Isonomia in Toronto? (creek) hosts weekly performances and readings throughout the Biennial. Visitors are invited to sit within the infinite curves, folds, and knots of Blackwell’s 300-foot-long cushion. An image of the shoreline of Etobicoke Creek—also known as wadoopikaang in Anishinaabemowin (“the place where the alders grow”)—stretches along its length, connecting land- and human-based pedagogies. The portion of Etobicoke Creek that runs from Lake Ontario to what is now Bloor street is the only topographically defined inland edge of the so-called Toronto Purchase. The Creek was previously a site of Mississauga settlement; its shores gathered people together. Today, the river’s edge remains the boundary between Mississauga and Toronto.
Production Assistance: Daniel Abad. Fabrication: Curtain Call
Commissioned by the Toronto Biennial of Art.
Isonomia in Toronto? (harbour), a related installation by Blackwell, is currently on view at 259 Lake Shore Blvd E.
Adrian Blackwell (born and lives in Toronto, Canada) is a settler artist, urban designer, theorist and educator. Adrian’s practice focuses on the relation between physical spaces and political, economic forces. His work has been featured in exhibitions such as the Chicago Architecture Biennial (2019); the Chengdu Biennale (2011); and the Shenzhen Biennale of Urbanism/Architecture (2005). Adrian is associate professor of architecture at the University of Waterloo and co-editor of the 2021 issue of Scapegoat: Architecture / Landscape / Political Economy titled “c\a\n\a\d\a: delineating nation state capitalism.”
Learn more about Adrian Blackwell’s practice by listening to the Toronto Biennial of Art Podcast “Short Format” – season 1, episode 5 – available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.
Small Arms Inspection Building (2019)
Small Arms Inspection Building was originally part of a large munitions plant built in 1940 before it was acquired and renovated as an art centre by the City of Mississauga in 2018. With its female dominated workforce, Small Arms Limited manufactured thousands of rifles daily for the Canadian and Allied forces in WWII. In 1990, the TRCA conducted an environmental audit of the site, revealing the presence of polychlorinated biphenyl, volatile organic compounds, and combustible gases across nineteen acres. More than 70,000 tons of contaminated radioactive soil was removed to eventually transform the Arsenal Lands into a park.
1352 Lakeshore Road East