Toronto Biennial of Art announces free public programs for its second edition opening March 26

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Toronto Biennial of Art announces free public programs for its second edition opening March 26
Tanya Lukin Linklater, How we mark land and how land marks us, video still, 2017. Performed by: Tanya Lukin Linklater with Laura Ortman, Elisa Harkins, and Hanako Hoshimi-Caines. Courtesy of the artist.

TORONTO.- Today, the Toronto Biennial of Art announced an extensive series of free public programs during the 10-week Biennial that will take place from March 26 to June 5, 2022. More than 40 local, national, and international participants will lead talks, workshops, performances, and learning programs that intersect and extend ideas emerging from the 2022 Biennial, What Water Knows, The Land Remembers. Programs will take place at several Exhibition sites, as well as at nearby outdoor locations. Working across and between both the 2019 and 2022 Biennial editions, the Programs team continues centering complex, relational contexts in its approaches as it brings intergenerational visitors together again through virtual and in-person events.

Contributors to 2022 Biennial Programs include: Derya Akay, Judy Chicago, Stephanie Comilang, Emilie Croning, Jess Dobkin, Ceinwen Gobert, Francisco-Fernando Granados, Timothy Yanick Hunter, Jatiwangi art Factory (JaF), Emily Johnson, Carolyn King, Emily Law, Yaniya Lee, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Ange Loft, Dr. George Mahashe, Ivanie Aubin-Malo, Moccasin Identifier, Dr. Moyo Rainos Mutamba, Anne Zanele Mutema, Eduardo Navarro, Aki Onda, Laura Ortman, Paul Pfeiffer, Dana Prieto, Eric-Paul Riege, Susan Schuppli, Buhlebezwe Siwani, Dainty Smith, Talking Treaties Collective, Toronto Landscape Observatory, Camille Turner, Syrus Marcus Ware, and Ravyn Wngz.

“Through storytelling sessions, conversations, performances, workshops, and walks, Biennial Programs invite communities to gather and learn together in different formats and engage deeply with artists’ works and practices,” said TBA Executive Director Patrizia Libralato. “Welcoming visitors back to the Biennial through our dynamic virtual and in-person public programs will be a powerful way to reconnect after more than two years apart.”

Most in-person 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.

”The Biennial Programs team works closely with artists and collaborators to create participatory, open, and meaningful public programs that both align with and expand upon the works in the Biennial Exhibition. We connect with community groups and partner arts organizations to create opportunities for learning and active engagement,” said TBA Deputy Director and Director of Programs Ilana Shamoon. “Our challenge in 2022 has been to develop programs that can be accessed in-person, outdoors, and online considering the shifting pandemic contexts we are all trying to safely navigate. We are so grateful to the inspiring group of participants and creative partners who have helped us shape the ideas and projects that we will present this spring.”

The Programs team worked alongside the Exhibition curators to develop a lexicon of terms that has helped inform their approach to public programs. Terms of particular resonance (bolded) include: coming together as part of a shared ethos at a given moment in time (collectivity); “breathing together” (the etymological roots of conspiring, further complicated by the current pandemic); experimenting new points of focus to better hear each other (listening); and embracing narratives that impact and, in some cases, uncomfortably upend prior learnings as a guiding principle to look inward as we move outward together (unlearning).

Throughout the course of the 2022 Biennial, Programs bring together participants and collaborators, whose practices offer visitors multiple entry points for engagement in a series of six programming streams:

TBA Public Programs is a platform for artist-led programming that invites visitors to engage directly with the creative and critical processes at work throughout the Exhibition.

Mobile Arts Curriculum (MAC) is a set of tools co-created with artists, available digitally on TBA’s website and physically at the main sites, that resonate with the Exhibition and respond to intergenerational arts education and learning needs.

Storytelling expands the mediation of contemporary art beyond conventional modes of interpreting and informing to narrating and embodying through weekly guided sessions, informal conversations, and spot tours at TBA’s main sites.

TBA School Programs are led by Storytellers who provide lively, participatory, age-appropriate sessions for elementary, secondary, and post-secondary students both in person and virtually.

TBA Podcasts is a curator-led, experiential platform for focused reflection, listening, and learning with Exhibition artists.

Onsite Libraries offer a collection of textual, visual, and material resources for visitors to read and explore, inviting a deeper personal or collective dialogue with the ideas and practices within the Exhibition.

The Biennial’s 2022 Programs are collaboratively developed by Roxanne Fernandes; Mary Kim, Kesang Nanglu, Emily Schimp, and Ilana Shamoon, with contributions from Exhibition curators Tairone Bastien, Candice Hopkins, Katie Lawson, and former curators Clare Butcher and Myung-Sun Kim.

Bios for all Programs participants are available on the TBA website and the full calendar of events, including descriptions, locations, dates, and times will also be available in the weeks to come.

