Dates

September 21 to December 1, 2019

Curatorial Statement

Shorelines resist conventional mapping. Ever-shifting and fractal, they have no well-defined perimeter and evade attempts at quantification. The shoreline dilemma (also called the “coastline paradox”) implies the breakdown of scientific conventions in the face of nature’s complexities. In Toronto, this dilemma has been amplified by the radical reshaping of the city’s waterfront, which calls into question the rights of land and water in light of accelerated development.

The implications of the changing shoreline—evidence of an increasingly anthropocentric world—prompted us to ask invited artists: What does it mean to be in relation?

Human and non-human relations can reaffirm connections and generate ecosystems, but they can also breed distrust, anxiety, and alienation. When rational systems fail, other knowledges and relations emerge. At stake is the responsibility to respect multiple subjectivities and diverse conceptions of freedom, dignity, and sovereignty for living creatures, land, and water, as reflected by the rich perspectives and histories in the Exhibition’s artworks.

Toronto’s inaugural Biennial embraces the unquantifiable, fugitive, and unknowable, and like the shoreline, resists the systems that seek to discipline and control.

Curated by Candice Hopkins & Tairone Bastien

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Exhibitions

Exhibition Sites Overview

The inaugural 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art featured over 20 new commissions and more than 100 works of art by Canadian, Indigenous, and international artists.

Programs

Program Overview

Led by Ilana Shamoon and co-curated by Clare Butcher and Myung-Sun Kim, the five programming streams—Co-Relations, Currents, Storytelling, Tools for Learning, and the Toronto Biennial of Art Residency—activated the two main Exhibition sites, 259 Lake Shore Blvd E and the Small Arms Inspection Building, and also connected with projects around the city. Through storytelling, conversations, performative interventions, workshops, and readings, Programs invited visitors to gather and learn together in responsive and engaging formats along the water’s edge and beyond.

Currents

TBA Residency

Tools for Learning