Toronto Biennial of Art announces its series of public programs

February 28, 2022
Camille Turner, Nave, 2021-22. Three-channel video installation. Commissioned by the Toronto Biennial of Art.

The Toronto Biennial of Art (the Biennial/TBA) announced an extensive series of free public programs during the 10-week Biennial that will take place from March 26 to June 5, 2022. More than 40 local, national, and international participants will lead talks, workshops, performances, and learning programs that intersect and extend ideas emerging from the 2022 Biennial, What Water Knows, The Land Remembers. Programs will take place at several Exhibition sites, as well as at nearby outdoor locations. Working across and between both the 2019 and 2022 Biennial editions, the Programs team continues centering complex, relational contexts in its approaches as it brings intergenerational visitors together again through virtual and in-person events.

Contributors to 2022 Biennial Programs include: Derya Akay, Judy Chicago, Stephanie Comilang, Emilie Croning, Jess Dobkin, Ceinwen Gobert, Francisco-Fernando Granados, Timothy Yanick Hunter, Jatiwangi art Factory (JaF), Emily Johnson, Carolyn King, Emily Law, Yaniya Lee, Tanya Lukin Linklater, Ange Loft, Dr. George Mahashe, Ivanie Aubin-Malo, Moccasin Identifier, Dr. Moyo Rainos Mutamba, Anne Zanele Mutema, Eduardo Navarro, Aki Onda, Laura Ortman, Paul Pfeiffer, Dana Prieto, Eric-Paul Riege, Susan Schuppli, Buhlebezwe Siwani, Dainty Smith, Talking Treaties Collective, Toronto Landscape Observatory, Camille Turner, Syrus Marcus Ware, and Ravyn Wngz.

“Through storytelling sessions, conversations, performances, workshops, and walks, Biennial Programs invite communities to gather and learn together in different formats and engage deeply with artists’ works and practices,” said TBA Executive Director Patrizia Libralato. “Welcoming visitors back to the Biennial through our dynamic virtual and in-person public programs will be a powerful way to reconnect after more than two years apart.”

Most in-person Programs will be held at the Biennial’s two main Exhibition venues—72 Perth Avenue in the Junction neighborhood and the Small Arms Inspection Building in nearby Mississauga—and will also occur at site-specific locations throughout the city. Other programming sites include 5 Lower Jarvis Street; Arsenal Contemporary Art; Colborne Lodge; Fort York National Historic Site, Toronto History Museums; High Park; Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto (MOCA); and Textile Museum of Canada.

”The Biennial Programs team works closely with artists and collaborators to create participatory, open, and meaningful public programs that both align with and expand upon the works in the Biennial Exhibition. We connect with community groups and partner arts organizations to create opportunities for learning and active engagement,” said TBA Deputy Director and Director of Programs Ilana Shamoon. “Our challenge in 2022 has been to develop programs that can be accessed in-person, outdoors, and online considering the shifting pandemic contexts we are all trying to safely navigate. We are so grateful to the inspiring group of participants and creative partners who have helped us shape the ideas and projects that we will present this spring.”

The Programs team worked alongside the Exhibition curators to develop a lexicon of terms that has helped inform their approach to public programs. Terms of particular resonance (bolded) include: coming together as part of a shared ethos at a given moment in time (collectivity); “breathing together” (the etymological roots of conspiring, further complicated by the current pandemic); experimenting new points of focus to better hear each other (listening); and embracing narratives that impact and, in some cases, uncomfortably upend prior learnings as a guiding principle to look inward as we move outward together (unlearning).

Throughout the course of the 2022 Biennial, Programs bring together participants and collaborators, whose practices offer visitors multiple entry points for engagement in a series of six programming streams: TBA Public Programs, Mobile Arts Curriculum (MAC), Storytelling, TBA School Programs, TBA Podcasts and Onsite Libraries.

The Biennial’s 2022 Programs are collaboratively developed by Roxanne Fernandes; Mary Kim, Kesang Nanglu, Emily Schimp, and Ilana Shamoon, with contributions from Exhibition curators Tairone Bastien, Candice Hopkins, Katie Lawson, and former curators Clare Butcher and Myung-Sun Kim.

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