photo: Erinn Heather Grennan
Scotiabank Nuitblanche 2012
City Hall Project Multi-layered Monumental Project
Curated by: Janine Marchessault and Michael Prokopow
Museum for the End of the World
Mounted in various locations around Nathan Phillips Square and City Hall Project (from Council Chambers to the
underground parking garage), Museum for the End of the World is an exercise in creativity and crisis.
One of the greater ironies of human existence is the persistent anticipation of its end. Whether the
result of monster waves, unstoppable pandemics, nuclear calamities, or the sun ceasing to shine, the
idea of Doomsday can be at once the fire of speculative lamentation and the spark of insightful creativity.
Indeed, the link between creativity and the apocalypse has a long history, from Noah‘s shipbuilding
and organizational skills to the literal bean counters buried deep beneath the mountains of Norway, stockpiling
all the seeds of globe for the post-apocalyptic garden. In this way, the very idea of the Wunderkammen,
with its princely mission of amassing, cataloguing and displaying was fueled by a fear of the end of
the world. Museum for the End of the World at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche 2012 is a provocative, critical
rumination about end times and a world in transition.
Exhibition Area A: "Drift" Curated by Shauna McCabe
Downtown West: Adelaide to Front Street and John Street to Yonge Street
10 Commission Projects / 5 Open Call Projects
Drift offers encounters with the waterfront through artists‘ responses to the consistency of the
land meets water – poetic and physical edges that are fluid and imprecise, shifting
in uses and meanings. The
installations featured in Nuit Blanche transform architecture and landscape
in ways that highlight the entropy of
such luminal spaces and the amalgam of many, often contradictory
experiences they are capable of
encompassing - high spectacle to dereliction, the permanent and
planned to the carnival-esque. Subject to
chance operations of nature as well as ongoing land reclamation,
the shoreline is very much a -terrain vague,
an unfolding space that opens the way to exploring the
place of memory and myth, the familiar and fantastic
within new urban forms. Navigating layered histories
and manifold futures, the artists punctuate the waterfront
with projects that work within this drift
to open up the everyday to the richness of the unexpected and new
ways of experiencing and imagining
Exhibition Area B: "Bodies and Buildings" Curated by Helena Reckitt
Downtown North: Gerard Street to Adelaide Street and University Avenue to
10 Commission Projects / 5 Open Call Projects
Cities have shape and size; they have constitutions, administrations and populations; they have bodies
and buildings. Formed in relation to each other over time, a city's buildings give expression to its
aspirations, its secrets and desires. The built form of the city makes space for dwelling,
commerce, ritual and
play. Each of these purposes propels the city's inhabitants into, through and around
its buildings, activating a
chain of encounter, experience and memory. Presenting artists who use elements
of urban experience to
construct relationships between human and built form, Bodies and Buildings will
invite viewers to consider
how their passage through the city inflects its shape, and how their fluid
encounters with its spaces contributes
to the construction of its chronicles and traditions.
Exhibition Area C: "Once More With Feeling" Curated
by Helena Reckitt
Downtown East: Dundas Street to Front Street and Yonge Street to Jarvis Street
10 Commission Projects / 5 Open Call Projects
Once More With Feeling explores the desire to repeat and remake. Playing between past and present,
evokes circuits of renewal as well as movements of revolt. Many works in this exhibition literally revolve,
enacting loops of repetition and feedback, haunting and hallucination.
Many of these works are based in music and sound. With its power to unleash the energies of the crowd,
the voice is a threshold between the social and the individual. Listening to a song, we find it hard
not to sing along,
drawing the tune into our bodies and making it our own. Some artworks play on the
of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, citing its twelve-hour structure and pointing to the struggle
against time that it stages.
Other works create a sense of time -outside‘ time, of communal experience
and sensory exhilaration.
Finding poetry in the everyday, artists transform an office façade into a stage for vertiginous
dance, and photocopiers
into disco lights.
They also embrace the potential of mistakes to rupture familiar
formats and to create new forms.
As we approach the Mayan prophesied "end of days" on 21 December 2012 the exhibition contrasts
of doomsday panic and destruction with cycles of regeneration.
