This 11-day exhibition has transformed the desolate remains of Ontario Place into a remarkable new platform displaying the projects and performances of over 100 Artist & Musicians. Explore the multidisciplinary art projects created and curated specially for in/future. Enter the majestic and haunting silos where you’ll encounter immersive artworks, explore the South Shore, the Temple Bell Plaza and the winding picturesque paths to find a wide array of outdoor installations. Visit the Arcade and Atom Blaster Pavilions to see group exhibitions from an impressive range of artists from various disciplines. A number of the artists involved are part of the Faculty of Art community, below is a sampling of the work on exhibit!
Faculty of Art faculty Adam David Brown’s Moonlight explores illumination as the realm of both the celestial and commercial. Fascinated by science and language, the Toronto-based artist’s work often addresses systems of knowledge and their influences on our understandings of the world around us. Beckoning visitors with its vintage 1970s typeface, his monumental, free-standing sign broadcasts an image of the moon’s surface. Despite its photographic simulation of the moon’s cold light, Brown’s sign betrays an underlying artificiality: like many things in a theme-park environment, Moonlight offers a glimpse at something sublime and fantastical, but only ultimately delivers a muted version of the experience it promises.
Toronto-based artist/OCADU Alumnus Alex McLeod presents two short, computer generated films. In SISYPHUS, a rock undulates uncannily along a rocky landscape, suggesting sentience or puppetry by an unseen force. In ALMOST HOME, a metallic structure navigates a grassy lawn. Both films use strange, futuristic forms to play with familiarity and discomfort.
In Corridor, artist/OCADU Alumna Alex Beriault choreographs a performance that inserts two people within a sculptural hallway that extends into the lake. The two performers take turns pushing each other into the walls of the floating corridor, testing their delicate relationships to each other and the structure.
Internationally-exhibited Toronto-based artist/OCADU Alumna Faye Mullen’s work is a site-specific performance which takes place nightly at sunset for the Breaker, a breakwater at the north west-most point of Ontario Place’s West Island. Exploring the failure implicit in language, Mullen turns to alternate signals which use movement and ritual to suggest new modes of communication and connection reviving archaic gestures. Performed at the edge of the lake this work addresses the moment a walk, collective or individual, becomes a cry. Mullen’s poetic encounter symbolically gathers the breakwater, the horizon, the body to respond to the sea and sky as sites of knowledge and grounds upon which one can be heard.
OCADU Alumna Hazel Meyer is an interdisciplinary artist who works with installation, performance, and textiles to investigate the relationships between sport, sexuality, feminism, and material culture. Her work aims to recover the queer aesthetics, politics, and bodies often effaced within histories of sports and recreation. Drawing on archival research, she designs immersive installations that bring various troublemakers—lesbians-feminists, gender outlaws, leather-dykes—into the performative spaces of athletics. Recent projects include a solo exhibition at MacLaren Art Centre (Barrie) and a public art commission for Cambridge Gallery’s Idea Exchange. In 2015 she was Scrap Metal Gallery’s (Toronto) inaugural artist in residence, where she produced a large-scale installation and public performance based on her ongoing project Muscle Panic (2014– ). She is currently at work on an iteration of Muscle Panic for the CAG in Vancouver. As part of her ongoing collaboration with Cait McKinney on the history of tools within queer social movements, she is developing Tape Condition: degraded, an exhibition and series of public programs at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives (2016, Toronto). Hazel holds an MFA from OCAD University (Toronto) and a BFA from Concordia University (Montréal).
Faculty of Art faculty Jennie Suddick and Cole Swanson’s Kuckucksuhr is an architectural intervention that transforms the watchtower of Ontario Place’s Wilderness Adventure log ride into a cuckoo clock. Using seeds and light to beckon migratory bird species to the installation, Suddick and Swanson reimagine the passage of time in natural terms—rather than a robotic cuckoo, the migratory species that move through and feed off the structure come to represent hourly cycles. Conceived as a critique of human conceptions of progress, Kuckucksuhr questions the human-made nature-scape of Ontario Place, reflecting on the desire to control, tame, and represent nature. Re-signifying the watchtower as a space of natural transition and reclamation, Kuckucksuhr creates an opportunity for complex natural patterns of life to surface in an otherwise artificial environment.
Faculty of Art faculty Luke Painter presents two works, a drawing in the Atom Blaster Pavilion and an animation in Cinesphere.
In Luke Painter’s 3D animation, The Teasers and the Tormentors, 20th century set design from theatre, film, and illusion shows take centre stage. Fascinated by video’s capacity to create illusions, Painter uses virtual mirrors to reveal the action outside of the camera to the viewer, creating the sense that a rich, complex environment exists beyond the set.
In his drawing, Crystal Palace Warehouse, Painter references the cast-iron and plate-glass building originally erected in Hyde Park, London, England, to house the Great Exhibition of 1851. Painter re-envisions the Crystal Palace with its transparent walls and skeletal structure as a ghostly apparition that pays homage to the architect’s small-greenhouse-made-big. Painter populates the inside of the building with images of 3D models of plants and trees that he finds online at Google 3D Warehouse and other 3D model reference websites. While Painter represents the Crystal Palace as a bygone spirit in and of itself, the virtual properties of the plants in his work also possess an uncanny element of immateriality.
