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The Alchemist’s Garden

View of river and grassy meadow

The Alchemist’s Garden

October 23–December 1, 2012

University of Toronto Art Centre

The Alchemist’s Garden, created by architect and artist David Lieberman, comprises a series of large scale digitally created landscapes and a video composed of the same scenes. For Lieberman, landscape is never static. Our understanding of its composition and intent continually changes and evolves depending on how a site is occupied and used. Lieberman uses digitally painted gardens and landscapes to explore this idea as they can be manipulated in order to present opportunities for access and intervention. Ultimately for Lieberman, landscape, like architecture, should be understood as a performing rather than a fine art.

The landscapes, in both the print and video versions, are dotted with a series of structures which Lieberman describes as alchemical instruments. As we move through his constructed landscapes, spaces shift and unfurl, views are framed and transitions are mediated. Simultaneously, the landscapes morph temporally, topographically, and geographically. The experience of site depends on time of day, seasonal difference, climatic changes, and the fictive archaeologies of histories past and of futures as yet unwritten. Lieberman has purposely punctuated his garden with alchemical instruments so that they may act as enabling mechanisms to transform both space and experience and to create moments of pause and transformation.

Art with Insight Conversation

Mediating Landscape
Wednesday November 14, 2012, 7-9pm
Featuring David Lieberman and Niamh O’Laoghaire
Video Documentation
University of Toronto Art Centre

Contemporary Art Bus Tour

Sunday November 11, 2012, 12-5pm
Beginning at the University of Toronto Art Centre

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the project support from Manulife Financial.

Title Image: David Lieberman, The Alchemist’s Garden to navigate the River Styx, 2010.

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