Janine Marchessault, Michael Prokopow
Janine Marchessault is a Canada Research Chair in Art, Digital Media and Globalization at York University
(Toronto, Canada). She is the author of Ecstatic World (forthcoming MIT Press); Marshall McLuhan:
Cosmic Media (Sage 2005) and is the editor of several collections including Cartographies of Place (forthcoming
McGill-Queens) and Fluid Screens, Expanded Cinema (University of Toronto Press 2007). She is the Director
of the Visible City Project + Archive at York University, which is examining artists‘ cultures
in the context of globalization in Toronto, Havana and Helsinki. She is a founding member of the Public
Access Curatorial Collective and the journal Public: Art/Culture/Ideas. She was Co-curator of The
Leona Drive Project (2009) and Being on Time (2001).
Michael Prokopow holds a PhD in history from Harvard. His areas of specialty include North American material
culture, architectural and design history, critical theory and aesthetics. Currently he is a faculty
member at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Between 2003 and 2007 he served as the curator at the
Design Exchange, Canada‘s only museum dedicated to the documentation, conservation and study of
post-1945 Canadian industrial design. He was Co-curator of The Leona Drive Project (2009).
Acclaimed Toronto-based designer and artist Barr Gilmore RCA MDes
has created the environmental graphic design for Museum for the End of the World. Douglas Coupland
of Vancouver, Dana Claxton of Vancouver, Toronto-based Christine Davis, An Te Liu of Toronto and Tania
Mouraud of Paris, France are among the featured artists.
DRIFT, in and around the Entertainment District, offers encounters with the city that bring to light
the consistency of urban space as fluid and poetic, a "terrain vague" with room to explore
the familiar and fantastic. Artists featured in the exhibition transform architecture and landscape in
ways that highlight memory, history and imagination that converges in our everyday experiences.
Work by artists Andrew Kearney of London, UK, Matthew Moore of
Phoenix and Alison Norlen of Saskatoon will be featured in this exhibition.
Shauna McCabe is a curator, writer, and Executive Director of the Textile Museum of Canada. She
had held the Canada Research Chair in Critical Theory in the Interpretation of Culture at Mount Allison
University since 2007 where she also founded CHARTS, the Centre for Humanities and Arts Research in Transdisciplinary
Space. She has produced over 50 exhibitions by Canadian and international artists, most recently Krimiseries:
Raqs Collective, Deimantas Narkevicius, Stih & Schnock, Mac Adams, and Susan Schuppli (Museum London, 2010) and Dig
Up My Heart: Artistic Practice in the Field (Confederation Centre Art Gallery, 2010), Formerly
Exit Five: Portable Monuments to Recent History (Kenderdine Art Gallery, 2010) and Rural Readymade (Confederation
Centre Art Gallery, 2011).
Christina Ritchie (former Director/Curator at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver) is curating
projects located in and around Ryerson University, the Toronto Eaton Centre and the Financial District.
Bodies and Buildings invites viewers to consider how their passage through the city inflects its shape,
and how their encounters with its spaces contribute to the construction of its chronicles and traditions.
Artists whose work will be featured include Rhonda Weppler of San Francisco & Trevor Mahovsky
of Vancouver, Peter Bowyer of Toronto and Vikky Alexander of Vancouver.
Christina Ritchie is an independent curator based in Toronto. She has a long history of institutional
practice, most recently as the Director of the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, and before that
as Curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Video Curator at Art Metropole, and Co-director of the Foundation
of Art Resources in Los Angeles. She attended the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and has an extensive
record of community service.
Helena Reckitt (Senior Lecturer in Curating at Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK) is curating areas
in and around Church Street and King Street East. Once More with Feeling presents works which reference
and evoke repetition and emotion, recognizing the power of memorial and re-enactment.
Projects from artists Trisha Brown Dance Company of New York, Katie Paterson of Berlin, Germany and
Oliver Husain of Toronto will be featured in this exhibition.
Helena Reckitt, Senior Lecturer in Curating, Curatorial Studies at Goldsmiths in London,
UK., was Senior Curator of Programs at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto. She
was Senior Director of Exhibitions and Education at the Atlanta Contemporary Art Center in Georgia, Head
of Talks at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, and Associate Commissioning Editor at Routledge
publishers. She has curated solo exhibitions with artists including Yael Bartana, Prema Murthy, Paul
P, and Paul Shambroom (with Diane Mullin and Chris Scoates). Reckitt has taught contemporary art history
at Emory University and the Atlanta College of Art and has contribution to magazines and journals including
C magazine, Art Papers, The Guardian and n.paradoxa. She is co-editor with Joshua Oppenheimer of Acting
on AIDS: Sex, drugs and politics (Serpent‘s
Tail, 1997) and editor of Art and Feminism (Phaidon Press, 2001).