LUMINATO ANNOUNCES 2011 VISUAL ARTS AND FASHION PROGRAMS

What a great pleasure to work at the Brookfield Place during Luminato!

All winter, all I saw coming out of the subway at King was a funeral company ad.

Every year Luminato ensures there will be some fantastic installations, and I get to see them every AM before sucking up stress in front of a monitor.

Here’s what your Canon was anxiously waiting for all year -)

TORONTO (March 15, 2011) – Luminato, Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity, today announced the Festival’s 2011 Visual Arts and Fashion programs. The fifth anniversary edition of Luminato introduces three commissioned artworks, including an installation by Toronto-based architect Philip Beesley, an innovative piece by Berlin-based artist David Levine, and an Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland-inspired work by Montréal fashion designer Denis Gagnon.

In his Luminato-commissioned installation, Philip Beesley’s Sargasso combines visionary design with high-tech digital engineering to transform a downtown public space – and to offer a glimpse of the potential future of architectural art. A worldwide pioneer in the fast-growing field of responsive architecture, Beesley and his team of collaborators from the disciplines of architecture, engineering, biology, and sculpture use interactive technology to infuse one of Toronto’s busiest spaces with astonishing new life.

From June 8-18, Beesley’s Sargasso transforms a familiar downtown locale: the sweeping atrium of the Allen Lambert Galleria in Brookfield Place.  Sargasso is a vast canopy consisting of tens of thousands of lightweight, digitally-fabricated components which form an interconnected network of metal, acrylic, and mylar elements.  Sargasso slowly shifts and floats above the pedestrian traffic, while shaping the nature of the environment itself.

Previous projects undertaken by this multidisciplinary group have been featured internationally, including in the Canadian Pavilion at the 2010 Venice Biennale in Architecture, and have won many awards, notably VIDA 11.0, FEIDAD, the Prix de Rome in Architecture, and the People’s Choice award at Toronto’s 2010 Nuit Blanche.

From June 10-19, Luminato presents the world premiere of David Levine’s Habit at OCAD University.  Commissioned by Luminato, Habit is a collaboration between theatre and visual arts, fusing television production, visual art installation, theatre and performance into a project that poses questions about spectatorship and performance.

In an environment designed by Marsha Ginsberg, that looks and functions like a house complete with electricity and plumbing, audiences watch through the installation’s windows and on a live video feed randomly edited to create a unique TV drama.  Three Toronto performers inhabit the house for eight hours a day, spontaneously going about their business while seamlessly repeating a 90-minute looped script by Brooklyn-based playwright Jason Grote.  Each day, the performers repeat the same dialogue, while improvising the staging to suit their personal needs as well as those of their characters.

As a Luminato Artist in Residence for 2011, David Levine participates in the Festival’s Education and Outreach programs. Levine directs a series of workshops that lead up to the Festival, whereby community members from Toronto’s Regent Park and St. Jamestown create short performance pieces inspired by Habit.  Exploring neighbourhood-specific day-to-day domestic activities and personal relationships, these pieces will be showcased on the Habit set on June 12.

Continuing Luminato’s commitment to cross-genre creations, the Festival, in partnership with Lancôme, presents the world premiere of Garden of Roses: Denis Gagnon Interprets Alice, a new work by acclaimed Canadian designer Denis Gagnon, noted for his bold traversal of the boundaries between fashion and art.

Gagnon began his career designing theatrical costumes, and recently became the first Canadian in his field to have work exhibited at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts.  Continuing with his concept of clothing as “moving sculpture,” Gagnon creates a contemporary fashion response to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, performed by the National Ballet of Canada.

“Luminato is committed to presenting innovative visual art that invigorates everyday spaces and encourages passersby to live in the moment and to really take in their surroundings,” said Chris Lorway, Artistic Director of Luminato. “Philip Beesley and Denis Gagnon’s installations in office buildings in downtown Toronto are certain to do just that, while David Levine’s Habit will raise questions about the boundaries between theatre and visual art.”

