The Toronto Biennial of Art Residency is an experimental platform for artists and practitioners to gather and respond to the broader question of how do we live together? Embedding different methodologies and ideas into practice, participants and the curatorial team come together to think and move in a multiplicity of forms.

Past TBA Residencies

Part Two: June 1-30, 2021
Part One: 2020
2020 Participants: Dr Julie Nagam; Tian Zhang, and Vanessa Kwan
2021 Participants: Cason Sharpe; Chiedza Pasipanodya; Genviève Wallen; Julia Paoli; Tanya Lukin Linklater; Yaniya Lee; Zoe Imani Sharpe 
Partners: OCAD University, UBC Okanagan, Emily Carr University of Art & Design, BUSH Gallery, and York University

Over two iterations, the TBA Residency Program has partnered with Contingencies of Care – a virtual residency for graduate students in art and design in partnership with leading universities and galleries across Canada. Contingencies of Care hosts hundreds of participants, exploring how care plays a distinct role in our creative processes and the well-being of our communities. For further information, see the residency website: 

Dates: November 2 – 15, 2020
Participants: Camille Turner, Candice Hopkins, Clare Butcher, Dana Prieto, Eric-Paul Riege, Jorge González (in collaboration with Edwin Marcucci and Juana de Laures), Katie Lawson, Myung-Sun Kim, Nova Weipert, Roxanne Fernandes, Tairone Bastien, Vanessa Kwan
Guests: Sebastien de Line, Mata Aho, Wildseed Black Arts Fellowship
Facilitated by: Ange Loft and Syrus Marcus Ware
Partners: grunt gallery, Black Lives Matter – Toronto (Wildseed Black Arts Fellowship)

In the Fall of 2020, the Biennial hosted a research-based, experimental, virtual residency, Rabbit Hole: Pod Theory, wherein TBA curators, commissioned participants, and facilitators came together as an interwoven network of pods. Inspired by Mia Mingus and the Bay Area Transformative Justice Collective’s (BATJC) pod-mapping exercise, each TBA curator invited an artist into their temporary pod, working together over a two-week period to share methodologies and collaborative approaches within an ethos of care between all participants. Led and facilitated by Ange Loft and Syrus Marcus Ware, this residency explored the mythologies, caveats, protocols, and diverse practices of collectivity and connectivity across multiple time zones and geographies.

In the context of transformative justice work, the term “pod” was first defined by BATJC to describe a system of care, accountability, and trust – an alternative to authoritative justice systems that can make situations more harmful. Pod networks ask us to consider more immediate, relational ecologies of people who can be relied on for council and support in crisis, with intentions to transform rather than restore situations that led to the initial violence. To imagine and practice transformative justice is to hold people accountable to each other with care, compassion, love, and generosity. Many have expanded this terminology during the COVID-19 pandemic, describing a small group as a “bubble” or “pod” as a means of implementing mandated social distancing measures rather than creating safety, community support, and care.

In response to these shifting parameters and learnings, the Rabbit Hole: Pod Theory residency participants met each day in a virtual rabbit hole together, forming connections through sharing research, methodologies, and potential resources over a series of workshops, presentations, discussions, and debate—some intimate and others public-facing. Across digital, geographical, temporal distances, the residency held space for re-imagining collectivity in this moment in time.

Rabbit Hole: Pod Theory was made possible with the generous support of Toronto Arts Council

Dates: September 9 – November 1, 2019
Participants: Life of a Craphead
Partners: Ireland Park Foundation and Trinity Square Video
Location: 3 Eireann Quay, Toronto, Ontario, M5V 0A3

For its inaugural residency, the Toronto Biennial of Art proudly presented Life of a Craphead, a collective whose work spans performance art, film, and curation.

The Toronto Biennial of Art Residency is an experimental platform for artists whose socially engaged practices challenge disciplinary and aesthetic conventions in order to expand notions of community and enact social change.

Co-presented in partnership with Ireland Park Foundation and Trinity Square Video

The 2019 iteration of the Toronto Biennial of Art Residency program was made possible with the generous support of the TD Bank Group through its corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment.

Jorge González – Escuela de Oficios, Ruta Artesanal, January 30, 2016

Life of a Craphead, 2018. Photo: Yuula Benivolski