Toronto Biennial of Art Opens This Weekend

The Shoreline Dilemma, the inaugural edition of the Toronto Biennial of Art opens on Saturday, September 21, 2019, with special opening weekend programming.

Curated by Candice Hopkins and Tairone Bastien, The Shoreline Dilemma explores the implications of Toronto’s ever-changing shoreline in the context of a central question: What does it mean to be in relation?

Over 90 local and international participants will be featured throughout the 72-day event responding to this question through artworks and programming.

The Exhibition and Programs will take place at more than 15 sites across Toronto as well as online until December 1, 2019.

Opening weekend events are free to the public from September 21‒22, 2019.

Events on Saturday, September 21, include:

A Public Apology to Siksika Nation, AA Bronson and Adrian Stimson
Program: Currents
Time: 11:00 am – 12:00 pm
Location: 259 Lake Shore Boulevard East

Bronson’s A Public Apology to Siksika Nation responds to European genocide, including his great-grandfather’s role as the first missionary at Siksika Nation, while Stimson’s response, generated in close dialogue with residential school survivors and leaders, reveals the layers of colonization and Indigenous resistance in his community.
Food will be shared following the performance.

The Drowned World, curated by Charles Stankievech
Film screening
Time: 11:00 am – 4:00 pm
Location: Ontario Place Cinesphere, 955 Lake Shore Boulevard West

From cosmological origin stories to a future in which civilization is extinct, The Drowned World reveals this brave new world, where the artificial boundaries of modernity’s civilizations have evaporated, and life in all its forms continues to shift. The project’s title refers to J.G. Ballard’s 1962 archaeopsychic cli-fi novel in which the ice caps have melted and submerged the world, forcing the migration of a dwindling and devolving human species into the Canadian Arctic.
This Biennial site was made possible through a partnership with Ontario Place Corporation.

Caecila Tripp: Interstellar Sleep
Program: Currents
Time: September 21, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm; September 22, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
Location: 259 Lake Shore Boulevard East

Interstellar Sleep is an immersive installation produced in collaboration with astrophysicists from York University Observatory, cosmologist Renée Hložek, and composer Mani Mazinani. It comprises a celestial film scape, a surround soundscape, and a series of performances.
Commissioned by the Toronto Biennial of Art. Going Space and Other Worlding, a related exhibition of Tripp’s work, is presented at the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU) and curated by Emelie Chhangur.

Conversation: Hajra Waheed, Nabila Abdel Nabi, and Jayne Wilkinson
Program: Currents
Time: 1:30 ‒ 3:00 pm
Location: The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, 231 Queen’s Quay West

On the occasion of Hajra Waheed’s solo exhibition Hold Everything Dear at The Power Plant, her installation at the Biennial, and Canadian Art’s fall 2019 issue launch, the artist will discuss the evolution of her multidisciplinary practice with The Power Plant’s guest curator Nabila Abdel Nabi and Canadian Art editor-in-chief Jayne Wilkinson.
Presented in partnership with The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and Canadian Art

Althea Thauberger and Kite: Call to Arms
Programs: Currents
Time: 5:30 – 7:30 pm
Location: HMCS York, 659 Lake Shore Boulevard West

Althea Thauberger facilitates public access to Her Majesty’s Canadian Ship (HMCS) York, an active naval site, for the performance of a musical score by Kite and the HMCS York band. Boasting the country’s only conch shell sextet, the band will perform in the Navy’s drill hall, known as a “stone ship.” Free registration is required for this event here.

Sinaaqpagiaqtuut/The Long-Cut (Procession Performance) – Embassy of Imagination
Program: Currents
Time: 4:00 – 9:00 pm
Location: Starting at The Bentway, 250 Fort York Boulevard, and following the waterfront to 259 Lake Shore Boulevard East

Presented in conjunction with Embassy of Imagination + PA System’s installation at 259 Lake Shore Boulevard East, Sinaaqpagiaqtuut/The Long-Cut is a procession that began in Kinngait (Cape Dorset, Nunavut) this summer and continues in Toronto. The procession features work by Kinngait youth from the Peter Pitseolak High School made in collaboration with the Oasis Skateboard Factory School in Toronto. Members of the public are invited to respectfully follow the procession along the way, while reflecting on their own relationship to place. Co-commissioned and presented in partnership with The Bentway. Produced by PA System.

Harbour Symphony (Performance) – Delf Maria Hohmann and Raven Chacon with Allison Cameron
Program: Currents
Time: 7:00‒7:30 pm
Location: Harbourfront Centre and Toronto Harbour

Composers Delf Maria Hohmann and Raven Chacon with Allison Cameron bring the Harbour Symphony to Toronto. This project originated in 1983 in St. John’s, Newfoundland, transforming boats berthed near the city’s shoreline into an orchestra on the water. Featuring music written for boat horns, Toronto’s rendition includes newly commissioned compositions as well as scores from the project’s musical archive. Presented in partnership with Harbourfront Centre.

Events on Sunday, September 22, at Small Arms Inspection Building

1352 Lakeshore Road East in Mississauga, include:

Opening BBQ – Remarks, Sawmill Sid, Embassy of Imagination and PA System
Time: 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Celebrate the opening weekend of the Toronto Biennial of Art with a family- and youth-friendly BBQ for neighbours and those further afield. After sharing a meal, participants can engage in a number of collaborative activities ranging from “drawing with the sun” – a cyanotype workshop led by Embassy of Imagination and PA System – to learning about capturing carbon with the Sawmill Sid initiative, and connecting with neighbouring Long Branch Tree Fest at Marie Curtis Park.

Other opening events at various locations on Sunday, September 22, include:

Syrus Marcus Ware: Antarctica
Program: Currents
Time: 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Location: 259 Lake Shore Boulevard East

Antarctica is half of a two-part installation at 259 Lake Shore Boulevard East and Ryerson Image Centre (RIC) that draws on the shared language of speculative fiction and political activism to create an imagined time portal through which the next generation of racialized activists offers insights into a future radically altered by climate change.

Decolonizing Astrophysics with Elder Duke Redbird and Renee Hlozek
Program: Currents
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Marie Curtis Park, 2 Forty Second St., Etobicoke

Artist and poet Elder Dr. Duke Redbird and astrophysicist Dr. Renée Hložek discuss the human relationship to the cosmos from a multiplicity of perspectives, considering their intersections as a potential path toward indigenizing astronomy curricula.

Presented in partnership with Art Gallery of York University (AGYU).