Complete Luminato 2011 Visual Arts and Fashion Programs:

Sargasso

In this new Luminato-commissioned installation, Beesley combines visionary design with high-tech digital engineering to turn an everyday public space into a world of wonder— and to offer a thrilling glimpse of the potential future of architectural art.

Sargasso was commissioned by Luminato and is presented from June 8-18 in the Allen Lambert Galleria, Brookfield Place, 181 Bay Street. This work is supported by the Hal Jackman Foundation.  Free.

Habit

Three Toronto performers inhabit a house for eight hours a day, spontaneously going about their business as roommates, while seamlessly repeating a script by Brooklyn-based playwright Jason Grote.  Each day, the performers perform the same dialogue, while improvising the staging to suit their personal needs as well as those of their characters.

As you watch, through the windows of Marsha Ginsberg’s fully-functioning house constructed inside the Great Hall at OCAD University, and on a live video feed randomly edited to create a unique TV drama, Habit raises fascinating questions about the nature of performance, spectatorship, and even reality itself.

The world premiere of Habit was commissioned by Luminato and is presented from June 10-19 at OCAD University, 100 McCaul Street.  Free.

Garden of Roses: Denis Gagnon Interprets Alice

Acclaimed Canadian fashion designer Denis Gagnon creates a contemporary fashion response to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, performed by the National Ballet of Canada as part of Luminato.  Garden of Roses: Denis Gagnon Interprets Alice is co-commissioned by Lancôme.

The world premiere of Garden of Roses: Denis Gagnon Interprets Alice is presented from June 10-19 in the Wintergarden Lobby at 225 King Street West.  Free.

Lunchtime Conversations

As part of Luminato’s Illuminations series, free lunchtime talks offer enlightening insights into Festival programming—straight from the artists themselves. From directing modern takes on old stories, to creating new works of art, Luminato’s artists, authors and directors express how they develop their creative perspectives. The full list of Lunchtime Conversations will be available in April at luminato.com

Lunchtime Conversations take place from June 10-19 at 12 PM, at Chapters Festival Hall, 142 John Street, and are produced in partnership with Indigo Books and Music Inc. Free.

Lunchtime Conversations: Visual Arts

Sunday, June 12: Sargasso

Pioneering architect Philip Beesley, who effected a stunning transformation of the Canada Pavilion at the 2010 Venice Biennale in Architecture, talks about his latest large-scale animated installation in Brookfield Place.

Tuesday, June 14: Habit

Meet Berlin-Based Director David Levine in a discussion about his new work Habit and his other projects that explore the relationships between performance and installation. Commissioned by Luminato.

The fifth anniversary edition of Luminato takes place from June 10-19, 2011. Tickets for all Luminato 2011 programs will be available for sale as of April 16, 2011.  For details, please visit www.luminato.com.

ABOUT LUMINATO

For 10 extraordinary days in June, Toronto’s stages, streets, and public spaces are illuminated with arts and creativity. Luminato is an annual multi-disciplinary celebration of theatre, dance, music, literature, food, visual arts, fashion, film, and more. For more information, please visit www.luminato.com.

Luminato gratefully acknowledges the generous support and vision of its Founding Luminaries, SuperNova donors, and Patron Circle Members. The Festival would not be possible without the support of our Partner in Creativity, L’Oréal. Luminato also acknowledges the support of its Founding Government Partner, the Province of Ontario as well as the Government of Ontario, the Government of Canada, and the City of Toronto.

Luminato Partners: L’Oréal, TELUS, National Bank Financial Group, President’s Choice, Manulife Financial, OLG, VISA Infinite, Scotiabank Group.

Major Media Partners: Toronto Star, CBC, The Globe and Mail, Cineplex, St. Joseph Communications, Telelatino, ATN, The Weather Network.

List represents commitments as of March 14, 2011.

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