Toronto Biennial of Art
Incorporated in 2014, The Toronto Biennial of Art (TBA) will be a 90-day contemporary art exhibition that will take place for the first time in 2019. The inaugural event will feature exhibitions, commissions, performances and educational events in various locations along the city’s waterfront.
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2021 Toronto Biennial of Art
This application is for the “Toronto Biennial of Art 2021”, taking place September 25 to December 5, 2021 across more than 10 indoor and outdoor sites in various locations in the Greater Toronto Area. Whereas the 2019 Biennale was focused thematically on the Lake Ontario shoreline, The 2021 Biennial will explore locations near above-ground and hidden water tributaries that feed into the Lake as well as the ravines that shape Toronto. The curatorial team will be led by Senior Curator Candice Hopkins (Carcross/Tagish First Nation), and supported by Curators Tairone Bastien, Clare Butcher, Myung- Sun Kim and Katie Lawson. All exhibitions and programming will be offered free-of-charge to all audiences and will feature over a hundred public programs and events, a full series of live performances, a suite of publications, and various community-based activities. The final list of artists (approximately 40 artists in total including commissioned artists), participants, and venues is expected in early 2021. Artist projects will span numerous genres including the visual arts, theatre, music and sound art, performance, film and video works, public art and digital formats. Programming includes: (1) Commissioned programming: at least 26 new works and projects to be commissioned from artists across a variety of art forms; (2) Public Art Installations: TBA is working closely with the City of Toronto as a major partner for ArtworxTO: Year of Public Art 2021 (including a commission by Brian Jungen (Dane-Zaa/British Columbia) as a potential permanent public art work at the historic Fort York); (3) Public & Education Programs: activities will include: field stations and mediation libraries offering support material for self-led and hands-on activities; artist talks, conversations and symposium; a live performance series, including dance, performance art, music and sound; school and youth workshops; storytelling and walks; public and family workshops; community events and gatherings; and podcasts and audio tours; (4) Biennial Bus: a mobile art curriculum for partners, including elementary, secondary and post-secondary schools, and community groups that will run during and in between Biennial editions; (5) Augmented Digital Programming: TBA’s website will offer avenues for online engagement and outreach and will host several digital projects including new projects by the Talking Treaties Collective, Curtis Talwst Santiago, Jane Wolff and Susan Schwartzenberg; (6) Toronto Biennial of Art Residency: The 2021 artist in Residence will be Joar Nango (Sámi/Norway), Dana Prieto (Argentina/Ontario), and Camille Turner (Jamaica/Ontario) who will produce three context-responsive projects; and (7) Publications: TBA will undertake several publishing projects, including: TBA Conversation Series (including Judy Chicago), a two-volume exhibition catalogue for the 2019 and 2021 Biennials, a free Guidebook for Biennial visitors, and Tools for Learning (group exercises, performative scores, proposals for collaborative thinking and making, artist interviews, and audio tours). TBA will again establish a wide network of creative partnerships with arts organizations, institutions and community groups, and present the exhibition across multiple venues, with two to three key Biennial hubs in addition to at least eight primary sites. Programming will occur at both indoors and outdoors venues and locations will be grouped in clusters determined by various waterways, rivers, creeks and ravines. Confirmed venues include: 72 Perth Ave (a 6,000 ft decommissioned Baptist church), Aga Khan, Gardiner Museum, Mercer Union, Small Arms Inspection Building, Textile Museum of Canada, Toronto Historic Sites, including Fort York, Toronto Sculpture Garden, and Union Station. This list will grow, as several other public and private programming and venue partners have been approached. Covid preparedness: TBA is integrating extensive contingency, strategic and crisis planning into its activities. While TBA is moving ahead in planning a physical, in-person festival, organizers are developing programs and activities with an enormous amount of flexibility to allow for real-time adjustments. Exhibition and programming design and venue selection will be informed by all government health and safety regulations, as well as addressing the emotional, social and psychological dangers of the pandemic, such as isolation, mental illness, anxiety and economic stressors. If advised that moving ahead with a large-scale in person event be ill-advised and untenable for all 2021, TBA will make the decision to postpone the 2021 Biennial to the following year. TBA’s digital offerings will be more in-depth and extensive for 2021 to ensure that those unable to visit can still partake in its programming