September 21 – December 1, 2019

Büyüktaşçıyan’s installation, Reveries of an Underground Forest, consists of carpets rolled to resemble the stumps of trees, inspired by the forests that once flourished in the Toronto region and are now buried under the foundations of our modern city. The carpets are embellished with linear burn patterns that are reminiscent of ethnic motifs, aerial maps of suburban neighbourhoods, and the abstracted movements of people who have migrated to new lands and inscribed their own histories.

Commissioned by the Toronto Biennial of Art. 

Hera Büyüktaşçıyan is the recipient of the Toronto Biennial of Art’s first Emerging Artist Prize, awarded to acknowledge a promising, early-career Biennial artist.


Hera Büyüktaşcıyan (born in 1984, Istanbul, Turkey) is an artist with a multidisciplinary practice who considers notions of absence and invisibility with the aquatic nature of memory, time and space. Selected local and international exhibitions include the New Museum Triennial, New York (2021); the 3rd Autostrada Biennial, Kosovo (2021); the British Museum, London (2021); On Stones and Palimpsests, Green Art Gallery, Dubai (2020); the Lahore Biennial 02, Pakistan (2020); the 6th Singapore Biennial (2019); IFA Galerie, Berlin (2019); the national pavilion of Armenia, 56th Venice Biennale (2015); and The Jerusalem Show VII, Jerusalem (2014). In 2019, she received the Emerging Artist Prize at the Toronto Biennial.

Exhibition Site

259 Lake Shore Blvd East

The life of this nondescript building reveals the area’s economic history. Its first tenant in 1945, the Standard Chemical Company, produced methanol, formaldehyde, and charcoal. A railway line to the south tethered the site to the movement of goods. By 1954, the building was divided into a warehouse and a showroom, a configuration that remained intact over the course of various leaseholders, including oil and electrical supply companies and a series of car dealerships. (The advertising of its most recent tenant, Volvo, is still visible on the façade.) This building’s fate is indeterminate, as real estate development is increasingly filling the voids left by industrial decline.

259 Lake Shore Blvd East
Toronto ON
M5A 3T7