LUMINATO reveals 2009 visual arts and literary programs

TORONTO (March 18, 2009)Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity, proudly announces its 2009 visual arts and literary programs. Highlights from Luminato’s visual arts program include: public installations that challenge notions of space in Communication | Environment; an exploration of urban landscape and history in RedBall Project Toronto; Shadow Notes, a presentation of artworks by two photographers obsessed with music and a musician obsessed with photography; and a special exhibition by New York-based Canadian fashion photographer Raphael Mazzucco. Luminato’s literary program explores fantasy, horror, and the Gothic in multiple programs: An Evening with Neil Gaiman, revealing the author’s darkly fantastic imagination; and Gothic Toronto: Writing the City Macabre, where six writers, including Ann-Marie MacDonald and Andrew Pyper, concoct ghoulish tales set in Toronto. Luminato’s literary program also focuses on the freshest voices in global fiction as the best of new writing comes to the Festival for World Voices in Fiction, including 2008 Man Booker Prize winner Aravind Adiga. Canadian children’s authors and illustrators are feted at readings across the city in a celebration of Children’s Books and Illustrations presented in partnership with The Toronto Public Library. Now in its third year, Luminato is an annual celebration of the arts where Toronto’s stages, streets, and public spaces are infused with theatre, dance, classical and contemporary music, film, literature, visual arts, and design. Luminato brings a world of creativity to the city for ten days June 5-14, 2009. Tickets for Luminato events go on sale April 16.

“This year’s Luminato once again brings the best of the world to Toronto,” says Janice Price, Luminato’s CEO. “Through accidental encounters with art, massive free celebrations, and illuminating performances from the world’s brightest artists, Luminato offers audiences 10 exhilarating days with over 140 music, theatre, dance, arts, literature, and food events. There is truly something for everyone!”

“We are extremely pleased to be working with visual artists and authors who are at the top of their game,” says Chris Lorway, Luminato’s Artistic Director. “As we near the end of our program announcements for this year’s festival, our central threads –a major festival of the guitar, a celebration of Edgar Allan Poe and his contemporaries, and issues of modern communication – become more and more intricately linked.”

Complete 2009 Luminato visual arts and literary line-ups:


VISUAL ARTS PROGRAM

Tony Oursler
Best known for his use of video footage of human faces projected onto spheres, dolls, and other three-dimensional surfaces, Tony Oursler brings his surreal style to Luminato for an exploration of physical and psychological space. Creating a series of installations in Grange Park, Tony Oursler awes and unsettles spectators with this newly commissioned video work combining moving images, sound, and sculptural objects. Projections extend into the trees and buildings surrounding the park, interacting directly with natural objects and the park environment while confronting the viewer. Tony Oursler is presented in association with the Art Gallery of Ontario.
Friday, June 5 – Sunday, June 14 at Grange Park
FREE

Shadow Notes
Three diverse photographers united by their passion for music and photography mount an unprecedented exhibition in the heart of Toronto. Curated as a part of Luminato’s Guitar Festival, Shadow Notes is a presentation of large-scale photography in Yonge-Dundas Square. Featured artists include: Danny Clinch, renowned for his prolific portraits of musicians and his work in Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair; Ralph Gibson, an internationally-recognized photographer and winner of the prestigious 2007 Lucie Award; and Andy Summers, guitarist for The Police, whose broad artistic oeuvre includes a large body of photography and a recent collaboration with Ralph Gibson exploring the guitar as a photographic subject.
Friday, June 5 – Sunday, June 14 at Yonge-Dundas Square
FREE

