. Empire is manifest through physical structure – the built environment – and also through intangible and arbitrary structures: economics, politics, and the social and cultural constructs that influence identity and our perception of our place in the world. The artworks selected and produced for Empire of Dreams convey the artists’ insightful and timely discourses around our ever-shifting relationships to architecture, urbanization, economic and cultural paradigms, utopianism, existing and imagined space; the physical and the fluid structures that characterize empire and define who we are. The artists’ backgrounds are diverse yet are filtered through the common lens of living in Toronto, Canada in the year 2010. Though the exhibition and the artwork do not always reference Toronto specifically, this shared experience of living in a large urban centre inevitably reflects conditions of existence common to all of us in the age of globalisation, of an emerging global empire. Through a remarkable range of approaches, techniques and in various media, the works in Empire of Dreams awaken within us new understandings of our surroundings, of the worlds that we build and inhabit. Empire of Dreams also includes a magazine-format publication documenting the exhibition, including text from the curator, interviews with participating artists, and contributions from prominent guest writers and theorists, produced in collaboration with new Toronto-based art journal One Hour Empire.

Dan Bergeron/ Joda Clément with Nigel Craig/ Liam Crockard/ Dorian FitzGerald/ Sara Graham/ Alberto Guedea Zamora/ David Han/ Janet Jones/ Yvonne Lammerich/ Tristram Lansdowne/ An Te Liu/ Samina Mansuri/ Alex McLeod/ Jade Rude and Bruno Billio/ Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak/ T&T (Tyler Brett and Tony Romano)/ Josh Thorpe/ David Trautrimas Curated by David Liss

Installation Shots

Opening Reception

Saturday June 19, 7 – 11 pm


Empire of Dreams Live: Artists and the Built Environment Panel Discussion June 29, 6:30 – 8 pm at the Drake Underground Meet the Artist: Dan Bergeron discusses his urban interventions and his latest site-specific installation created for Empire of Dreams July 10, 1 pm Meet the Artist: Janet Jones discusses her works in Empire of Dreams July 10, 1 pm Meet the Artist: Bruno Billio and Jade Rude talk about their collaborative project Russian Mountain and Yellow-Black Tower featured in Empire of Dreams August 7, 1 pm


Matthew Teitelbaum Partners in Art RBC Foundation David Blackwood