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Double Dribble by Esmaa Mohamoud
July 7, 2021 - September 26, 2021
Location: The Bentway (250 Fort York Blvd)
Opens July 7 (approx)
On this impossible basketball court, how will you write your own rules for play?
Through the illogical use of basketball motifs, Toronto artist Esmaa Mohamoud transforms The Bentway into a surreal basketball court. Double Dribble is comprised of basketball nets of varying diameters — from half the size, to 3X the size of a standard net — and court lines running dysfunctionally throughout The Bentway site. Nets are installed at heights impossible for a human to reach, as well as low enough for a toddler.
With basketball as an access point, Double Dribble is a surreal inquiry into the accessibility of play. Do social identifiers affect our role in play — race, gender, wealth, ability… and how? Are certain demographics encouraged/discouraged to play — whether through abundance/lack of resources, or social grooming/socialization? Further, is “public space” actually public if it is not designed to be welcoming to all — i.e. through visible, physical barriers like space being broken down, or not inclusive of mobility needs, or invisible barriers like what happens to marginalized and racialized communities through gentrification?
Double Dribble pushes the public to reinvent play and even dismantle the rules to play. Without rules, there is a democratization of play with entry points for all communities. Double Dribble is familiar, but invites a reimagining of what’s possible. It points to the creativity and resilience born of what happens when the rules of the game don’t validate our experience — when, instead, we make our own rules.
Commissioned by The Bentway Conservancy
Double Dribble is a part of The Bentway’s Playing in Public season, a collection of outdoor and online projects that invite you to rediscover “play” in the city.
About Esmaa Mohamoud
Esmaa Mohamoud (Canadian, b. 1992), is a Toronto based African Canadian artist. She holds a BFA from Western University (2014) and an MFA from OCAD University (2016). Mohamoud has exhibited at the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts Montreal. Recent exhibitions include: To the Hoop: Basketball and Contemporary Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum, UNCG, Greensboro, NC, USA and Human Capital, MacKenzie Art Gallery, Regina, SK, Canada. Upcoming projects and exhibitions include: Artworx TO Year of Public Art, Toronto; The Bentway, Signature Public Art Commission, Toronto; and Garmenting: Costume and Contemporary Art, Museum of Arts and Design, New York, NY, USA. Currently on view: Esmaa Mohamoud: To Play In The Face of Certain Defeat, Art Gallery of Hamilton – travelling through 2023, organized by Museum London (publication forthcoming). Mohamoud will be participating in 2021’s Black Rock Senegal Artists-in-Residence program, taking place in Dakar, Senegal. Launching soon: Esmaa Mohamoud, The Brotherhood FUBU (For Us By Us), mural for Scotiabank Contact Festival, Toronto, Canada.
Double Dribble is supported by:
|THE MICHAEL YOUNG FAMILY FOUNDATION|