Onsite Libraries offer a collection of textual, visual, and material resources at several Exhibition sites including 72 Perth Avenue, Small Arms Inspection Building, and 5 Lower Jarvis Street. Content found within the libraries is carefully selected to serve as an extension and expansion of the curatorial research and programmatic intentions behind What Water Knows, The Land Remembers. Resources include books by and about Exhibition artists, educational and theoretical texts, and curatorial recommendations. Learn and unlearn from these selections onsite, or record titles for later reading.

In addition, the 72 Perth Avenue space also hosts a Materials Library inviting visitors to lightly interact with materials that directly resonate with an artist or contributor’s practice and approach. We encourage visitors to explore these objects: holding for weight, stroking for texture, and interrogating for details like wear, usage, and material properties. The items allow for a translation of visual experience into a touch-based one as a form of auxiliary aide. 

All Libraries are designed for on-site use only.

Image of books on a table by Tisdelle-Macias
Onsite Library at 72 Perth. Photo: Rebecca Tisdelle-Macias
Onsite Libraries

At 72 Perth Avenue:

  • Ardalan, Ziba, and de Weck, Ziba. Shezad Dawood: Towards the Possible Film. London: Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, 2014.
  • Belcourt, Billy-Ray. This Wound is a World. Calgary: Frontenac House Poetry, 2017.
  • Besaw, Mindy N., Hopkins, Candice, and Well-Off-Man, Manuela. Art for a New Understanding: Native Voices, 1950s to Now. Fayetteville: University of Arkansas Press, 2018.
  • CAConrad. A Beautiful Marsupial Afternoon: New Somatics. Seattle: Wave Books, 2012.
  • Campbell, Maria. Halfbreed. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 2019.
  • Davidson, Robert and Davidson, Sara Florence. Potlatch as Pedagogy: Learning Through Ceremony. Winnipeg: Portage & Main Press, 2018.
  • Gilroy, Paul. The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double-Consciousness. Cambridge: Harvard University Press; New York: Verso Books, 1993.
  • hooks, bell. Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope. New York: Routledge, 2013.
  • Jacob, Luis. Form Follows Fiction. London: Black Dog Press, 2020.
  • Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2013.
  • Linklater, Tanya Lukin. Slow Scrape. Montreal: Anteism; Montreal: Centre for Expanded Poetics, 2020.
  • PA System, Embassy of Imagination, and Kinngait Youth. Future Snowmachines in Kinngait. Kinngait: PA System, 2017.
  • Pheasant-Neganigwane, Karen. Powwow: A Celebration through Song and Dance. Victoria: Orca Book Publishers, 2020.
  • Time Machine. Igloolik: Isuma TV.

At Small Arms Inspection Building:

