The inaugural Toronto Biennial of Art in 2019, titled The Shoreline Dilemma, was the first edition of a two-part biennial that traced interconnected narratives around the city’s ever-changing shoreline. These connections sought to reveal strategies of resistance against industrial-colonial systems, uncover polyphonic histories sedimented around the shoreline, and open up relations between the human and more-than-human. To extend this artistic thinking and expand notions of relationality, in 2022, the second edition, titled What Water Knows, The Land Remembers, moves inland to follow tributaries and ravines, both above ground and hidden, that shape this place.
In relation to the two Biennial exhibitions, this publication Water, Kinship, Belief is a “third” site, a place where the continuities, resonances, and dissonances between Biennial editions are extended. Its pages become a means to bring together the artists, artworks, collaborators, and ideas that have together informed the exhibitions, irrespective of chronology, dispensing with categories, and part of a greater whole. Through its content and unique design, it is both a generative guide to the exhibitions and a Biennial site of its own, presenting new artistic relations that course through the book like tributaries.
Water, Kinship, Belief is co-published by the Toronto Biennial of Art and Art Metropole and edited by Candice Hopkins, Katie Lawson, and Tairone Bastien, exhibition curators for the first two editions of the Biennial. Book design by Santiago da Silva and Sean Yendrys.