OCADU Studio Manager Nick Hooper and Lauren Schaffer present Shohola Nights. Modernity can in part be defined by the disappearance of wilderness from Western world-view, and by the ever-evolving distinction between the natural and the artificial. We now are more apt to think of the two as intertwined and co-dependent systems. Some scientists contend that we have entered a new geologic era - the Anthropocene - marked by the impact of human activity on earth’s ecosystems. With these current conditions in mind, Shohola Nights reflects the shifts in our understanding and representations of the world and our place in it. Set against the backdrop of night, Shohola Nights is an experimental representation of landscape that is notable for its use of light and sound. At times emblazoned upon the landscape and at other times fugitively cast, the various sources of light illuminate or obfuscate minute detail, while the enveloping sound conveys the ever-churning progress of life on the planet.
Known for his RGB light installations, artist/Faculty of Art faculty Philippe Blanchard plays with the interaction of coloured light and coloured pigment in his “expanded animation” for in/Future: New Troglodytes II. Borrowing from the forms of naturally-made caves (such as stalactites and stalagmites), Blanchard’s RGB cave environment uses soft and stretched textile forms to craft a cave brimming with visual stimuli in a space formerly home to an amusement park ride. Interested in fire as a prehistoric form of visual technology, Blanchard plays with the magic of light and shadow, and their potential for creating the illusion of moving images. Though informed heavily by the digital, New Troglodytes II reflects on the ancient power of visual storytelling, embodying the simultaneous presence of past and future.
Inspired by the ice silo in what was once the “Wild World of Weather” exhibition at Ontario Places, multi-disciplinary artists/Faculty of Art faculty Simone Jones & Laura Millard use drawing, sound, and installation to explore circularity and motion. In Recursive Traces, a looped and fragmented recording of Philip Glass’s Étude #1 by Simone Jones mirrors the roundness of the silo. With sound cycling and returning as visitors descend the spiral stairs, circularity is built into the foundation of the installation. Discarded fragments of styrofoam icebergs are illuminated by lightboxes containing images of Laura Millard’s drawings made by snowmobiles etching patterns onto the icy surface of a frozen lake. At every turn, the artists reflect on the cyclicality of weather, time, and our emotional, physical, and perceptual movements.
Faculty of Art faculty Wrik Mead’s film, A Place to Stand, addresses and contrasts the state of LGBTQ rights around the globe in two eras: 1971 (the year that Ontario Place opened) and 2016. Making use of a dizzying array of anti-gay protest footage captured and posted on the internet, Mead’s protagonist bears witness to the fractures, shifts, improvements and resistances that have brought us to this time in LGBTQ history.
PROGRAMMING HIGHLIGHTS FOR THE CLOSING WEEKEND OF THE FESTIVAL INCLUDE:
in/future/communities - FREE Lecture Series presented by Waterfront Toronto - Sunday September 25th
Reserve your ticket at: https://infuturetalks.eventbrite.ca
Hosted by Waterfront Toronto’s CEO William Fleissig, this series of talks will challenge culture-makers and urbanists to reimagine what it means to be a city builder. On the closing afternoon of the in/future festival, we’ll gather leading voices who will present radical new ideas for building future communities.
Introduction by: Eb Zeidler (Zeidler Partnership Architects) and Margie Zeidler (Urbanspace Property Group) discuss the utopian design of leisure spaces like Ontario Place and shared work spaces like 401 Richmond, and how both projects have changed the face of our City in the past 40 years.
Talks by: Vass Bednar (Martin Prosperity Institute) discusses the problem with the term community and its implications for governance and policy-making.
Lisa Tziona Switkin (James Corner Field Operations) discusses creating a new ecological aesthetic that envisions new forms of urban nature that are transformative, performative and showcase both natural and engineered beauty.
Karen Carter (Myseum of Toronto) discusses embracing the unknown as a revolutionary stance for knitting together a collective identity for an increasingly diverse city.
Susan Blight (Ogimaa Mikana) discusses the City of Toronto as a utopian experiment to restore Indigeneity, build solidarities, and decolonize our cities.
Katerina Cizek (MIT Open Documentary Lab) on the city as open web and on becoming urban citizens rather than consumers.
North of Superior on IMAX - Sunday September 25th
Join us for a rare opportunity to watch North of Superior, the first ever IMAX film screened in Cinesphere, the world’s first permanent IMAX theatre. This film will be screened as part of our closing night program, paired with contemporary video works and followed by a very special Q&A with Graeme Ferguson himself, the director of North of Superior and one of the founders of IMAX.
Lectures at the end of the World(s) - by Onsite Gallery at OCADU -
September 24th & 25th
Saturdays and Sundays at 1 p.m., from September 17 to 25. Onsite Gallery presents a four-part speaker series that asks us to consider what is worth discussing, sharing and exploring in a post-apocalyptic state. Speakers include Gabriel Allahua (Lecture: Post-Capitalism World(s), Saturday, September 24) and Rouzbeh Akhbari (Lecture: Post-Anthropocene World(s), Sunday, September 25).
Cinesphere presented by Air France:
Opened in 1971, and built by renowned architect Eb Zeidler, as the first permanent IMAX theatre in the world, the iconic Cinesphere will come to life once again to showcase a daily changing schedule of 44 contemporary film & video works, and live audio/visual performances. Don’t miss a rare opportunity to see six original IMAX films from the 70s and 80's - such as the renowned Labyrinth and Man Belongs to Earth - most of which haven't been screened for the public in over 30 years.
Small World Music Stage presented by Exodus Travels:
For its 15th edition, the Small World Music Festival is proud to be part of in/future. Showcasing the best sounds from around the world and around the corner, Small World celebrates the cultural diversity of Ontario with artists who combine tradition with a view to the future. And they bring the party to a venue with a rich musical history! Check the schedule for the amazing roster of musicians playing daily.