TORONTO BIENNIAL OF ART
September 21 – December 01, 2019
Today the Toronto Biennial of Art (the Biennial) announced the participation of 33 more Canadian, Indigenous, and international artists, collaborators and collectives presenting work at its inaugural event from September 21 to December 1, 2019. Co-curated by Candice Hopkins and Tairone Bastien, the free, 72-day event will include 20 new commissions and more than 100 works installed across 10 sites on or near Toronto’s waterfront.
“We are beyond excited to launch Toronto’s first art biennial this fall,” said Toronto Biennial of Art Founder and Executive Director Patrizia Libralato. “Our inaugural roster celebrates local and Canadian talent and showcases artists from across the globe. Exhibited in unexpected locations along the waterfront, and working in collaboration with different cultural partners around the city, we invite the world to come to Toronto this fall to experience ambitious contemporary art.”
In total, the Biennial will bring together more than 90 local and international participants, hailing from over 40 places of origin, including Brazil, France, Germany, Guatemala, Iran, Thailand, Turkey, and the United States as well as Nunavut and Indigenous communities in Canada, Colombia, Mexico, and Aotearoa New Zealand.
The range of contributors reflects Toronto’s status as one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world and the Biennial’s commitment to addressing the most pressing issues of our time from a variety of perspectives. The majority of the Biennial‘s exhibitions and programs will take place at venues along Toronto’s waterfront between Etobicoke Creek and Ashbridges Bay. The city sits on the edge of Lake Ontario, which is part of the Great Lakes-one of the largest freshwater systems on Earth. The vision for the first Biennial has been shaped by the water and the multi-layered history of Toronto’s ever-changing shoreline-a site of migration, colonization, and commerce that includes relics of heavy industry, dense condominium developments, active and decommissioned military sites, lost rivers, manufactured parks, and human-made spits.
The artists in Toronto’s inaugural Biennial will engage with the waterfront’s different ecosystems-environmental, cultural, spiritual, infrastructural, economic-to explore the effects of connection as well as disjunction. “The contingencies among people, nature, and economies inform the Biennial’s central question: “What does it mean to be in relation?” said co-curators Candice Hopkins and Tairone Bastien. “The artworks explore how relations-both human and non-human-can reaffirm communion and generate ecosystems, but also have the potential to breed anxieties, glitches, anomie, and alienation.”
Launching in fall 2019, the Toronto Biennial of Art is a new international contemporary visual arts event that is as culturally connected and diverse as Toronto itself. For 10 weeks every two years, the city will be transformed by exhibitions, talks, and performances that reflect the local context while engaging with the world’s most pressing issues. In an effort to make contemporary art available to everyone, the Biennial’s free, citywide programming aims to galvanize citizens, bridge communities, and contribute to global conversations from a variety of perspectives.