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Time to party: MASSIVE 10 artist projects and entertainment

March 21st, 2014

On April 10, 2014, see artwork by Katie Bethune-Leamen, Bruno Billio, Jorden Blue Doody & David James Doody, Randy Grskovic, Sean Martindale, Hazel Meyer, Talwst and Artistic Director Justin Broadbent created exclusively for MASSIVE 10, the 10th anniversary of the AGO’s Massive Party fundraiser. In addition to these artists, we’re pleased to announce a musical lineup that will keep guests dancing all night long, including DJ Filthy Gorgeous, DJ Soundbwoy, Johnny Hockin and Joseph Of Mercury / Joseph & The Mercurials. Guests will also be treated to a birthday fête at the Aimia Photo Booth by Melanie Cantwell Designs where they will receive a memento of the evening. Guests will also be invited to interact with the Absolut Vodka installation by MAKELAB.

Massive Party tickets have sold out for the past four years running, so get your tickets now!

Artists and project details

Justin Broadbent
Justin Broadbent is back for his second year as Massive Party’s Artistic Director after the hugely successful Massive Party GOLD in 2013. He is an accomplished Toronto-based multi-disciplinary artist. His portfolio includes works in video performance, poems, funny ideas, illustration, design, shirt design, music video direction and installation. Justin is also a self-taught photographer. As a video director, Justin has worked with bands such as Shad, Metric, Serena Ryder and Classified. He has been nominated for five MuchMusic Video Awards, including Rock Video of the Year and Hip Hop Video of the Year. Justin’s other awards include a Juno for Record Package of the Year and a CBC Bucky Award for Music Video of the Year. Justin makes a point of choosing layered projects that challenge his expectations. His work often centres around meaning-of-life topics, which he delivers with a glimmer of charm and wit. Justin’s work is inspired by the impossibility of a seed becoming a tree, thrift stores, clever lyrics and human perseverance. He spends his spare time outdoors, looking at the world as if for the first time and adding to his collection of porcelain cat figurines that adorn the mantle of his Toronto home. Justin also likes rappers Creemore and David Shrigley.

Katie Bethune-Leamen
Katie Bethune-Leamen works in installation, sculpture, video and drawing. She received a BFA from Concordia University (Montreal) and a MFA from the University of Guelph. Katie has exhibited across Canada, in Iceland, Japan, France, Australia, the USA, the Netherlands, England, Australia and other countries. Recent solo exhibitions include Shiny Object Person (Young Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario). Recent residencies include Fogo Island Arts (Fogo Island, NL) and SIM (Reykjavik, IS), with ones upcoming at the Illulissat Art Museum (Ilulissat, GD) and The American Museum of Natural History (NYC). In 2012 Rick Rhodes, editor of Canadian Art magazine, listed her as one of the “Top 3 of 2012.” Katie is the recipient of numerous grants and awards. Her writing has appeared in Canadian Art, C Magazine, Border Crossings and others.

At MASSIVE 10 Katie will be bringing 10 artists into the Gallery to participate in art creation throughout the evening. Guests won’t want to miss the chance to watch creativity live as artists interpret the same reference image in 10 different ways.

Bruno Billio
Bruno Billio is a Canadian artist working from an interdisciplinary background. At once an installation artist, a sculptor and a designer, Bruno creates challenging works informed by his command of each of these practices. He is currently living and working in Toronto, and has been the resident artist at the Gladstone Hotel on Queen West, in the fashionable art gallery district in Toronto, for the past few years. Bruno Billio’s artistic practice is informed by the active displacement and staging of the found object, a contemporary art strategy with a historically established lineage. The everyday is reinterpreted through its spatial and contextual re-appropriation by the artist, who presents himself by proxy as both an interventionist and an inventor. Bruno has exhibited internationally in Milan, London, Miami, New York and Los Angeles. Bruno was also Massive Party’s Artistic Director from 2010-12 – shaping the vision for Massive Party Speakeasy, Marchesa Luisa Casati’s Massive Party and #thefutureofartis.

Jorden Blue Doody & David James Doody
Jorden Blue & David James Doody are both graduates from the University of British Columbia in Critical and Creative Studies. Although each artist offers a uniquely individual approach to the discourse of visual arts, they share a common focus on the materialism of cultural codification. Their combined individual practices have been heavily influenced by world travel and the cross pollination of mass media, ritual and fetishistic cultures. Their practice moves freely between new media, sculpture, and painting.

