We are beyond excited to launch our second edition of the Toronto Biennial of Art: What Water Knows, The Land Remembers. Our curatorial team, Candice Hopkins, Katie Lawson, and Tairone Bastien, along with Curatorial Fellows Chiedza Pasipanodya and Sebastian De Line, have expanded on the themes of the 2019 Biennial to create a second edition that speaks directly to many facets of Toronto’s contexts, geography, and culture that inform what our city is today.
At the beginning of the pandemic, a TBA friend and donor told us that the Biennial could be a beacon of hope, a role we took very seriously as we continued with so many unknowns. As an organization, we needed, and were expected, to play a significant role in the city’s recovery by bringing artists, people, and communities together again.
The 2022 Biennial is intended to be a moment of inclusion, of kinships new and old, and of deep reflection. It is also a bold and thoughtful exhibition and series of programs that looks toward extending the thinking, curating, and artist projects of the first Biennial. This is reflected in our first exhibition publication, Water, Kinship, Belief, a culmination of the artistic and curatorial thinking over two Biennials.
It’s not a Biennial until you’ve done it twice! This has been my tagline for the last two years as it felt like an accurate yet humorous way to empower our collaborators and us toward 2022. Over the many years of my Biennial work, and ever so deeply this year, I have been humbled and inspired by our team, artists, partners, colleagues, and trusted donors who have stayed the course with us, collectively dreaming and looking forward to our second edition. I have immense gratitude for you all and cannot wait to welcome you this spring.
Executive Director, Toronto Biennial of Art
Force majeure. In legal parlance (my day-job), this refers to circumstances beyond our control, which prevent normal life. Things that are never supposed to happen: like civil unrest, pandemics, and war. Until they do.
As the second edition of the Toronto Biennial of Art begins, we recognize how much we have gone through since December 2019, when the first TBA closed. We, together, have endured and have helped to make incredible things happen.
It is also important for us to recognize that the pursuit of social justice remains an unfinished project. We must continue to challenge ourselves to strive for real and meaningful change. Art and artists have a role to play insofar as they can inspire, help us see and make sense of our world. Especially in challenging times.
I am exultant that we have returned with 72 days of free programming launching March 2022!
The return, against many odds, is a testament to a belief in TBA, its people, and its core mission. By people, I mean our supremely dedicated and overworked team, my conscientious fellow board members: Angela, Camille, Chris, Christian, Deborah, Ida, Ken, Kristyn, Natalie, and Rashad, and not least, our partners, supporters, donors, sponsors, and all three levels of government. Your belief is inspiring. We appreciate you all.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I hope you enjoy TBA 2022, evocatively titled What Water Knows, The Land Remembers. It is springtime, a time for renewal, time to turn off Netflix and Zoom; time to engage. I hope to see you at the exhibition sites, catching a lecture, connecting with art, re-connecting with people who make all of this possible.
Force majeure, also, literally means greater force. Flipping the script, may TBA be a force majeure.
Chair, Board of Directors, Toronto Biennial of Art.