Toronto Biennial of Art highlights this week: Marshall Trammell | Nuit Blanche Toronto | Lisa Steele & Kim Tomczak


Arin Rungjang, Ravisara (still), multi-channel video installation, 2019. Commissioned by Toronto Biennial of Art with support from DAAD. Courtesy of the artist.

How do we learn and listen with the lake? Taking up experiential and artist-led approaches, The Toronto Biennial of Art’s Programs explore issues, practices, and methodologies related to the Biennial’s first edition, The Shoreline Dilemma.

The Shoreline Dilemma explores the implications of Toronto’s ever-changing shoreline—evidence of an increasingly anthropocentric world—in the context of a central question: What does it mean to be in relation?

The Biennial’s five programming streams—Co-Relations, Currents, Storytelling, Tools for Learning, and the Toronto Biennial of Art Residency—activate the two main Exhibition sites, 259 Lake Shore Boulevard East and the Small Arms Inspection Building, and also connect with projects around the city. Through storytelling, conversations, performative interventions, workshops, and readings, Programs invites visitors to gather and learn together in responsive and engaging formats along the water’s edge and beyond.


Syrus Marcus Ware, Antarctica, 2019, mixed-media installation. Courtesy the artist.

Program: Currents
Dates and Times: Fridays from 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm & 6:15 pm – 6:45 pm; Sundays 2:00 pm – 2:30 pm & 3:15 pm – 3:45 pm
Location: 259 Lake Shore Blvd E

Live theatrical performances take place each week as part of Antarctica, an installation that draws on the shared language of speculative fiction and political activism where the next generation of racialized activists offers insights into a future radically altered by climate change.

Isonomia in Toronto: Marshall Trammell
Program: Currents

Adrian Blackwell’s two interrelated structures at 259 Lake Shore Blvd E and the Small Arms Inspection Building host weekly performances and readings. Invited guests include poet CA Conrad, artists Camilo Godoy and Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Apache violinist Laura Ortman, Sister Co-Resister, and percussionist Marshall Trammell.

Performance by Marshall Trammell
Date: Friday, October 4
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: 259 Lake Shore Blvd E

Marshall Trammell will perform Warrior Ethos, two visual percussion compositions (graphic notation). The first composition was created by San Francisco Bay Area-based composer and bassist Lisa Mezzacappa for his “Indexical Moment/um” installation series held at Southern Exposure. The second is derived from a 10-month residency at Off Lomas in Albuquerque, NM.

Workshop by Marshall Trammell
Date: Saturday, October 5
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Small Arms Inspection Building

Following his performance of Warrior Ethos on October 4th at 259 Lake Shore, Marshall Trammell will conduct an Insurgent Learning Workshop as community engagement, an open rehearsal re-designating the array of Underground Railroad quilt block codes as an artist-driven reimagining of navigating the global economy rendered as a collective, music conduction system practicum and performance.

The Bank, the Mine, the Colony, the Crime
Program: Currents
Date: Saturday, October 5
Time: 10:00 am – 4:30 pm
Meeting Place: RBC Plaza 200 Bay Street, 12:45 pm

WalkingLab and RiVAL lead a walking tour through Toronto’s Financial District, built on Haudenosaunee and Mississauga lands and home to many ghosts, notably those dispossessed by the global extractive industries headquartered in the city’s infamous Bay Street area.

New Mineral Collective provides audio therapy, guiding listeners through a stratification of Toronto’s Financial District and looking at Canada’s entanglement with the shady realm of the extractive industry and its symbiotic relationship between geology, nationhood, and power.


Wigwam Chi-Chemung at Ontario Place. Photo by Elijah Nichols. Image courtesy of Myseum.

Open Studio with Elder Duke Redbird
Program: Currents
Date: Saturday, October 5
Time: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Ontario Place South Marina

Elder Duke Redbird engages visitors in questions around “Our Environment,” focusing on Indigenous perspectives on stemming destruction based on age old practices together with reverence and respect for Mother Earth. Set around Wigwam Chi-Chemung—a 40-foot pontoon houseboat docked at the Ontario Place Marina—the Open Studio session is part of an evolving art installation and Indigenous interpretive learning centre.

For further information on the process and program around Wigwam Chi-Chemung, please visit:

Toronto Biennial of Art at Nuit Blanche Toronto
Program: Currents
Date: Saturday, October 5 – Sunday, October 6
Time: 7:00 pm – 7:00 am
Location: Harbourfront Centre

The Toronto Biennial of Art and Harbourfront Centre will present Arin Rungjang’s Ravisara as part of Nuit Blanche Toronto 2019 at Harbourfront Centre’s Artport Gallery and vitrines the night of October 5. Ravisara is commissioned by the Biennial and co-presented with Harbourfront Centre.

Lou Sheppard’s audio work Dawn Chorus/Evensong will be also featured for Nuit Blanche at Toronto Sculpture Garden.

The Collaborative Body
Program: Currents
Date: Sunday, October 6
Time: 3:30 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: 29 Lake Shore Blvd E

In a walkabout, Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak engage in questions of representation of collaboration and “the collective”— suggesting how collaboration itself contradicts or at least undermines the idea of the individual artist-as-creative-genius.

About the Toronto Biennial of Art
Launching in fall 2019, the Toronto Biennial of Art (the Biennial/TBA) is a new international contemporary visual arts event that is as culturally connected and diverse as Toronto itself. For 10 weeks every two years, the city will be transformed by exhibitions, talks, and performances that reflect the local context while engaging with the world’s most pressing issues of our time. In an effort to make contemporary art available to everyone, the Biennial’s free, citywide programming aims to inspire people, bridge communities, and contribute to global conversations from a variety of perspectives.

For more information, visit:, @torontobiennial, and #TObiennial19 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Media Contacts
For additional information, Libby Mark or Heather Meltzer at Bow Bridge Communications, LLC, Toronto: +1 647-544-8441, New York City, +1 347-460-5566;