The 13th edition of Nuit Blanche Toronto returns from 7 p.m. on Saturday, September 29 to 7 a.m. on Sunday, September 30. Presented under the event-wide theme, “You Are Here,” this year’s event features more than 75 contemporary art projects created by local, national and international artists. Full exhibition details are available at https://nbto.com.

City-produced exhibitions

This year, three City-produced exhibitions feature an engaging lineup of contemporary art projects.

STYLL

Independent curator, cultural producer, and Scarborough native Alyssa Fearon’s exhibition “STYLL” leads the way for Nuit Blanche Toronto’s inaugural expansion into Scarborough. The artists in this exhibition disrupt boundaries and blur borders between downtown and the suburbs, the centre and margins, ourselves and each other. Each project exposes the unexpected and unplanned, making real again what was denied or written over. Location: Scarborough Civic Centre and Scarborough Town Centre.

 

Project highlights include:

  • “Everything I Wanted to Tell You” by Hiba Abdallah captures complex narratives of Scarborough diversity, nuance and resilience. Abdallah explores the deeply personal stories of Scarborough residents: their enthusiasms, anxieties and histories. The stories will be displayed as a large-scale text installation projected directly onto the 90-foot facade of the Scarborough Civic Centre.
  • “Cavalier Noir,” by visual artist Ekow Nimako and filmmaker Director X fosters critical thought about how Canadians choose to represent our heroes and about who, in fact, are our heroes. Using more than 80,000 Lego pieces, Nimako proposes his vision of a monument for Scarborough – a Black child warrior mounted, over seven feet tall, astride a dauntless black unicorn.

Dream Time: We All Have Stories

Independent film and moving image curator, advisor and researcher Karen Alexander presents “Dream Time: We All Have Stories.” Inspired by the history and physicality of the Ward, eight artists reimagine and transform sites in and around City Hall. Audiences encounter dynamic installations, spatial interventions, a living archive of sonic landscapes, and an underground city of memories. Location: Nathan Phillips Square/Toronto City Hall, Church of the Holy Trinity and Toronto Coach Terminal.

Project highlights include:

  • “Radical Histories” by Ibrahim Mahama, uses an epic patchwork of jute fabric that shrouds the front-facing roof edge of Toronto City Hall. The spectacular sewn installation draws attention to the conditions of supply and demand in African markets, acknowledging the role that jute sacks play in the international movement of goods.
  • “Down at the Twilight Zone” by Harold Offeh offers a collaborative performance that brings to life Toronto’s diverse queer histories and narratives. Through captivating interviews, old-school playlists, back-in-the-day dance moves, vintage fashion, midnight singing and dawn storytelling from across the LGBTQ2S community, this 12-hour participatory investigation will hover in the uncertain space between the imagined and the real, and the possibilities of creating a living queer archive

The things they carried

Independent curator Tairone Bastien (Toronto, New York and Dubai) presents “The things they carried,” an exhibition that reflects on the immigrant stories of Toronto that often struggle to be heard. Through music, food and art, these works cast light on immigrant journeys and provoke consideration of things forgotten or carried along the way. Location: Yonge-Dundas Square, Bay Street between Queen Street W. and Wellington Street W., James Street, Line 3 Scarborough stations, and Scarborough Civic Centre.

Project highlights include:

  • “International Dumpling Festival” by famed Canadian artist, Ken Lum, is a street-side public food court serving dumplings in multiple ethnic variations. Accompanying the kiosks will be banners made by Lum that represent the vendors and their food, building from the artist’s ongoing investigation of portraiture, language, and the public memorialization of marginalized communities. The work is sited on James Street, a street that was once part of the Ward, a 19th-century enclave for the city’s first Irish, Italian, Jewish, Black and Chinese communities.
  • “Mirrors of Babel” by world-renowned artist eL Seed is a multi-part installation that proposes an inversion of the ancient legend in which humanity linguistic divisions begin with the destruction of the tower of Babel. The installation is anchored by two works sited at Yonge-Dundas Square and Scarborough Civic Centre, interweaving cultural references that honour a complex layering of Indigenous and immigrant voices in Canadian society. The calligraphic architecture is based on an Arabic translation of “Prairie Greyhounds” (1903), a two-part poem by Mohawk poet, writer and performance artist E. Pauline Johnson (Tekahionwake).

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Media contact: Justine Palinska, Economic Development & Culture, 416-395-7318, Justine.Palinska@toronto.ca