Toronto Biennial of Art Public Programs highlights include:

Jatiwangi art Factory (JaF) with LAIR clay music ensemble: Andzar Agung Fauzan, Pipin Muhammad Kaspin, Tedi Nurmanto, Kiki Rasmadi Permana, Tamyiz Noor Ramadhan, and Ika Yuliana

Terrakota Route
Performance – in-person
Date: March 26, 2022 | Time: 11:00am
Location: Small Arms Inspection Building

As part of the launch of the 2022 Biennial, members of Jatiwangi art Factory (JaF) come together in Terrakota Route for a mobile multimedia performance featuring original sound pieces and live activations. As a collective, their artistic practice emphasizes local rural life in relation to land and the terracotta industry in the Jatiwangi district, Indonesia. Clay, which is central to all of their artistic and cultural activities in the spirit of community empowerment, also serves as a material for fashioning instruments used by JaF’s music ensemble, Lair. Inspired by the traditional obrog-obrog played each morning throughout the village of Jatisura in West Java, Indonesia to mark the beginning of Ramadan, Lair’s performance ushers in a time of fasting, introspection, and prayer observed by many Muslim community members in Toronto.

Terrakota Route is a part of The Shape of Sound, a curatorial project organized by Sebastian De Line as a part of the 2022 Curatorial Fellowship program, made possible by the generous support of TD Bank Group through the TD Ready Commitment, and in partnership with the Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, and the Gardiner Museum.

C Magazine Workshops with Francisco-Fernando Granados and Jess Dobkin
Workshop – in-person
Dates: April 15, 22, 29, 2022 | Time: 4:30 – 7:30pm | Location: 72 Perth Avenue

In this series of artist-led workshops, participants develop approaches to alternative archival practices that are rooted in community rather than established by an institution. Informed by the tenets of C Magazine’s Experiments in Criticism program, which was formed in consultation with experts in critical art pedagogy in 2019, these workshops pose questions for contemplation, discussion, and activation, such as: How can we develop embodied historiographic practices using creative-critical methods? How can we immediately begin to write a future that doesn’t perpetuate the same erasures we’ve witnessed to date? How do we record select details of our present in ways that will ensure they retain their vivacity over time, and by extension, how do we decide what to commit to memory?

This program is co-created and co-presented with C Magazine.

Toronto Landscape Observatory
Installation, Walks, Learning Programs – in-person
Dates: May 2 to June 5, 2022
Time: Various times, check TBA website for details
Location: 72 Perth Avenue

Curated by 2019 Biennial contributors Jane Wolff and Susan Schwartzenberg, Toronto Landscape Observatory is a collection of tools, walks, workshops, and conversations designed to help Biennial visitors recognize, acknowledge, and understand their relationships to this place—and to other people who care about it.

The Observatory’s weekly events investigate the surroundings of the Biennial site at 72 Perth Avenue and draw attention to processes, phenomena, and connections that often go unnoticed. Its materials and activities engage plural senses and speak to different worldviews, expertise, and ways of knowing the landscape. In examining the land and its relationships as they are today, the Observatory looks toward a future made uncertain by local and global change, from development pressures to the climate emergency. It invites visitors to contribute their own observations to an open vocabulary for imagining possibilities that are kinder, more just, and more resilient than the status quo.

Additional contributors include: James Bird, Aaron Hernandez, Lorraine Johnson, Sherry Lee, Karolina Lefebvre, Emily MacCallum, Alexander Moyle, Joel Robson, and Emiley Switzer-Martell.

Toronto Landscape Observatory is supported by funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council and Office of the Vice-President, International, University of Toronto.

Buhlebezwe Siwani and Dr. George Mahashe in conversation, moderated by Emilie Croning with Dr. Moyo Rainos Mutamba

Artist talk – in-person
Date: May 13, 2022 | Time: 6:00pm
Location: 72 Perth Avenue

2022 Biennial artist Buhlebezwe Siwani is joined by Dr. George Mahashe for an intimate conversation that brings together Mahashe’s ongoing research at the intersection of artistic practice, archives, and anthropology with Siwani’s work, which interrogates the patriarchal framing of the Black female body and experience within the South African context. Moderated by curator Emilie Croning, this discussion will move through tributaries of thought such as Siwani’s artistic practice on rituality, their collaborations on works such as Siwani’s Sinje Ngamajuba, and the relationship between Christianity and African spirituality with a focus on khelobedu. The evening will open with a Chivanhhu-centred opening ceremony led by musician, storyteller, and lecturer Dr. Moyo Rainos Mutamba.

This program is part of We Might Listen for the Shimmerings, a curatorial project by 2022 Toronto Biennial of Art Curatorial Fellow, Chiedza Pasipanodya. It is presented in partnership with Wedge Curatorial Projects and generously funded by TD Bank Group and the Toronto Arts Council.

