Yan Wu and Bill Burns in Conversation at MKG127

Bill Burns, Costumes for a Donkey, a Goat and a Honey Bee, 2023, production stills. Photos: Noemie Fortin

Yan Wu and Bill Burns in Conversation

Saturday, June 22, 2024, 2:00 pm
MKG127, Toronto

Please join us for a conversation between writer and curator Yan Wu and artist Bill Burns at MKG127 Toronto on Saturday, June 22, 2024 at 2:00 pm.

Saturday, June 22 is also the final day of Bill Burns’ exhibition The Donkey, the Goat, the Honey Bee. MKG127 is honoured to host this conversation.

Bill began his long-duration project, otherwise called The Great Donkey Walk or The Great Trade at Atelier Amden, Switzerland in 2018. With the help of two donkeys, he carried salt from the local salt mine up some gentle slopes in the Swiss Alps. On the way up the mountain, he traded some salt for apples at the orchard, then, he traded apples for honey at the beekeeper’s house. At the top of the mountain, he served apples drizzled with honey and a pinch of salt. This event has since become known as the serving of apples with a drizzle of honey and a pinch of salt at the summit in the Alps. The final elements of Bill Burns’ project will take place over the next few years with exhibitions and performances at Getbol Lab, Seoul Korea; Soon Is Now, Beacon, New York; and Museu Oscar Niemeyer, Curitiba, Brazil.

Yan Wu and Bill Burns will explore, amongst other things, the charisma of animals, costume design, advanced industrialism, and global trade.

Bill Burns, The Curator and the Law Suit, 2023, drawing. Photo: Bill Burns

Yan Wu is a curator, writer, and translator whose work focuses on the intersections of contemporary art, architecture, and the making of public space. She currently is Public Art Curator for the City of Markham, where she recently oversaw the city’s first five-year public art master plan and is now managing its implementation. Wu was the Curator-in-Residence at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto (2016-17), Assistant Curator for the inaugural Shanghai Urban Space Art Season (2015), and Co-Curator for the Canada Pavilion at the fifth Bi-City Urbanism/Architecture Biennale in Shenzhen China (2013). She has co-translated seminal books about contemporary art into Chinese, including Rosalind Krauss’s Passages in Modern Sculpture (1977/2016), Lucy Lippard’s Six Years (1973/2018), Dan Graham’s Rock My Religion (1994/2018) and Formless (1997/2021) by Yves-Alain Bois and Rosalind Krauss. Born and raised in Shanghai, Wu moved to Canada in 2001 and lives in Toronto.

Bill Burns, The Aeroplane Crash number 4, 2022. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheld

Bill Burns’ work about art, animals and advanced industrialism has been shown at Institute of Contemporary Arts in London; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; 303 Gallery, New York; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Mendes Wood Gallery, Sao Paulo, Brazil; the Seoul Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea; and the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam, Netherlands. He first learned about art at his family’s bookshop in Saskatchewan and later received an MA from Goldsmiths’ College, London. Bill’s published works include, The Great Exchange, Vancouver: Griffin Art Projects, (Baldissera, Burns, Trylowsky, 2023) Hans Ulrich Obrist Hear Us (London/ Toronto: Black Dog and YYZ, 2016); Dogs and Boats and Airplanes told in the form of Ivan the Terrible (Copenhagen: Space Poetry, 2011); Bird Radio (Cologne and Berlin: Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther Konig and KW Institute for Contemporary Art, 2007); The Guide to the Flora and Fauna Information Station (London: Institute of Contemporary Arts, London, 2008). His works are included in collections at Tate Britain, London; Kunstmuseum Liechenstein, Vaduz; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Getty Center, Los Angeles.

Instagram @billburnspictures

Bill Burns, with Pascale Dery, The Donkey, Goat and Honey Bee Costumes. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheld

1445 Dundas Street West
Toronto, ON M6J 1Y7
Instagram @mkg127

MKG127 is partially accessible (at street level).