• Artist: Anupa Khemadasa
  • Medium: Projection
  • Project Type: Independent Projects
  • Neighbourhood: Downtown

Toronto’s cityscape swings to a chorus of community voices that reflect on the land we share.

Location

199 Bay St

  • Address: 199 Bay
  • Public Washrooms: No
  • Physical Access: Wheelchair accessible

The Project

Swing Low, Sweet Chariot is an immersive, audio-visual installation that transforms symbols of human ambition and power into a conversation around how city-dwellers relate to their city while living between its monuments. Building a city is a complex endeavor, and many residents don't get a say in its formation. Drawing inspiration from the namesake spiritual song that calls for heavenly vehicles to descend and relieve earthly ills, the installation juxtaposes a dynamic, poetic, and hyper-lapsed video projection of Toronto's urbanscape accompanied by an ad hoc community chorus. The audio is composed of stories and interviews collected from across Toronto's neighbourhoods: reflections the land we share. In a time of global crisis created by mass displacement and other socio-political struggles "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" calls for a renewed response to collective living.

The Artist

Anupa Khemadasa is a Sri Lankan-Canadian interdisciplinary artist inspired by both Sri Lankan and Western creative traditions whose practice encompasses a wide variety of mediums which include: visual arts, community engagement, music performance and cybernetics. Socio-cultural issues and personal histories are at the core of her artistic practice. She has performed and exhibited work in Asia, Europe, Canada and the US. She is the co-founder of the music ensemble Tangled, and the arts collective Warm Up To Me, which have animated Toronto over the past decade.

Acknowledgements

Collaborators: Chosang Tenzin (videography). Production Assistance: Virginia Antonipillai, Sanjay Ratnan. Consultants: Michael Alstad, Willie Le Maitre. Tech Support: Mike Brassard, George Traini. Audio Editing: Tijana Spasic. This project is supported by Ontario Arts Council, Gendai Gallery, and A Space Gallery.