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Toronto Biennial of Art Announces Curatorial Team for Inaugural Edition

The Toronto Biennial of Art has revealed that Candice Hopkins will serve as the senior curator and Tairone Bastien will be the curator of its inaugural edition, taking place in fall 2019, and its subsequent iteration, in 2021. In addition, Ilana Shamoon will join the biennial’s permanent staff as the director of programming.

Hopkins is the cocurator of the forthcoming SITElines biennial, “Casa Tomada,” opening in August 2018, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and was recently named the cocurator of the Canadian pavilion at the Fifty-Eighth Venice Biennale, which will feature the work of Igloolik Isuma Productions Inc. Previously, she served as part of the curatorial team for Documenta 14. Hopkins will work alongside Bastien, who most recently was programming director for Alserkal Avenue in Dubai. Bastien, who divides his time between Toronto and Dubai, commissioned works for both the Dhaka Arts Summit in Bangladesh and Shubbak Festival in London, and served as a curator for the fifth, seventh, and ninth editions of Performa.

Shamoon will be responsible for all aspects of the biennial’s overall programming and partnership initiatives. Previously, she was a curator at the Fondation Cartier pour l’Art Contemporain in Paris from 2006 to 2015 and ran the public art program at Waterfront Toronto from 2016 to 2017. She also works as an independent curator for institutions such as Toronto’s Ryerson Image Center.

“We are delighted to welcome Candice, Tairone, and Ilana who bring significant depth of scholarship, experience, and passion to the launch of the Biennial,” executive director, Patrizia Libralato, said. “Candice and Tairone’s involvement into 2021 will set the tone for continuity between events. By celebrating contemporary art and artists from Canada and around the world, our goal is to create an event as uniquely diverse, responsive, and layered as the city itself.”

The inaugural biennial will invite more than forty artists from various disciplines, along with writers, activists, and community organizers, to activate the city’s waterfront. More details will be announced later this year.