Communication | Environment
Artworks by Canadian and international artists transform the thoroughfares of Toronto’s downtown core as Communication | Environment creates unexpected encounters with art. Luminato commissioned Toronto-based artist David Rokeby to create a work that explores the basis of communication. Rokeby’s installation in the Allen Lambert Galleria, Brookfield Place features 64 spheres suspended along the full length of the atrium in the form of a modified sine wave, the basic structure of modern wireless communication. Belgian arts collective LAb presents Binary Waves , an interactive work stretching along Bay Street at Commerce Court West that visually responds to unseen electromagnetic communications signals. The Exchange Tower hosts an expanded work by Canadian artist Germaine Koh – in collaboration with Ian Verchere – that uses recent technology to detect Bluetooth devices and transform their presence into a symphony of sound with corresponding visual elements projected on the ground. Produced as part of Communication | Environment and presented in Sam Pollock Square, Brookfield Place, the Luminato Box is a temporary gallery comprised of a simple white room where new work by a different artist or collective is featured each day of the Festival – ten artists over ten days. David Rokeby is represented by Pari Nadimi Gallery, Toronto. Communication | Environment is supported by The Hal Jackman Foundation. Binary Waves is supported by Biotherm.
Friday, June 5 – Sunday, June 14 at Brookfield Place, Exchange Tower, Commerce Court West
FREE

RedBall Project Toronto – Canadian Premiere
Artist Kurt Perschke’s RedBall Project, an ongoing site-specific installation, has been traveling the globe, adopting cities as its canvas. From Barcelona to Busan to Sydney, the sculptural performance has garnered public, critical and media attention worldwide. In its Canadian premiere, RedBall Project Toronto migrates through the city’s unique architectural landscape and history – each location carefully considered by the artist. Inhabiting each site, the 15-foot inflatable sphere changes its own shape as well as the space it occupies, directly reflecting our experience of metropolitan density. The RedBall will be found easing into entranceways, basking beneath bridges, and wedged into alleys, as Perschke’s decisions address not only architecture and urban space, but also anticipate the flow of people, traffic, and the observer’s eye.
Friday, June 5 – Sunday, June 14 at various locations
FREE

each hand as they are called
In a project developed for the Koffler Gallery, visual and sonic artist Reena Katz explores the rich layers of Kensington Market, an intersection of streets and cultures that has changed dramatically over the course of time. Working with the notion of transition, Katz reflects on the Market as the site where multiple public histories intersect with personal stories. Through live performances of original compositions based on the music of Yiddish-speaking sister duos from the ’60s, street posters designed in collaboration with Cecilia Berkovic, and temporary scaffolding installations, Katz captures the vibrant spirit of the Market and transforms it in unexpected and ephemeral ways. Meanwhile, she engages senior residents at the Terraces of Baycrest and Ryerson Community Public School students in an exploration of the Market as a meeting place of Jewish and Chinese culture. On June 7, the inter-generational exchange culminates in an outdoor game of Mah Jongg in Kensington’s Bellevue Park (Rain date: June 14). each hand as they are called is produced in association with the Koffler Gallery of the Koffler Centre for the Arts. Guest Curator: Kim Simon.
Thursday, May 14–Sunday, July 26 at Kensington Market
FREE

Raphael Mazzucco
Hailed by American Photo as “one of the top 50 photographers in the world today,” with his photos having graced the pages of Elle and Vogue, Raphael Mazzucco premieres two Luminato-commissioned works alongside pieces selected from his personal collection. Inspired by L’Oréal Professionnel’s Century of Color, Lancôme’s magic of femininity, and Luminato’s 2009 festival programming, Mazzucco combines photography with sketching and painting to create monumentally scaled pieces. Raphael Mazzucco is presented by L’Oréal Professionnel and Lancôme.
Friday, June 5 – Sunday, June 14 at the Burroughes Building by
Queen Street Partners,
639 Queen St. West3rd Floor
FREE

LITERARY PROGRAM

Gothic Fiction
Marking the 200th anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth and his influence on literature and popular culture, Luminato’s Gothic Fiction presents three best-selling contemporary writers who continue Poe’s legacy of psychological horror and suspense. Reading from their latest works at Gothic Fiction: master of modern gothic Patrick McGrath presents the Canadian premiere of his latest novel Trauma; winner of the 2007 Bram Stoker Award, Sarah Langan reads from her novel The Missing; and Quebec author and French-language Governor General’s Literary Award nominee Monique Proulx reads from the English translation of her newest novel Wildlives. Luminato’s Gothic Fiction is moderated by The Globe and Mail‘s Russell Smith. Gothic Fiction is presented by Scotiabank.
Saturday, June 6 at the Al Green Theatre
$15

