The ancient Greek term isonomia implies political equality. Blackwell’s two site-responsive, non-hierarchical structures at the Biennial are spaces to gather for weekly programs and contemplate isonomia in the face of colonial governance structures that have overtaken those of Indigenous peoples. At 259 Lake Shore, Isonomia in Toronto? (harbour) is modelled after Toronto’s changing shoreline, illustrating the effects of encroaching privatization on the land. For Blackwell, the transformation of the property lines along the shore is a marker of colonial violence, the form of law and order that now dominates this land.

Production Assistance: Daniel Abad. Construction: Daniel Abad, Adrian Blackwell, Christopher Mendoza, Geoff Tanner. Lumber: Sawmill Sid. Structural: Christian Bellini (Blackwell Engineering). Accessibility: Luke Anderson (StopGap).

Commissioned by the Toronto Biennial of Art.

Isonomia in Toronto? (creek)a related installation by Blackwell, is currently on view at Small Arms Inspection Building. 


Adrian Blackwell (born and lives in Toronto, ON, Canada) is a settler artist, urban designer, theorist, and educator. Blackwell’s practice focuses on the relation between physical spaces and political economic forces. His work has been featured in exhibitions such as: Chicago Architecture Biennial, 2019; Chengdu Biennale, 2011; and Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism\Architecture, 2005. He is Associate Professor of Architecture at the University of Waterloo and co-editor of the forthcoming issue of SCAPEGOAT: Architecture / Landscape / Political Economy titled “Delineating a Nation State.”

Learn more about Adrian Blackwell’s practice by listening to episode 5 of the Toronto Biennial of Art Podcast “Short Format”, available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.

Exhibition Site

259 Lake Shore Blvd East

259 Lake Shore Blvd East
Toronto ON
M5A 3T7