Toronto Biennial of Art Podcast

Toronto Biennial of Art Podcast

Short Format is a podcast series created by Aliya Pabani and Angela Shackel for the Toronto Biennial of Art.

In expanding dialogues around the inaugural Toronto Biennial of Art, selected artists discuss their practice and processes in a series of short format podcasts. 

Participating artists and collectives include Adrian Blackwell, Ayumi Goto, Caroline Monnet, Diane Borsato, Isuma, Jeneen Frei Njootli, Life of a Craphead, Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak, Maria Thereza Alves, Syrus Marcus Ware, and Tsēmā Igharas.

Follow the links below to hear each episode of Short Format now! Subscribe to the Toronto Biennial of Art Podcast to be notified when new episodes are published. 

Short Format: Caroline Monnet

In Caroline Monnet’s work ‘The Flow Between Hard Places,’ the undulating edges of this monumental sculpture represent the sound waves created in uttering the word pasapkedjinawong (“the river that passes between the rocks”) in Anishinaabemowin, as spoken by Anishnaabe Elder Rose Wawatie-Beaudoin. Monnet discusses the importance of different types of monuments, movements, and the power of travelling distances to be heard.

Short Format: Ayumi Goto

In her performance ‘single use salmon plogging,’ Ayumi Goto runs the Toronto Waterfront Marathon as the half-human/half-salmon geisha gyrl, addressing labour, responsibility, and the impact of environmental disaster. The work is dedicated to the late Anishinaabe grandmother and Water Walker Josephine Mandamin, who circumnavigated the Great Lakes to raise awareness about water pollution, and David S. Buckel, a lawyer, environmental activist, and runner, who self-immolated to protest humanity’s addiction to fossil fuels.

Short Format: Maria Thereza Alves

In this episode, artist Maria Thereza Alves invites us to consider our implication in the histories of the land we stand on and the rivers hidden beneath. Alves’ works for the 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art, ‘Phantom Pain’ and ‘Garrison Creek,’ reflect on human and non-human relationships with land and water.

Short Format: Syrus Marcus Ware

“In Syrus Marcus Ware’s projects ‘Ancestors, Can You Read Us? (Dispatches from the Future)’ and ‘Antarctica,’ he imagines a world where racialized people have survived the catastrophic impacts of the Anthropocene and white supremacy. Ware discusses the shared language of speculative futurism and how combining art with activism has the power to create solidarities beyond borders.

Short Format: Adrian Blackwell

Within Adrian Blackwell’s two installations, “Isonomia in Toronto? (creek)” and “Isonomia in Toronto? (harbour),” he considers what role biological, social, and political forces may play in how we gather and organize space. These newly-commissioned structures, which became meeting places throughout the inaugural Biennial, ultimately reflect the city’s shifting shoreline and changing relationships with the lake over time.

Short Format: Zacharias Kunuk 

Artist collective Isuma ᐃᓱᒪ was founded in 1990 by Zacharias Kunuk, Paul Apak Angilirq, and Norman Cohn, and is Canada’s first Inuit (75 percent) production company. As part of the Biennial, “ᓄᐊᐱᐅᒑᑦᑑᑉᐅᓪᓗᕆᓚᐅᖅᑕᖓ One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk,” 2019, features Noah Piugattuk’s encounter with a government agent sent to remove him and his family from their homeland. Here, the film’s director Zacharias Kunuk shares his approaches to storytelling and oral histories as a filmmaker, recreating the past for future learning.

Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak have worked exclusively in collaboration since 1983, producing videotapes, performances, and photo/text works. Here they walk us through their trilogy… before I wake (2000–12). Produced over a twelve-year period, and mostly shot in the context of their domestic dwelling, the trilogy is a meditation on the body, aging, relationships, and the nature of the artists’ collaboration as partners in life and in art. In this podcast, Steele and Tomczak consider what decay looks like in analog and digital film, as well as what it means to prepare for the end of collaboration in this lifetime.