  • Baldwin, James. The Fire Next Time. New York: Dial Press, 1963
  • Bowen, Deanna. Other Places: Reflections on Media Arts in Canada. Toronto: Public Books Toronto; Toronto: Media Arts Network of Ontario, 2019.
  • Brand, Dionne. A Map to the Door of No Return Notes to Belonging. Toronto: Vintage Canada, 2002.
  • Brown, Brené and Burke, Tarana. You Are Your Best Thing: Vulnerability, Shame Resilience and the Black Experience: An anthology. London: Ebury Publishing, 2021.
  • Butler, Octavia. Wild Seed. New York: Doubleday Books; London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1980.
  • Campt, Tina. Listening to Images. Durham: Duke University Press, 2017.
  • Davis, Angela. If They Come in the Morning…Voices of Resistance. New York: Verso Books, 2016
  • Didion, Joan. The Year of Magical Thinking. New York: A.A. Knopf, 2006.
  • Drew, Kimberly and Wortham, Jenna. Black Futures. London: One World, 2020.
  • Edugyan, Esi. Out of the Sun: On Race and Storytelling. Toronto: House of Anansi, 2021.
  • Gay, Roxane. Hunger. New York: HarperCollins, 2017.
  • Glissant, Édouard. Poetics of Relation. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1997.
  • Harrison, David L., The Dirt Book: Poems About Animals That Live Beneath Our Feet. New York: Holiday House, 2021
  • Hartman, Saidiya. Wayward Lives, Beautiful Experiments: Intimate Histories of Riotous Black Girls, Troublesome Women and Queer Radicals. London: Profile, 2019.
  • hooks, bell. All about Love: New Visions. New York: William Morrow, 2000.
  • hooks, bell. Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope. New York: Routledge, 2013.
  • Hudson, Audrey, Ibrahim, Awad, and Recollet, Karyn. In This Together: Blackness, Indigeneity and Hip Hop. Lewes: DIO Press Incorporated, 2019.
  • Kimmerer, Robin Wall. Braiding Sweetgrass Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants. Minneapolis: Milkweed Editions, 2013.
  • King, Tiffany Lethabo. The Black Shoals: Offshore Formations of Black and Native Studies. Durham: Duke University Press, 2019.
  • McKittrick, Katherine. Dear Science and Other Stories. Durham: Duke University Press, 2020.
  • Sneed, Kenesha. Many Shapes of Clay: A Story of Healing. Munich: Prestel, 2021.
  • Wong, Alice. Disability Visibility: First-Person Stories from the Twenty-first Century. New York: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2020.
  • Wong, Paul. The Long Time: 21st Century Art of Steele + Tomczak. Vancouver: On Main, 2013.
  • Yusoff, Kathryn. A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None. Minneapolis: U of Minnesota Press, 2018.

At 5 Lower Jarvis Street:

  • Ghosh, Amitav. The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2016.
  • Liboiron, Max. Pollution Is Colonialism. Durham: Duke University Press, 2021.
  • Stamets, Paul. Mycellium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World. Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2005.
Materials Library
Image of work by Amy Malbeuf

Amy Malbeuf
Sketch with hide trimmings and beads, brain-tanned deer hide and glass beads, 2018.

Towards the end of a finished idea or the exercise of a concept, Amy Malbeuf shares a “quick sketch” using small glass beads on a string woven through fragrant brain-tanned deer hide.

Image of work by Ange Loft

Ange Loft
Dish Dances embroidery and beadwork sampler, patterned textiles and beads, 2019

This embroidery and beadwork sampler was initiated as a compliment to Jumblies Theatre & Arts’ installation at the 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art. Visitors were invited to participate in beadwork workshops and prompted to respond to the question “when making choices in Toronto, what do you take into consideration, before all else?”

Image of work by Dana Prieto

Dana Prieto
Untitled, terracotta ceramics, stones, sand, goldenrod seeds, and fired dirt, 2022

These three terracotta ceramic containers are a study: vessels for fired soil from the ground of University College at the University of Toronto St. George, sand and stones from the lakeshore behind the Small Arms Inspection Building (SAIB), and goldenrod seeds from Mississauga’s waterfront. They allow for a multi-sensory exposure to Dana Prieto’s larger practice and research around Footnotes for an Arsenal, on view at the Small Arms Inspection Building.

Ghazaleh Avarzamani
Aperçu, plastic viewfinder, 2022

Cocks do not fight for their household gods, for the monuments of their ancestors, for glory, for liberty or for the safety of their children, but only because one will not give way to the other. — Themistocles

Aperçu is a View-Master toy featuring seven images of cockfighting matches. This work explores the ritual of spectatorship and the politics of theatre, gameness, masculinity, and control.

Syrus Marcus Ware
Future Provisions, seeds in a glass jar and dried lichen, 2019-22

This glass jar with seeded rations and tuft of dried lichen is a testament to both an alternative present and an allusion to the past. Syrus Marcus Ware presents the travelling rations and specimens from both a bunker (Antarctica, 2019) and a camp (MBL Freedom, 2020) – evocative of survivalism in a changed world.

For more information on all Biennial programming streams, please visit torontobiennial.org/programs

Explore specific programs through our Events calendar.