“As a collaborative team for the past seven years, we believe that communication has been the foundation of our artistic relationship. A common thread that can be traced throughout our work is that of collage. By sampling freely from a multitude of different sources, we are able to access unlimited individual histories, societal contexts and cultural symbols. For us, collage is more than just cut and paste, it is an immediate sense of being; it is our way of participating in the re-contextualization of our unfolding culture.” Through their open processes of art-making they allow happenstance to regurgitate cultural intuition in an act of artistic survival.

Randy Grskovic
Randy Grskovic is an artist and curator living in Toronto, Ontario. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts, in Advanced Media communication, from the University of British Columbia, Okanagan. Randy has shown his artwork and curated others in exhibitions across Canada at galleries including Equinox and Centre A in Vancouver, V-Tape in Toronto, L’oeil de Poison in Quebec City and Eastern Edge in St. John’s, NL. Randy is the former owner of experimental short-term galleries including The Age of Info(rmation), Cutty Contemporary and Good Luck Art Gallery.

For MASSIVE 10, Randy will be honouring the AGO on a milestone event, congratulating all the Massive Party attendees who help make programming at the gallery possible, as well as cheering on the artists who helped create MASSIVE 10. His piece will provide encouragement to all involved while highlighting the spectacle inherent in the event. Don’t miss out on receiving the recognition you deserve as a Massive Party attendee.

Sean Martindale
Sean Martindale is an emerging and internationally recognized interdisciplinary artist and designer currently based in Toronto, Canada. His interventions activate public and semi-public spaces to encourage engagement, often focused on ecological and social issues. Sean’s playful works question and suggest alternate possibilities for existing spaces, infrastructures and materials found in the urban environment. Frequently, Sean uses salvaged goods and live plants in unexpected ways that prompt conversations and interaction.

Sean’s projects have been featured on countless prominent sites online, as well as in traditional media such as print, radio, broadcast television and film. His practice has a global following and has been written about in countries all around the world, and in multiple languages. Sean was profiled for the first episode of the CBC’s Great Minds of Design, one of his lectures was filmed by TVO for their Big Ideas series, and his work was also included in the feature-length documentary This Space Available, released in 2011.

Hazel Meyer
Hazel Meyer is a visual artist and sports enthusiast based in Toronto. She draws pictures, text and comics, makes letterpress prints, screen-printed multiples, broadcasts and constructs physical environments that are used for performance, collaboration, workshops and amateur athletics. From the monumental to the modest her projects range from immersive installations, to small woven tags meant for an audience of one. Much like the tag line of The Litter Game, a collaborative project she started with Lucy Pawlak and Jim Skuldt in 2013, her practice is devoted to a forever shifting ratio of endurance, transgression and laughs, as ways of being in one’s body and the world. She holds an MFA from OCAD University (Toronto), a BFA from Concordia University (Montréal) and shows her work in galleries, artist-run centers and festivals inter/nationally.

Keep an eye out throughout MASSIVE 10 for Hazel’s presentation of NADIA! NADIA! The piece centres around the 1976 Montréal Olympic Games and 14 year old Romanian gymnast Nadia Comăneci who received what was then the first ever 10 to be awarded at the Olympics. The scoreboard used at the time had not been engineered for the four numbers that make up an Olympic 10 (10.00), so it was displayed as 1.00. This moment of utter physical prowess and domination is made even more radical by the inability of the technology to be able to represent it. This discord is the starting point for NADIA! NADIA!.

His practice is a study in extremes. As a musical performer, TALWST (né Curtis Santiago) is larger-than-life. As a visual artist, he has spent the better part of six years building miniature dioramas, entire worlds that fit in the palm of your hand. TALWST creates exquisite landscapes inhabited by vivid characters—hand-painted and reconstructed Preiser’s figurines—freezing memories and moments inside reclaimed ring boxes. From 2007 to 2010, he apprenticed under Aboriginal artist Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. In the past six years, TALWST has had six solo exhibitions in Toronto, New York, Edmonton and Vancouver. As a recording artist, he’s collaborated with Grammy-winning producer Illangelo to release his fourth solo album, Alien Tentacle Sex, to international acclaim in 2012.

For MASSIVE 10, TALWST is scaling up and exploring interactivity and spectatorship in a one-night-only piece. Dynasty 10-0 plays off the Massive party theme, 10, and builds on previous artwork examining Canadiana, race and identity construction. For Dynasty 10-0, TALWST is incorporating new media, textiles and performance. Influenced more by Trinidad and Tobago’s Carnival than participatory art, TALWST seeks to create the same spirit of role-play, interaction and fete. Instead of traditional Carnival characters he has cast actors to portray hockey players and coach dressing for the fictional team the Massives. The participation of event attendees will play a pivotal part in how this happening unfolds.

