A central element of MOCA’s welcoming culture will be entrance floor programming, always free to the public, in addition to their full program of exhibitions, public programs and participatory works that extend to all five museum floors. Opening on the entrance floor is Demos – A Reconstruction by Andreas Angelidakis, the first in a series of commissioned projects, featuring seventy-four foam modules that can be moved and recomposed by the public to create any structure they choose – from seating to thresholds, platforms to columns. “This engaging, hands-on installation will straddle disciplines and invite visitors of all ages to reimagine their museum space.”
For the international opening, MOCA will present a group show that explores the beliefs and systems that inform our values and behaviours, touching upon some of the fundamental issues of our times. BELIEVE features sixteen artists including, Jeneen Frei Njootli who has been hailed throughout Canada for her work which uses materials from history to reclaim her past; Barbara Kruger, who is creating a site-responsive, large scale text installation for MOCA that will force viewers to revisit what they believe they know and Awol Erizku, whose art is dedicated to the often-missing representation of people of colour.
To ensure that the local artistic community remains strong and develops, MOCA has partnered with Akin, an organization dedicated to providing affordable studio space for practicing artists in Toronto. The fourth floor of MOCA will include over 20 artist studios, with Akin prioritizing those who live and work in the Junction neighborhood. The theme of how museums and art can be useful will also play out over the course of the first year, with MOCA holding a series of projects, workshops and discussions that focus on local examples of artistic thinking and production, by individuals, initiatives and commnities. New projects commissioned specifically for MOCA include those by Tania Bruguera, as well as Toronto artists Ange Loft and Hiba Abdallah. The space is shaped by an Office of Useful Art designed by Adrian Blackwell.
Making the building fully accessible, MOCA’s opening roster includes an additional exhibition on the fifth floor. Here, Andy Holden’s Laws of Motion in a Cartoon Landscape (2011-16) will appeal to children and adults alike as an animated version of Holden guides us through the laws of physics in cartoons with characters including Bugs Bunny and Wile E Coyote.
Future programs include a major presentation of works by Toronto native Megan Rooney; the first showing in Canada of Chantal Akerman’s immersive video installation NOW; an exhibition with Basma Al Sharif in collaboration with Consortium Commissions initiated by Mophradat, an international non-profit association supporting artists from the Arab world; and an exhibition formed in dialogue with Shumon Basar, Douglas Coupland and Hans Ulrich Obrist.
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