• Learning from Ice
    Susan Schuppli
    Tairone Bastien and Candice Hopkins
    Toronto Biennial of Art 2019, Toronto
    Sep 21, 2019 to Dec 01, 2019
    Toronto Biennial of Art

Susan Schuppli, Learning from Ice, production still from the Athabasca Glacier, Columbia Icefield, Canada, 2019. Courtesy of the artist.

Learning from Ice investigates Arctic environments as a vast information network composed of material as well as cultural “sensors: that are registering and transmitting the signals of pollution and climate change. The project coalesces disparate—and oftentimes imperceptible—data sources across a wide range of spatial scales that, when taken together, create a more comprehensive picture of our current ecological condition. It is organised around the concept of “learning from ice” and highlights the many different practices that have produced knowledge of environmental change in the North, from the study of past climates using ice cores, the lived experiences and observations of indigenous people, to techniques of material investigation. It is comprised of a documentary film shot in the Canadian Ice Core Archive and at the Oregon State University Ice Core and Quaternary Geochemistry Lab, fieldwork in Nunavut, Greenland, and Norway, and an ice law forum in Toronto.

Susan Schuppli is an artist and researcher based in the UK, whose work examines material evidence from war and conflict to environmental disasters. Current research explores the impacts of climate change in the Canadian Arctic. Creative projects have been exhibited throughout Europe, Asia, Canada, and the US. Recent commissioned works include Nature Represents Itself, SculptureCenter, New York; Trace Evidence, a video trilogy, Arts Catalyst, London & Bildmuseet; and Umea and Atmospheric Feedback Loops, a Vertical Cinema project for Sonic Acts, Amsterdam. She has published widely within the context of media and politics and is author of the forthcoming book, Material Witness: Forensics, Media, Evidence (MIT Press). In 2016 Schuppli received the ICP Infinity Award for Critical Writing and Research. She is director of the Centre for Research Architecture, Goldsmiths University of London and is an affiliated researcher and board chair of Forensic Architecture, where she previously worked as senior research fellow.

Candice Hopkins, senior curator, is a member of the curatorial team for the Canadian Pavilion at the 58th Venice Biennale (2019) and recently curated SITE Santa Fe’s 2018 Sitelines Biennial and Documenta 14 in Kassel and Athens (2017). She has organized major exhibitions, including Native North America (2018), Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and Sakahàn: International Indigenous Art (2013), National Gallery of Canada. She has been published widely and lectured internationally and is the recipient of the 2015 Hnatyshyn Foundation Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art. Originally from Whitehorse, YK, Hopkins is a citizen of Carcross/Tagish First Nation.

Tairone Bastien, curator, is an independent arts programmer who recently was curator for Nuit Blanche Toronto 2018 and was a Journalism Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. Previously, he directed programming for Alserkal Avenue, an arts district and organization in Dubai which presented commissioned projects at the Venice Biennial (2017), Dhaka Art Summit and Art Dubai (2016); oversaw TCA Abu Dhabi, a government agency that developed arts programming strategies for museums, including for the Louvre Abu Dhabi; and, was a curator for Performa, New York City’s biennial of performance art (2005–11).

The Toronto Biennial of Art is Canada’s newest biennial of contemporary art. Taking place along the city’s waterfront in unexpected venues and public spaces and in collaboration with nonprofit galleries, museums, community organizations, and educational institutions across the city, the Biennial will present Canadian and international art within the complex creative, cultural, social, and political context of Toronto and its broader histories. On view for 75 days, the Toronto Biennial of Art will position the city as an emerging and inclusive visual arts center, providing an ambitious platform on which artists and arts professionals at various stages in their careers will exchange ideas and collaborate. By seamlessly linking year-round educational and curatorial programming, the Biennial connects Toronto communities through partnerships with existing arts initiatives. It creates opportunities for residents and visitors alike to discover and reimagine the city through provocative encounters with visual art.