(All images: © Boucher-Harris.com)
Nadia Belerique – Holdings at 72 Perth, each barrel becomes a frame or vessel for compositions of liquids, photographs, and object assemblages outfitted with lens-like stained-glass coverings.

TORONTO BIENNIAL OF ART – Contemporary Art across the city.

Running from March 26, 2022 the Toronto Biennial of Art (the Biennial/TBA) is Canada’s leading visual arts event focused exclusively on contemporary art from around the world. The Biennial’s free exhibitions and programs this year titled ‘What Water Knows, The Land Remembers’ are presented across several sites throughout the 72-day event and remain on view until June 5, 2022.

For 10 weeks every two years, local, national, and international Biennial artists transform the city and its partner regions with free access to artworks, talks, and performances that reflect the local context and the Biennial’s commitment to inspire individuals, bridge communities, contribute to global conversations, and amplify calls to action.

With multiple exhibition sites, over 100 artworks from 65 creators and 40 talks, workshops and performances, contemporary art has never been more accessible.

The Mata Aho Collective – Kaokao #1 at Arsenal Contemporary Art, is created from some 200 metres of reflective tape, sewn together into a tukutuku lattice pattern.

 Most Exhibitions and Programs will be held at the Biennial’s two main Exhibition venues—72 Perth Avenue in the Junction neighborhood and the Small Arms Inspection Building in nearby Mississauga—and will also occur at site-specific locations throughout the city. Other programming sites include 5 Lower Jarvis Street; Arsenal Contemporary Art; Colborne Lodge; Fort York National Historic Site, Toronto History Museums; High Park; Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (MOCA); and Textile Museum of Canada.

Buhlebezwe Siwani – Sinje NgamaJuba at Arsenal Contemporary Art, focuses on black women, their place and role in the cultural tradition of African spirituality and religious rituals through which beliefs are performed. 

 The inaugural Toronto Biennial of Art (the Biennial/TBA) launched in 2019, was a popular and critical success, drawing nearly 300,000 visitors to 15 venues in Toronto, Mississauga and the surrounding GTA and provided expanded views of contemporary art practices, including significant contributions by artists from Black, Indigenous, and POC communities, establishing a legacy of free and accessible contemporary arts programming.

 Conceived as a two-part biennial, the 2019 inaugural edition, titled The Shoreline Dilemma, traced the various interconnected narratives and ecologies of the ever-changing shoreline of Lake Ontario — a rapidly changing, symbolically rich, and historically charged location – and was animated by artists working across disciplines along with writers, activists, community organizers, and other participants.

Jeffrey Gibson – I am Your Relative at The Museum of Contemporary Art features 15 moveable stages which become an archive over time as they are covered with posters that incorporate text and images from local historical archives and from the public.

What Water Knows, The Land Remembers

The second chapter of the Biennial, titled What Water Knows, The Land Remembers, will explore locations near above-ground and hidden water tributaries that channel water into Lake Ontario, as well as the ravines that shape the city’s geography.

Syrus Marcus Ware’s work, MBL Freedom, a film and mixed media installation, is one of many artists featured at the Small Arms Inspection Building.

TBA 2022 artists will be featured at sites across Toronto and within its surrounding communities, enabling visitors to explore, learn, and reconnect to the city and its complex histories through art. TBA will partner with established art institutions, artist-run centres, arts organizations, community organizations, educational institutions, and repurposed spaces to provide integral support to the Biennial’s core activities. Wherever possible, access to the Biennial will be free and open to visitors of all ages.

Paul Pfeiffer – Incarnator at 72 Perth is a multimedia body of work that explores the belief systems surrounding the encarnadores, sculptors revered in the Philippines for their ability to create uncanny life-like representations of Catholic icons.

 Toronto has been a significant site for exchange with 15,000 years of continuous Indigenous presence. Today, more than half its residents were born outside of Canada. This framework, together with Toronto’s vibrant contemporary art scene, has created an engaging, challenging, and thought-provoking foundation for TBA.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan – 45th Parallel at Mercer Union, focuses on the Haskell Free Library and Opera House—a unique municipal site between the jurisdictions of Canada and the United States. The story that unfolds, centres on Hernández vs. Mesa, a judicial case covering the fatal, cross-border shooting in 2010 of an unarmed fifteen-year-old Mexican national by a US Border Patrol agent.The performance about one border conflict is set on the site of a grey legal area and looks at how each border implicates the other and how borders are not lines but, rather, richly layered spaces.

For more information on programs, workshops, artist talks and the full list of venues and artwork visit: torontobiennial.org, @torontobiennial, and #TOBiennial22 on
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Brian Jungen – Plague Mask 3 at 5 Lower Jarvis. The artist uses Nike Air Jordan sneakers to create masks akin to those by First Nations of the Pacific Northwest Coast. In 2020, Brian produced the first Plague Mask, a series of works that now includes three distinct sculptures that are part of the 2022 Biennial.

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