An Evening with Neil Gaiman
Celebrated for novels such as American Gods, graphic novels including The Sandman series, and this year’s Hollywood blockbuster Coraline, Neil Gaiman graces Luminato at An Evening with Neil Gaiman. In conversation with his fans at the Jane Mallett Theatre, Gaiman presents the Canadian premiere of his latest novel, The Graveyard Book, an innocently sweet yet dark tale about a young boy raised in a cemetery by ghosts and spirits. Gaiman was awarded the 2009 Newbery Medal for the work. Moderator Mark Askwith (Producer, SPACE) leads a dialogue between audience members and Gaiman as fans are encouraged to ask questions of the modern-day master of fright before a book signing. An Evening with Neil Gaiman is presented by Scotiabank.
Monday, June 8 at the Jane Mallett Theatre
$15

Gothic Toronto: Writing the City Macabre
Luminato partners with Diaspora Dialogues for Gothic Toronto: Writing the City Macabre featuring six authors commissioned to create and read original Toronto-centric ghost stories set in six local neighbourhoods. The Music Gallery hosts national best-seller Ann-Marie MacDonald; Michelle Wan, fresh from her latest novel, 2008’s A Twist of Orchids; heralded First Nations author Cherie Dimaline; Caribbean-born and Toronto-raised Nalo Hopkinson; acclaimed award-winning author Andrew Pyper; and emerging writer Tasleem Thalwar. A limited-edition collection of the six tales with an introduction by Margaret Atwood is available for purchase exclusively at the reading. Gothic Toronto: Writing the City Macabre is presented by Scotiabank, with additional support from Kiehl’s.
Wednesday, June 10 at The Music Gallery in St. George the Martyr Church
FREE

World Voices in Fiction
Bringing the best of the world to Toronto, Luminato presents World Voices in Fiction, an evening of readings with established and up-and-coming International authors. World Voices in Fiction features: 2008 Man Booker Prize winner Aravind Adiga making his first Toronto appearance with The White Tiger; the first Canadian reading by Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie with her much-anticipated short-story collection The Thing Around Your Neck; Award-winning Chinese author Yiyun Li making her Canadian debut appearance with her new novel The Vagrants; and Taiwan-born, Malaysia-raised Tash Aw, praised by the San Francisco Chronicle as “mesmerizing,” with his latest work Map of the Invisible World. World Voices in Fiction is presented by Scotiabank.
Thursday, June 11 at the Al Green Theatre
$15


Children’s Books and Illustrations
Grumpy birds, neighbourly water buffalos, and fashionably-dressed dancing ants invite children and their parents to lose themselves in a world of fun and fantasy as part of Luminato’s Children’s Books and Illustrations series. Luminato proudly partners with The Toronto Public Library in hosting seven events featuring celebrated children’s authors reading their stories and conducting free workshops throughout the Festival. Authors and illustrators include: Musharraf Ali Farooqi (The Cobbler’s Holiday: or Why Ants Don’t Wear Shoes); Marie-Louise Gay (Please, Louise!); Hiromi Goto (Half World); Marthe Jocelyn (Ready for Winter/Spring/Fall/Summer) Irene Luxbacher and Andrew Larsen ( The Imaginary Garden); Robin Muller (The Nightwood); and Jeremy Tankard (Boo Hoo Bird). As part of Luminato’s Children’s Books and Illustrations, Luminato also partners with the Canadian Children’s Book Centre for an in depth discussion on the industry of creating children’s books. Children’s Books and Illustrations is presented by Scotiabank.
Saturday, June 6, Tuesday, June 9, Saturday, June 13 at various locations of the Toronto Public Library
FREE

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