Camille Turner
Following the Afronautic Trail
Walk and Workshop – in-person
Dates: May 13 and May 14, 2022 | Time: 12:00 – 2:00pm each day
Location: University of Toronto, St. George Campus (check TBA website for exact location)

In Following the Afronautic Trail, artist Camille Turner invites participants on a two-day, multi-sensory exploration and interrogation of sites and monuments within the vicinity of the University of Toronto’s downtown campus. A part of the durational narratives explored within Turner’s body of work, including her 2022 Biennial works Nave and the Black Historical Navigational Toolkit co-authored with Yaniya Lee, this program brings often forgotten histories to the forefront—specifically, the evidence of Canada’s colonial linkages between the transatlantic trade of enslaved Africans and its ongoing legacies.

Beginning with a walk exploring the campus through guided visual and textual prompts, visitors will return to campus the following day and enter The Afronautic Research Lab—a futuristic reading room designed by Turner and performed by Outerregion, a group of collaborators including Karen Turner and Lee Turner. Through a workshop investigating archival resources, participants will have the opportunity to revisit their prompts in a new context to make palpable connections between the past and present.

This program is co-presented with the Art Museum at the University of Toronto and supported by the Toronto Arts Council and Women Leading Initiative.

Tanya Lukin Linklater with Ceinwen Gobert, Emily Law, Ivanie Aubin-Malo, and Laura Ortman

The sky held me (rainfall on hands hair lips)
Performance – in-person
Dates: May 18 to 22, 2022
Time: 10:00am – 4:00pm each day
Location: High Park (check TBA website for exact location)

The sky held me (rainfall on hands hair lips) is a series of springtime site-specific performance investigations taking place at High Park over the course of five days. Building upon the interdisciplinary practice of artist Tanya Lukin Linklater and her work in the Biennial, Held in the air I never fell (spring lightning sweetgrass song), these process-based open rehearsals bring Linklater together with invited dancers Ivanie Aubin-Malo, Ceinwen Gobert, and Emily Law, and composer/musician Laura Ortman to generate resonant embodied inquiries. Bordered to the west by Grenadier Pond and covered in a system of wetlands, High Park is a place of synergy between land and water. During these sustained sessions, Lukin Linklater leads a collective performance in response to scores she has penned, as well as to the surroundings of High Park during the spring—a particularly generative season that invites us to take cues from the sky above us.

This project is supported by the Women Leading Initiative.

Program Partners
Building creative partnerships through collaborative public programming and learning activities across Toronto and the surrounding regions is an integral part of the Biennial’s commitments. The 2022 Biennial will work with established art institutions, artist-run centres, arts organizations, community organizations, and educational institutions to engage a wide audience and ensure that its Programs are easily accessible.

Programs Partners include: Agnes Etherington Art Centre, Art Gallery of Ontario, Art Metropole, Art Museum at the University of Toronto, C Magazine, Colborne Lodge, Gallery TPW, Gardiner Museum, Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts, Jumblies Theatre & Arts, Moccasin Identifier, Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (MOCA), Oakville Galleries, Small Arms Inspection Building, Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto District School Board, Urban Indigenous Education Centre, and Wedge Curatorial Projects.

TBA Donors and Supporters
The Toronto Biennial of Art is grateful to all 2022 contributing donors for their generous support. Major funders to-date include: The Pierre Lassonde Family Foundation; Scotia Wealth Management; The Michael and Sonja Koerner Charitable Foundation; RBC Foundation; Polar Foundation; Castlepoint Numa; Michelle Koerner & Kevin Doyle; Kilmer Mattamy Tricon; Delaney Family Foundation; Jack Weinbaum Family Foundation; TD Bank Group; Newpoint Developments Inc.; Hal Jackman Foundation; Donald R. Sobey Foundation; The Shen Family Charitable Foundation; Woodbridge Investments Corporation; Miranda Hubbs; Nutrien; Yamana Gold Inc.; Partners in Art; Waterfront BIA; Waterfront Toronto; Stratus Vineyards; Teknion Corporation. Much gratitude and thanks to our many other generous donors, including our Founding Supporters.

TBA is also grateful for our government supporters: ArtworxTO; Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022; Canada Council for the Arts; City of Mississauga; City of Toronto; Government of Canada; Government of Ontario; Ontario Arts Council; Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund of the Government of Ontario through the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, administered by the Ontario Cultural Attractions Fund Corporation; Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council; and Toronto Arts Council.

TBA acknowledges the support of our media partners to-date: Akimbo; blogTO, Cineplex Media; NOW Magazine; Pattison Outdoor Advertising; St. Joseph Communications; Toronto Star; the Toronto Transit Commission; and Yonge-Dundas Square.

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