Delayed six months by the pandemic, the long-awaited second edition of the Toronto Art Biennale opens to the public on Saturday, March 26. I said we’re not a biennial until we’ve done it twice, so it’s official, we’re now a biennial. Otherwise we’d just be an -annual, I guess.
Featuring over 100 works by 37 artists, including 23 new commissions, this iteration of the biennale is titled “What Water Knows, Earth Remembers”. The curatorial team is made up of Candice Hopkins, Tairone Bastien and Katie Lawson, who also worked on the 2019 edition. The title of the biennale reflects their guiding idea of water and land serving as archives for the stories that have been deliberately lost, hidden, buried and erased in Toronto, Canada, and beyond. Some of the stories of Indigenous and Black peoples, and people of color may not have survived to the present day, but water and land can serve as a witness and a source of knowledge to fill in the gaps. .[The biennial’s curators discuss their vision for the exhibition.]
Spread across nine venues across the city, with various programs and performances taking place throughout the biennale, the exhibition, which ends on June 5, offers an in-depth examination of different approaches to contemporary art, with an emphasis particularly on installation, film and video. , and textile works. Many of the works on display poignantly reflect belonging and place, perfectly suited to an audience that has largely felt a sense of isolation since the pandemic began two years ago.
“What the Water Knows, the Land Remembers” is inspired by polyphonic stories sedimented in and around Toronto,” Hopkins said at the premiere. “These stories can reveal entanglements and ecologies in both time and space. … This is an opportunity to ask the question, especially now ‘What do we believe in?’ »