Empire of Illusion: Terry Munro


Empire of Illusion: Terry Munro


28 × 30 cm | 11 × 12 in
100 ills | 128 pages

Contributor: Bill Jeffries

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Over the past decade Canadian artist Terry Munro has concentrated his creative efforts in documenting one street: Las Vegas Boulevard in Nevada, USA. Visually, Las Vegas offers an unprecedented environment that purposely and at great expense seeks to interrogate the relationship between reality, symbols and society in often bizarre, ethnocentric, exaggerated, extraordinary and outrageous ways. It is a place that demands the craving of fantasy, ecstasy and illusion.

Munro’'s photographs deal in part with the architecture of the region and how the real and fiction are seamlessly blended together, with themes for some of the largest hotels in the world spanning from the Roman Empire and contemporary Paris to ancient Egypt. Rising from a vast desolate desert, the city is a strange and massive American economic engine fuelled by entertainment, gambling, consumerism and sex.

The photographs presented here in duotone by Munro distil the hyperbole and extravagance of the Las Vegas strip to reveal simple truths about spectacle as the final manifestation of capitalism. Exploring the ideas and influences of Munro, Bill Jeffries has contributed a text that explores these themes in more detail, and how the photographer’s work sits within the canon of North American photography.

Terry Munro is a Canadian artist who lives in Calgary and Vancouver. His photographs can be found in the collections of the National Gallery of Canada, Alberta Foundation for the Arts, Canada Council Art Bank and many others. He is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute in California. Bill Jeffries is a writer, artist and former curator, and was recently the Director/Curator of Presentation House Gallery and Simon Fraser University Galleries in Vancouver.