For Immediate Release: June 10, 2019 • Please include in your listings/announcements
THE BENTWAY presents
by Esmaa Mohamoud
Signature Public Art Commission 2020
As Raptors fever sweeps across the country, The Bentway is excited to announce its signature public art commission of 2020; Double Dribble by Esmaa Mohamoud, an award-wining visual artist working primarily in Toronto.
While the city of Toronto comes together in support of the Raptors, traditional boundaries around who gets to be a sports fan are breaking down. There is unity around the idea of ‘play’. Double Dribble uses basketball as an access point for the community to come together, rediscover the sport, and reflect on the accessibility of play.
The Bentway’s Spring/Summer 2020 season of programming is informed by the theme Playing in Public, and will explore the history of play, its role in shaping decisions about city fabric, and its application in non-traditional public spaces.
“The Bentway challenges many of our traditional expectations of public space, the way we engage with those spaces and each other,” explains Ilana Altman, Co-Executive Director of The Bentway. “Through art installations, performances, and events we will ask questions about the accessibility of play, how play creates and subverts rules, and how play can be a tool for public collaboration and engagement. This Spring/Summer 2020 Season, The Bentway will be converted into a giant playground for a community eager to interact with the city in new and unexpected ways.”
Esmaa Mohamoud is an African-Canadian sculptor/installation artist working primarily in Toronto. Her sculptures and installations focus on the navigation of Black bodies in contemporary spaces. Engaged in the politics surrounding Black male bodies in particular, her work investigates the (in)tangibility of Blackness through the exploration of athletics—specifically, the sport of basketball. Mohamoud holds a BFA from Western University (2014) and an MFA from OCAD University (2016), and is represented by Georgia Scherman Projects.
“In creating Double Dribble, I really wanted to challenge and disrupt the rules of play and who gets to play. I often feel like spaces aren’t accessible to a variety of people for many reasons. I hope Double Dribble is a site of accessibility, and moreover, a space for the reinvention of play.” – Esmaa Mohamoud
Double Dribble will transform The Bentway into a surreal playground that encourages visitors to create their own idea of play. The installation is comprised of dozens of basketball nets of varying sizes and heights and court lines running dysfunctionally throughout the site. The exhibition will interact with The Bentway’s environment to create endless opportunities and public experiences that are accessible and participatory.
Double Dribble will run through The Bentway’s Spring/Summer 2020 Season.
In the meantime, #GoRaptorsGo!
THE BENTWAY presents
by Esmaa Mohamoud
Signature Public Art Commission
Opening Spring/Summer 2020
Access to The Bentway is Always Free
Enjoy WiFi Courtesy of Beanfield
The Bentway is supported by the City of Toronto, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, and Labatt.
Double Dribble is made possible through the generosity of Maxine Granovsky Gluskin & Ira Gluskin, Richard M. Ivey, Tim & Frances Price, Rosamond Ivey, Howard Sokolowski & Linda Frum, and a growing family of supporters.
About The Bentway
The Bentway is a unique and innovative public space that transforms 1.75km underneath Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway into a new gathering place for our city’s growing population.
The Bentway knits together seven local neighbourhoods with over 70,000 residents, becoming a gateway to the waterfront, while providing access to important attractions and destinations – from Fort York National Historic Site, Ontario Place and Exhibition Place to Harbourfront Centre and the CN Tower. The Bentway offers year-round activities and events, including gardens, a skate trail, recreational amenities, public markets, public art, special exhibitions, festivals, theatre and musical performances, and more. Since opening to the public in January 2018, The Bentway has welcomed over 150,000 visitors to experience free year-round programming including public art installations, performances, festivals, recreational activities, and much more.
The initial phase of The Bentway stretches from Strachan Avenue in the west to just east of Bathurst Street underneath the Gardiner Expressway, this section of The Bentway is located on the lands of Fort York National Historic Site, recognized by the Government of Canada as a site of national significance. The Bentway is maintained, operated, and programmed by The Bentway Conservancy. The Bentway is a proud member of the High Line Network, an international network of projects that transform underutilized infrastructure into new urban landscapes.
About Fort York National Historic Site
Fort York National Historic Site is one of 10 Toronto History Museums operated by the City of Toronto. Since 1793, Fort York has been an important military location and is where Toronto was founded as an urban place. Located in the heart of downtown Toronto, this 43-acre heritage conservation district is home to Canada’s largest collection of original War of 1812 buildings. Fort York offers permanent exhibits and immersive multimedia displays at the Visitor Centre, ongoing programming and events, site tours, military displays, historic cooking demonstrations, and the annual Indigenous Arts Festival.
Fort York National Historic Site is also home to the first phase of The Bentway. For more information, visit http://www.toronto.ca/fortyork.