MOCA Toronto Announces Fall 2020 Exhibitions

The Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (MOCA) released the details of its exhibition programme for fall 2020. The programme features work by Fatma Bucak, Yazan Khalili, Mika Rottenberg and Krista Belle Stewart plus a new commission by Michael Lin.

Alongside this roster of major works by Canadian and international artists, MOCA continues its highly regarded online platform Shift Key, profiling timely video works by a range of significant artists selected by independent curator and interdisciplinary art historian Daisy Desrosiers.

“I am delighted to launch my tenure with this unique series of exhibitions and a new curatorial perspective for MOCA’s online platform, Shift Key, working closely with our Artistic Director November Paynter and the entire MOCA team. It’s also incredibly inspiring to be working again with artist Michael Lin and to able to commission a new site specific work for MOCA,” said MOCA’s Executive Director and CEO Kathleen Bartels.

“We appreciate the creative partnerships that make MOCA’s exhibitions possible and sincerely thank the Museum’s supporters for their continued generosity,” said Bartels.

Medusa: Yazan Khalili
September 3 – November 15, 2020

Yazan Khalili, Medusa, 2020. Video still, Courtesy the artist and Mophradat

Medusa (2020) by Ramallah-based Yazan Khalili builds on his long-standing engagement with digital archiving in times of political unrest and engages with the rise of facial recognition technologies. While the human face is an everyday mode of personal identification, the COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented historical transition in how we perceive one another. Despite the fact that Khalili produced this work prior to the pandemic, the current requirement to wear a mask in public spaces has introduced a new, universal layer of facial concealment from which to engage with the ideas of Medusa and the mythology it references.

Acts of Erasure: Fatma Bucak / Krista Belle Stewart
October 1, 2020 – January 3, 2021

Fatma Bucak, from the series Remains of what has not been said, 2016. Courtesy the artist.

Acts of Erasure brings the two distinct artistic practices of Fatma Bucak and Krista Belle Stewart into dialogue. This pairing opens space for conversations around political identity concerning land and heritage, methodologies of historical repression and interpretation and the act and effects of erasure.

Krista Belle Stewart, Truth to Material, 2019 (Installation view), Nanaimo Art Gallery. Photo credit: Sean Fenzl. Courtesy the artist.

Bucak identifies as both Kurdish and Turkish, an identity inherently tied to the social realities of border landscapes. Her work expresses a negotiation and interrogation of the ideological and conceptual conditions of these liminal spaces.

For this exhibition, she reconfigures an earlier artwork,
 Remains of what has not been said (2016). In addition, the exhibition includes A Study of Eight Landscapes (2012–16), which confronts the contingency of border spaces and the tenuous interdependency that reside within them.

Michael Lin
October 2020 – February 2021

Michael Lin, Enjoy, 2017. Chiostro del Bramante, Rome. Courtesy the artist.

Michael Lin is a leading Taiwanese contemporary painter and conceptual artist whose work has been exhibited internationally in major institutions and Biennials around the world, including The Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; The Vancouver Art Gallery; Towanda Art Center, Japan; Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing and in the Lyon and Singapore Biennials. Lin has been commissioned by MOCA to produce a site-specific, spatial painting for the Museum’s entrance floor. His monumental painting installations re-conceptualize and reconfigure public spaces, inviting visitors to alter their usual perception and become an integral part of the work. At MOCA, his installation references archipelago islands, a response to the distancing requirements created by COVID-19, as well as providing an optimistic and energetic visual impact for Museum visitors. The various surfaces are adorned with patterns taken from Taiwanese, Indonesian and Hawaiian-inspired textiles. As at other museums, Lin’s acclaimed murals will be painted by local artists under mentorship from Lin and his studio.

Spaghetti Blockchain: Mika Rottenberg
November 12, 2020 – March 21, 2021

Mika Rottenberg, Spaghetti Blockchain, 2019. Video still. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth

MOCA is working with Argentina-born, New York-based
artist Mika Rottenberg to present three of her most recent
film installations along with other key works from her 
practice. This will be the first time that Rottenberg’s work
is exhibited in Toronto. MOCA partnered with the New 
Museum of Contemporary Art, New York in 2017, to co-
commission Rottenberg’s latest work, Spaghetti Blockchain (2019). The exhibition at MOCA will feature this incredible work alongside installations No Nose Knows (2015) and Cosmic Generator (2017).

Rottenberg is devoted to a rigorous practice that combines film, architectural installation and sculpture to explore ideas of labor and the production of value in our contemporary hyper-capitalist world. The overall exhibition design is being planned with Rottenberg, who is developing her spatial practice to include a sustainable angle using unfinished/reusable materials.

The exhibition is presented in partnership with Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal where it will be on view in 2021.

Shift Key

Jess Chun, SULLAE 술래, 2020. Video still. Courtesy the artist.

MOCA’s rotating online platform of video artworks will be curated from September through to the end of 2020 by independent curator and interdisciplinary art historian Daisy Desrosiers. The selection made by Desrosiers looks at the poetics of slowness and the complex relationships between collective narratives and memory as modes of becoming.

Desrosiers’ programme will premiere with the work SULLAE 술래 (2020) by New York-based artist Jesse Chun.