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The Toronto Biennial of Art is coming!

September 16th, 2019

Lisa Reihana, in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015-2017 (installation view). Ultra HD video (colour, sound, 64 min.). © Lisa Riehana. Photo by Brad Coleman.

Excitement is mounting as we inch closer to this weekend’s opening of the first-ever Toronto Biennial of Art. Featuring the work of 90+ participants over 72 days at more than 15 different sites across the GTA, the Biennial promises to deliver a full spectrum of unique art-going experiences.

Thoughtfully situated at locations that span Toronto’s waterfront, the installations making up the Toronto Biennial of Art will explore the complexities of a poignant question: “What does it mean to be in relation?” According to lead curators Candice Hopkins and Tairone Bastien, “the artworks explore how relations—both human and non-human—can reaffirm communion and generate ecosystems, but also have the potential to breed anxieties, glitches, anomie, and alienation.” Grounded in the diverse cultural traditions and histories that have shaped Toronto across its history (Indigenous, immigrant, and settler), this line-up of innovative works will attempt to shine a light on alternative futures through reexamining the past.

And the AGO is delighted to be taking part in the festivities! Among the long and exciting list of contributing artists is Lisa Reihana, who will present her award-winning large-scale panoramic work In Pursuit of Venus [infected] at the Gallery from September 21 to March 29, 2020.

On October 25 the AGO will welcome Reihana as she sits down with Dr. Julie Nagam for a conversation that will provide insight into her approach to this very unique, labour intensive piece (tickets are on sale now). In Pursuit of Venus, Reihana’s critical reinterpretation of the 20-panel French wallpaper Les Sauvages de la mer Pacifique, took several years to complete, and is a 32 minute-long, immersive, multi-channel projection experience.

The Toronto Biennial of Art will also present an impressive array of brand new commissioned pieces by 20+ artists from across the globe. Abbas Akhavan’s Study for a Garden consists of a stack of sharpened sticks cast in bronze. An exhibit of LED fireboxes commemorating the resilience and beauty of Indigenous women will be made by Dana Claxton. And, in a collaborative effort, AA Bronson and Adrian Stimson will create an installation/performance directly inspired by their respective ancestors opposing involvement in an Alberta residential school.         

Visit the Toronto Biennial of Art online for all the details.

Admission to the AGO Collection and all special exhibitions is always free for AGO MembersAGO Annual Pass holders and visitors 25 and under. For more information, please visit the website.

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