We had another wonderful year in 2014 and upon stepping into this new year we thought it would be nice to look back at some unique moments we experienced throughout the year, some of them quite small, but to us, quite significant. Here are 14 of our favourite things that happened during the season (but in no particular order because they were all pretty special experiences)...
14 VSVSVS Kicking us off their property
After satisfyingly soaking members of the VSVSVS collective in a dunk tank for their performance we as an audience were feeling pretty good about ourselves. That feeling was short lived however, when a shirtless and masked member of the collective appeared on the roof. He cursed the audience and started throwing water balloons, telling everyone to get off their property. Although all part of the performance, this portion was a secret surprise even for us curators, but since it was VSVSVS and we love them, we'll let them get away with it.
13 Wild Applause for Classical Music
Never have we heard an audience applaud so loudly and with such vigour than on our June tour when we featured four musicians from the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. The string quartet played a small selection of classical works in the corner of Division Gallery. When they were done the audience was so receptive that it caught us and the musicians off guard. Thank you, dear audience, for showing classical music the kind of love that seems to be reserved only for rockstars these days.
12 The Clown and the Light
Max Streicher's inflatable work Endgame (Coulrophobia) fit perfectly in the industrial basement space we used for our NetherMind Exhibition in September. We loved the awkward way that they bulged around the beams and pipes but the best part was where you could catch a glimpse of the hanging fluorescent lights that had been pushed up right to the ceiling.
11 That Lonely Yellow Chair
In June of this year we had a special performance of a piece commissioned for Art Spin. Written by Jordan Tannahill and directed by Zack Russell the short play End Zone centred around a couple discussing what could be the end of their relationship. Despite the fact that we loved the performance and it had an unique location on the field of Lamport Stadium, there was something about this lonely yellow chair on stage right that grabbed us. It's a part of the set that the actors never quite make it to, yet something about it feels like an essential element to the work. Cheers to you lonely chair.
10 Seeing Tent City Projections
Artists Dave Colangelo and Patricio Davila spent much time researching the history of Toronto's Tent City, which once inhabited the site adjacent to these mills. After observing this long process to create a site-specific work, we as curators felt extremely proud and rewarded to see the final product in situ, especially when our first glimpse is at dusk with 300 other eager cyclists in tow.
9 Our Last Picture
The moment in Je Suis Julio's performance of Our Last Picture where they had taken a photo of the audience and then projected it back into the performance allowing everyone in the room to be a performer.
8 A Big Red Canoe
For the first time this year we headed east for one of our tours, giving us the chance to explore a new area and meet in a new park; Canoe Landing. Douglas Coupland's red canoe sculpture served as a wonderful ticket window and stage combined.
7 A Double Bonfire
There was a moment during the afterparty on our July tour where a video projection by Michael Toke featured people gathering around a fire, while below the projection we were doing just the same. It was a beautiful instance of film imitating life, or maybe vice versa?
6 The Portable Gallery at Olga Korper
Heather Phillip's Portable Gallery Project joined us on every tour of the summer featuring site-specific installations by different artists inside the miniature gallery. The gallery is modelled after Olga Korper's space, so on our August tour when we visited the gallery it was pretty special to have the miniature on view inside the original. Artist Micah Adams was the artist for this month with an exhibition titled The Evergreen Forest inside the portable gallery.
5 Art Spin Berlin
We were so proud this year to see Art Spin Berlin take off on its inaugural tour. This is the first Art Spin event to happen outside of Toronto, all thanks to our friend and colleague Vanessa Brazeau and her many helping hangs in Germany. Vanessa worked with us here in 2011 and has done us proud by taking this concept to a new city. We hope to see more of it in 2015.
4 A Looming Storm
While we weren't happy to be rained out, for the first time in 6 years, we might as well do it in style. A storm was fast approaching as afro-brazillian percussion group Maracatu Mar Aberto played for us. As lightning struck and the sky opened up, so many people threw down their bikes and started dancing in the rain. Finally it was coming down too heavy to stay put and we pedaled off to the warm indoors of our next stop.
3 Wind at the Opera
During a beautiful performance by singer Charlotte Burrage in the picturesque courtard of the Canadian Opera Company there was a gust of wind through the vines that cover almost every surface. It sent a chill through our spines and the sound of the leaves in the wind was paired perfectly with Charlotte's aria. We wish we could curate these kinds of details on purpose.
2 Ed Pien's Shadows
Ed Pien's installation, titled Source: Corridor of Rain, for our Fifth Annual Art Spin Exhibition cast beautiful criss-crossed shadows, and as people moved the hanging ropes the shadows were animated adding a beautiful sense of movement to the piece.
1 Rickshaw Residency gets a flat
Our beautiful but aged rickshaw suffered a flat tire outside Division Gallery, but it was heartwarming and in the true spirit of Art Spin to see friends and volunteers rally in the setting sun to fix it before we set-off again.
So that's it for 2014, eternal gratitude to the artists, musicians, performers, volunteers, donors, sponsors, and audience members who all contributed to the season. Please stay tuned for our call for submissions to come out over the winter, and join us again for the 2015 season in the summer.
All the best,
The Art Spin Team