September 21 – December 1, 2019

In Wagner and de Burca’s experimental film RISE, poets, rappers, and musicians who belong to the collective R.I.S.E. (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere) perform agitprop edutainment in the Toronto underground. R.I.S.E. is comprised of young, mainly first-and second-generation immigrants from the Caribbean for whom rhythm and poetry is an act of empowerment and self-expression. The film hybridizes fiction and documentary to establish a third language-territory—a space where rhythm and poetry are employed as catalysts to explore a complex diasporic and multi-cultural context.

RISE is a film commissioned by the AGYU and produced by Emelie Chhangur in partnership with R.I.S.E. (Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere) Edutainment. 


Bárbara Wagner (born in 1980, Brasília, Brazil) and Benjamin de Burca (born in 1975, Munich, Germany) develop collaborative practices with the people they portray in their films. In order to establish a third language-territory, these works take the form of musicals that defy conventional notions of genre through hybrids of fiction and documentary. Among recent exhibitions are the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo (2016); Skulptur Projekte Münster (2017); the national pavilion of Brazil at the 58th Venice Biennial (2019); and Manifesta 13 (2020).

Exhibition Site

259 Lake Shore Blvd East

The life of this nondescript building reveals the area’s economic history. Its first tenant in 1945, the Standard Chemical Company, produced methanol, formaldehyde, and charcoal. A railway line to the south tethered the site to the movement of goods. By 1954, the building was divided into a warehouse and a showroom, a configuration that remained intact over the course of various leaseholders, including oil and electrical supply companies and a series of car dealerships. (The advertising of its most recent tenant, Volvo, is still visible on the façade.) This building’s fate is indeterminate, as real estate development is increasingly filling the voids left by industrial decline.

259 Lake Shore Blvd East
Toronto ON
M5A 3T7