The Best Public Art of 2019

“Co-curated by Candice Hopkins and Tairone Bastien, the inaugural Toronto Biennial used town’s geographical location on Lake Ontario as a launching level for the overarching rationale ‘The Shoreline Dilemma,’ noting the numerous alterations to the location over the previous 12,000 years because of colonialism and industrialization. The Lake’s ever-shifting boundaries offered a pivotal metaphor from which to discover a central query: What does it imply to be in relation? Presenting Canadian, Indigenous, and worldwide artists inside and all through freely accessible city-wide venues, works included Susan Schuppli’s Studying from Ice (2019–current); Sinaaqpagiaqtuut/The Lengthy-Lower (2019) by Embassy of Creativeness; ReMatriate Collective’s banner YOURS FOR INDIGENOUS SOVEREIGNTY (2018); and Lou Sheppard’s audio work Daybreak Refrain/Evensong (2019), a sonic harmonization of the city soundscape with native fowl songs.

“Cumulatively the Biennial was exemplary of the preeminent voice of Canada’s First Nations creatives in re-carving dominant histories whereas making paths for future, self-determined narratives within the context of broader international emergencies.”—Natasha Smith and Ineke Dane, UAP Curatorial Group

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