Toronto Biennial of Art
Curated by Candice Hopkins and Tairone Bastien
21 September - 1 December
"The 2019 Toronto Biennial of Art takes up the question “What does it mean to be in relation?” While the latter invites us to contemplate different kinds of “relations” and how they forge communion and ecosystems, it also provokes us to consider the ways in which we are out of relation—out of synch, disconnected, alienated. Grounded in the Indigenous, immigrant, and settler histories that have shaped what we now call Toronto, the inaugural Biennial asks us to reexamine the past to project alternative futures that expand our ways of knowing and becoming."
The first edition of the Toronto Biennial will take place on the waterfront, a site in relation, inscribed by stories of the past and the future. As we apply different lenses to a map of this area, we explore the different layers and narratives that come into focus.
For Indigenous peoples, who have maintained a presence here for over 15,000 years, it has been a site of spiritual healing, trade, treaty, and gathering. In more recent centuries, the waterfront has been shaped by settler, slave and immigrant narratives, referenced in part by the Toronto Biennial’s trajectory, which traces the original boundaries of the so-called Toronto Purchase (1805), which ran from Ashbridges Bay to Etobicoke Creek.