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Nuit Blanche Toronto: Creation : Destruction
October 5 @ 7:00 pm - October 6 @ 7:00 amFree
Creation : Destruction
Curated by Layne Hinton and Rui Pimenta
Fort York Neighbourhood
The Bentway will be a location hub for Nuit Blanche Toronto this year, as part of the exhibition Creation : Destruction, curated by Layne Hinton and Rui Pimenta (Toronto), the curatorial duo behind Art Spin. The projects use the geography of the site as a way to explore the cycles of creation and destruction in nature and beyond.
All things reside on the borders of creation and destruction.
Inspired by its geographical area, this exhibition will challenge our understanding of these seemingly contradictory concepts. They are extensions of each other, forces that both deplete and feed one another. There is nothing more primal, more essentially human, than the paradoxical relationship between creation and destruction, it is the essence of the natural world and our place in it.
Projects happening across The Bentway site include:
Artist: Gareth Lichty
Medium: Sculptural Installation
Location: Skate Trail
On view until October 20
Vast amounts of hazard tape will wrap the pillars of The Bentway, creating a monumental, immersive installation that will become animated in the wind.
In “Hoarding,” hazard tape—a material typically used to keep people away from spaces under construction—will wrap a series of “bents” that hold up the Gardiner Expressway. The searing neon-yellow of the tape will act as a vibrant beacon that draws audiences toward the work, offering invitation rather than a caution, permission to enter rather than a warning to stay away. Once inside, visitors will experience a unique, immersive space that evokes the warp and weft of fabric on a loom, the walls vibrating in concert with the wind. Just as the tape’s bright colour will highlight the utilitarian overhead space of the expressway, it’s flickering, fluttering motion will transform the wind from an invisible, abstract natural force into something highly perceptible. By repurposing an industrial material that often signifies destruction, “Hoarding” will transform a hazard into a creative act, while giving audiences an opportunity to stand inside this transformation.
Artist: Francesca Chudnoff
Location: Strachan Gate
Drenched in blue light, dancers will interact with a sound and video installation to explore the relationship between desire and distance.
“Halcyon” is a video and dance performance designed to question the range of ways in which we constantly tune and adjust our self-presentation, both onscreen and in real life. How do we translate what we feel in our bodies into something material? Can we turn it into a colour, a pattern, a sound? Immersed in a deep blue field of colour, live dancers will trigger a cascade of melodic sounds with the movement of their bodies. Nearby, a backdrop of glitching, looping video will evoke an unending process of creation, mutation and disintegration. The result will be an intimate, embodied performance set against a fragmented data-moshing screen. A 12-hour performance that evokes questions of labour, fatigue and the limitations of the body, “Halcyon” promises to be a meditation on the accumulation of memory, the disintegration of movement, and the relationship between desire and distance.
Artist: John Notten
Medium: Interactive Installation
Project Type: Independent Projects
Location: Fort York Visitor Centre, outdoors
On view until Monday, October 14
This immersive experience repurposes common objects to explore the fort as an archetype of power and privilege.
Tall wooden walls of crude, sharpened posts will make a four-sided structure reminiscent of early European settler forts. Installed in the shadow of Fort York, “Stronghold” will offer a symbol of authority, protection and power. At the same time, this installation will draw to mind relationships of exclusion and domination that underpin Canada’s nation-building project. Those relationships are based on colonial logics of “us versus them.” Viewers will be invited into the structure and will find an unexpected setting that contrasts with its steadfast exterior. Inside, and through an ironic use of materials, audiences will consider historical legacies of settler colonialism. Visitors will also consider ongoing Indigenous displacement caused by privileged practices of rural leisure.
LeuWebb Projects – Thermally Speaking
Artist: LeuWebb Projects
Medium: Light Installation
Project Type: Independent Projects
We are all energy—heat and water, dark matter and light. Explore a ramp to nowhere, and find out what lies on the other side.
Human bodies are vessels of energy, containers of both fire and water. They’re constantly undergoing renewal and death at a cellular level. “Thermally Speaking” will translate the radiant energy of human bodies as they move through Fort York. This project will use thermography and infrared measurement tools to uncover the fields of energy of which that all humans are a part. Visitors will be encouraged to ascend the rooftop ramp of the Fort York Visitors’ Centre towards an exceptional view over the Fort York site. Their presence and energy will be reflected throughout the surfaces of the building in colourful translations of their activity.
About the Curators
Layne Hinton and Rui Pimenta are the curators behind Art Spin. Since 2009 they’ve been activating decommissioned venues and unique public spaces with large-scale group exhibitions. Their curated bicycle-led art tours also showcase a range of new art in alternative sites. Notably, they reanimated Ontario Place’s West Island for “in/future” in 2016. At the heart of their curatorial practice is a passion for pushing the possibilities of what constitutes public art, and doing this through site-specific/site-responsive practices and ephemeral approaches.
About Gareth Lichty, Buffalo, USA
Gareth Lichty’s artwork often combines “handmade” techniques such as weaving with utilitarian materials like construction fencing, flagging tape and garden hoses. This creates paradoxically delicate constructions on large, industrial scales. His work has been exhibited across Canada and in Europe, China, the United States and New Zealand.
About Francesca Chudnoff, Toronto, Canada
Francesca Chudnoff is a Toronto-based millennial with a BFA in performance. She is a dance artist, filmmaker, photographer, shrine maker and collector of all things shiny. She is currently an Emerging Artist in Residence at Dancemakers Centre for Creation (2018–2020), and a member of the multidisciplinary art collective Lost is Found.
About John Notten
John Notten is a Toronto-based contemporary artist and educator. He started contributing to Nuit Blanche in 2010; “Stronghold” is his sixth such project to date. His art focuses on the transformation of a wide range of materials and common objects into new, surprising configurations. His immersive, interactive installations address displacement, consumerism and inequity.
About LeuWebb Projects
LeuWebb Projects is a multidisciplinary venue for creative collaboration exploring the space between the tangible and the ephemeral. Led by Christine Leu and Alan Webb, the practice operates at the intersection of art and architecture, employing diverse media to intervene and engage in the public sphere.
About Nuit Blanche
Toronto is transformed by artists on Saturday, October 5, 2019. Nuit Blanche, Toronto’s free all-night contemporary art event invites adventurous residents and visitors to take to the streets from sunset to sunrise. Experience Toronto transformed by hundreds of Canadian and international artists. One night only, all night long.