Melanie Cantwell
Melanie Cantwell is an interior decorator, stylist and set designer. Originally from Prince Edward Island, Melanie now resides in downtown Toronto and has a number of art and interior design-based projects on her list of accomplishments, ranging from residential clients and styling for a variety of design-based photo shoots. Melanie is currently the set decorator on the Steven and Chris show on CBC where she oversees the set styling and manages the look and aesthetic of each individual segment. Melanie studied fine arts and graduated with accreditations in advertising and marketing from Sheridan College and interior decorating from George Brown College.

At MASSIVE 10, see Melanie’s set design at the Aimia photo booth. Guests will be able to have their photos taken while wishing the AGO’s Massive Party a “Happy 10th Birthday” surrounded by sweet confections, balloons and other special touches befitting of this milestone celebration.

Filthy Gorgeous
Filthy Gorgeous is the seductive alias of Toronto born DJ, Kristin Leeder. After bursting onto the scene in 2007, Filthy Gorgeous forged an identity with sensual, rhythmic styles that immediately set her apart from her peers. With sets that draw on cutting edge dance music Filthy Gorgeous has become known for a sound that is both rich and complex. She has performed with and received praise from the world’s top international superstar musician/DJs such as Skrillex, Drake, Disclosure, Annie Mac, Nero, Flight Facilities, The Twelves, Tensnake, Theophiles London, Fred Falk and Alvin Risk.

From playing at local Toronto hot spot, The Hoxton, to sold out shows at The Fillmore Miami Beach, New York’s Webster Hall, a regular at various SOHO House locations and special events during Winter Music Conference (WMC), Filthy Gorgeous always leaves the crowd wanting more. A favourite amongst the fashion crowd she has developed long-lasting relationships and played events for some of the world’s leading Fashion and Lifestyle brands. Filthy Gorgeous continues to win fans by building her reputation as an exciting international DJ talent. Constantly evolving and never afraid to take risks, she has made it clear that Filthy Gorgeous is one to watch out for.

Johnny Hockin
Johnny Hockin is a Canadian DJ, musician and multimedia producer. He is a local Toronto fixture, using his wide-ranging taste and an eclectic repertoire to link classic soul, disco, rock, hip hop and electronic music into a sound uniquely his own. He consistently plays for high-end corporate clients and some of the city’s favourite rooms (from Soho House to Thomson to the Drake Hotel to L’Oreal Fashion Week).

He is also known to many Canadians as the former face of movies on MTV Canada, interviewing hundreds of filmmakers and stars. Over the course of 5 years, Ryan Gosling brooded with him, Nic Cage looked at him funny, George Clooney charmed him, Jason Bateman made fun of his name and Justin Timberlake sang to him. Werner Herzog follows him on twitter.

DJ Soundbwoy
Wake up world. Wake up to the aural mindtrip that is the Soundbwoy experience. Born and raised in Toronto, Canada – the city that comes alive when everyone else is asleep – Soundbwoy is the embodiment of what is needed to lead the next generation of music connoisseurs into a new dimension of existence. Unbound by convention, Soundbwoy offers those in attendance the ability to transcend the dance floor and travel on paths only found in dream sequences. He is far from mash up yet incapable of being categorized by any one genre; a musical everyman blessed with the gift of virtuosity behind the turntables. From soulful gems found through countless hours of crate digging to the most ominous of house anthems from the sun swept beaches of Ibiza, a Soundbwoy party is like travelling with a master storyteller crafting his latest fairytale while touching the deepest parts of your imagination. Feel the party transform into your personal looking glass and let Soundbwoy guide you through his universe like no one else can.
Wake up world.

Joseph & The Mercurials / Joseph Of Mercury
Born to the dying synthesized bells of the 80s. Reincarnated from the velvet gentleman of the 50s. Stark Dark & Echo Heavy. Influenced more by the haunting sounds of nature & cinema than by music itself, Joseph spins cavernous worlds of light & ocean, longing & romance… all with nothing more than his voice & the mournful call of a swooning guitar. Seduced by the beauty of fashion & design, enraptured in its drama & detail, Joseph cloaks himself in the colours of their world, as they are enveloped by the echoes of his sound. Each song has found its rightful place among the works of Victoria’s Secret, RW&Co., Members Only, Stockholm S/S/A/W, Fashion Magazine, & V Spain. As if by desire & fate. Desire is everything.

For more information about MASSIVE 10, visit


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