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NuitBlancheTO20161001_099sm | by DawnOne
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Nuit Blanche, Toronto 2016 © Linda Dawn Hammond / IndyFoto

OBLIVION Curated by Janine Marchessault and Michael Prokopow, you'll find three exhibition projects at Nathan Phillips Square and City Hall.

OBLIVION is about destruction and forgetting. It is about drowning in the pitch-blackness of pure and final absence. And it is about the possibilities of adaptation and unprecedented renewal.

— Janine Marchessault / Michael Prokopow

Three artists explore the elemental aspects of our cosmic existence. An astonishing enactment of the Sun’s death, a spellbinding performance of corporeal transcendence, and a wondrous ocean of recycled textiles invite viewers to ponder profound transformations, celestial and earthly. Location: Nathan Philips Square & in City Hall.

Nathan Phillips Square/City Hall


Curatorial Statement

It is well known that there will come a time in the vastly distant future, when the Sun –- the gigantic life-giving molten of hydrogen and helium – will die. Science fiction writers have long spectulated that the earth's primordial ocean might well escape this solar catastrophe as nebulae metamorphose into new life. Three artists – Director X, Floria Sigismondi and Philip Beesley – consider the elemental aspects of our cosmic existence.



Philip Beesley - Toronto, Canada


Ocean will create a turbulent primal environment in the Rotunda of City Hall. A constantly-changing canopy of recycled textiles induces vast, unstable forces where brilliant bursts of light alternate with dark, surging movements and intense waves of hypnotic sound. A chorus of cries and whispers echoes within rising waves.


This dense aggregation of raw recycled textiles from H&M's Garment Collecting Initiative is transformed into an intricate and undulating mass, evoking the emergence of life in the ocean environment from unconscious realms into living form. This deeply immersive installation questions the hardened boundaries of traditional architecture and evokes self-generation, renewal and adaptation.


The work has been developed with Waterloo’s Living Architecture System Group and sound designer Salvador Breed.

A professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo, Philip Beesley is widely known as a pioneer in responsive architecture and sculpture. His Toronto practice Beesley Pucher Seifert is an interdisciplinary design firm that combines public buildings with international art installations. Beesley's work was selected to represent Canada at the 2010 Venice Biennale for Architecture. His distinctions include the Prix de Rome in Architecture, ACADIA Award for Research, Architizer A+ and Azure AZ Award.

PBAI is led by experimental sculptor/architect Philip Beesley and architect Rolf Seifert. Current collaborators include Rachel Armstrong, Salvador Breed, Rob Gorbet, Iris van Herpen, and Dana Kulic. The work of the collective has included collaborations with numerous architects, artists, engineers, designers, and scientists.

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Taken on October 1, 2016