Toronto Biennial of Art highlights this week: AKU-MATU | Night Walk with Lost Rivers and Rivers Rising | Storytelling: Borelson


Jumblies Theatre & Arts, Talking Treaties, 2018. Courtesy Jumblies Theatre & Arts and Liam Coo.

The third week of the Toronto Biennial of Art is underway, and in addition to more than 100+ artworks at 15+ sites, there are several unique programs and events taking place across the city.

The Biennial’s programs, performances, and events 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?

Through storytelling, conversations, workshops, performance interventions, and readings, these programs invite visitors to gather and learn together in responsive engaging formats along the water’s edge and beyond.

For a complete overview of exhibiting artists, programs, locations, and hours, please visit our website.

This week’s highlights include:


AKU-MATU, photo by Christy Chow. Courtesy the artist.

Isonomia in Toronto
Performance by AKU-MATU
Program: Currents
Date: Friday, October 11
Time: 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Location: 259 Lake Shore Blvd E

What would a polar bear say if he could rap? Why are bowhead whales so sexy? Join Iñupiaq artist AKU-MATU as she brings you to the Arctic through humour, rap, costumes and unique characters.

Jumblies Theatre and Arts Workshops
Programs: Currents
Date: Saturday October 12
Time: 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Location: Small Arms Inspection Building, 1352 Lakeshore Road East. Mississauga ON

On Saturdays throughout the Biennial, a team of artists from Jumblies Theatre & Arts facilitate public art-making workshops for all ages, backgrounds, and abilities. After viewing the installation, By These Presents: “Purchasing” Toronto at Small Arms Inspection Building, participants are invited to write, draw, or embroider their responses on felted quilt pieces. Both Iroquois and Anishinaabe beading styles are shared, alongside open discussion of the installation’s content. Following the workshops the pieces generated will be combined in a giant quilt that addresses the Dish with One Spoon regional treaty and presented at the Biennial’s 2021 edition.

Isonomia in Toronto
Talk by Karyn Recollet
Program: Currents
Date: Saturday, October 12
Time: 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Location: Small Arms Inspection Building

In When Future Falls are Imminent: The moves and returns of scoop choreography of the fall, Karyn Recollet explores the meanings and experiences of choreographies of the fall embodying a set of relationships to land-ing and falling as ways of being in relation with lands, and each other. This talk thinks alongside Afrofuturist and Indigenous futurist activators to consider “falls” as a way of land-ing into each other in expansive and fully relational ways.

Open Studio with Elder Duke Redbird
Program: Currents
Date: Saturday, October 12
Time: 2:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Location: Ontario Place South Marina

During the last Open Studio of the Wigwam Chi-Chemung fall program, Elder Duke Redbird poses the question “how are we in relation?”, reflecting on and celebrating the many conversations, collaborations, and connections formed during the project. 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:

Night Walk with Lost Rivers and Rivers Rising
Program: Storytelling
Date: Monday, October 14
Time: 8:00 pm – 9:30 pm
Location/Meeting point: Christie Subway Station, 5 Christie St.

This night walk with the Lost Rivers and Rivers Rising initiatives traces hidden histories of the Garrison Creek, which enters Lake Ontario just east of Fort York, the military garrison for the region. Closed since the 1920s, the hidden creek has gained interest as new initiatives have formed to draw attention to the relationships between “lost” creeks, community planning, and urban design by restoring buried bridges and regenerating the Garrison Creek ravine system.


Borelson, 2018. Photo: Andrei Pora

Storytelling: Borelson
Program: Storytelling
Date: Wednesday, October 16
Time: 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Location: Art Gallery of York University, 8 Accolade East Building, York University, 4700 Keele Street

Storytelling seeks to shift the mediation of contemporary art from more conventional modes of interpreting and informing to narrating and embodying through weekly walks and conversations. Rapper and spoken-word poet Borelson offers a performative response to works by Jae Jarrell and Caecilia Tripp installed at the Art Gallery of York University (AGYU).

Storytelling Sessions
Program: Storytelling

Small Arms Inspection Building:
Thursdays from 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm and Saturdays from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

259 Lake Shore Blvd E:
Fridays from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm and Sundays from 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm

Storytelling seeks to shift the mediation of contemporary art away from conventional modes of interpreting and informing to narrating and embodying through weekly walks and conversations. An intergenerational and multilingual group of storytellers share personal insights and experiences of the city as they guide visitors through the Exhibition’s installations, research, and political perspectives. Taking us along hidden river routes, through archives, and into speculative futures, storytellers bring submerged narratives related to Toronto’s shifting shoreline to the surface.

About the Toronto Biennial of Art
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;