A veteran photojournalist on the arts and entertainment scene, Julian Bynoe is a Toronto-based cartoonist, artist and arts blogger. From 1996 to 2014, he was the arts/entertainment editor for the street publication The Outreach Connection, and has had articles featured in Realms Magazine, among others.
Patrons entering the new Luminato hub at the defunct Hearn Generating Station, located in the Portlands area.
Luminato 2016 Reviews
Part 1 of a 3-part series
OCAD University:Prescience/ Design Exchange Satellite: Jordan Söderberg Mills
Turbine Hall, Hearn Generating Station, 440 Unwin Avenue
Left-right: The anaglyphical mirrors of Jordan Söderberg Mills; Bonnie Tung’s fun “LOOP” and the Trudy Erin Elmore/Anda Kubis/Jennie Suddick multimedia project “Virtual Uneffective.”
From the ongoing relationship with the Ontario College of Art and Design University, Luminato sets aside a section of its temporary hub at the massive Hearn Generating Station of its selected talent for their Prescience contribution to the visual arts component.
One of its most colourful is Bonnie Tung’s “LOOP” of a running two-channel projection on a plastic arch atop a mirror to give the illusion of an animated ring on the physical and virtual of art; “Virtual Uneffective” from the team of Trudy Erin Elmore, Anda Kubis and Jennie Suddick of their multimedia piece of 2- and 3-D projections to give the belief that (post-)modern art hasn’t changed the artist or its message or the 18’ rows of coloured flags with portraits of monsters for “Election Flags,” inspired Yasemin Onai from the recent Turkish elections for her sharp political satire on the old tactic of demonizing one’s opponent and on propaganda itself.
Yasemin Onai satirizes the political monsters of propaganda for her colourfully fanciful “Election Flags.”
Reminiscent of the original cinematic 3-D glasses from the 1950s and a funhouse mirror hall, Canadian artist Jordan Söderberg Mills’ usage of anaglyphic mirrors and sculpture pieces is deliriously offsetting and bizarre in the imagery and concept hybridizing here sitting on the side of being cool.
Dietrich Group: The Coating Project
Turbine Hall, Hearn Generating Station, 440 Unwin Avenue
Shot within the Hearn prior to its current transformation, the local art-dance performance group Dietrich Group’s The Coating Project delivers on archetypes, occupation and the abstract in a silent, twenty-minute video. From an ensemble group partly in orange onesies either constantly in bondage and mostly writhing in the nude to recurrent shots of an overseer in a black Victorian-era dress with her nude submissive behind her, there’s almost a striking Kubrickian fashion seen in this guerrilla futuristic noir short on anti-conformity and human sexuality.
Trove: A View of Toronto in 50 of its Treasures
Jackman Gallery, Hearn Generating Station, 440 Unwin Avenue, 2nd Floor
For its tenth anniversary, outgoing Luminato artistic director Jorn Weisbrodt had a vision of a permanent home for the multidisciplinary arts fest, much like the Toronto International Film Festival its Lightbox complex; in what and where the city’s artistic attributes lay. With the help of photographer Scott McFarland, Weisbrodt curated the photo public art series Trove: A View of Toronto in 50 of its Treasures as something of a food for thought for future programmers and a parting gift to the fest and the city.
Plastered onto the walls of the upper-level Jackman Gallery points all the well-known and much lesser-known gems from the Art Gallery of Ontario to the Ontario Science Centre (and a couple of private collections), the exhibit really points out on some everyday object(s) across town. But unless you’re an arts connoisseur, it doesn’t fully draw out those ideas of what has more artistic merit over the other, so it’s a tricky one to grasp yet not too distant, either.
As for the possibility of turning the Hearn into an arts venue as Weisbrodt envisions it should become instead of falling under some land developer’s wrecking ball, that’s even trickier. Others have tried (remember the Harris Institute and their defunct Metronome Canada division’s attempt to turn Harbourfront’s Canada Malting solos into a music centre over a decade ago?) with grandiose ideas that fell flat due to a lack of funding. Redoing the Hearn into Luminato’s future home would take a real refurbishing plan, a mint of money – I’d estimate about C$500-750 million at best – and a tremendous commitment from governmental and corporate partnerships like they did with TIFF Lightbox, it could be done since the place does have potential...
Luminato 2016 currently running through June 26. Turbine Hall displays are FREE from Tuesday-Sunday 12-6 p.m.. For tickets and information, call 416-368-4849 or visit luminato.com.
Disco icons KC and The Sunshine Band, Eric St-Laurent among the free concerts for the Toronto Jazz Festival’s 30th anniversary
When you’re marking the big 3-0, you’d want to make it big as the Toronto Jazz Festival (June 24-July 3) will in offering free programming around their festival hub at Nathan Phillips Square (100 Queen Street East), the downtown core and around town, starting off with the June 24 opening night festivities with one of the biggest dance-pop bands of all time, KC and The Sunshine Band.
Ready to rock City Hall with ‘70s nuggets “That’s the Way (I Like It),” “(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty” and “Get Down Tonight,” they’ll be joined by local hip-hop hero Kardinal Offishall doing DJ duties and the New Orleans neo-jazz of the Heavyweights Brass Band, plus dance troupe Swing vs. Street, the brainchild of b-girl choreographer Judi Lopez; providing a friendly dance-off of b-boying and -girling to jazz standbys of the jitterbug to the lindy to rev up the festival.
Fifty other free concerts for the fest’s duration will also be available in Nathan Phillips Square with the traditional noonday Lunchtime Series inside the Toronto Star Stage tent starting around 12:30 p.m. with Bill King’s Rhythm Express (June 25), Jim Galloway’s Wee Big Band under the direction of Martin Loomer (July 1), songstress Dione Taylor (June 29) and Michael Occhipinti’s Sicilian Jazz Project (June 28) and early evening shows with Grammy-nominated drummer/vocalist Jamison Ross (June 28), singer/pianist Jarrod Lawson (June 25), British lyricist Gwyneth Herbert (June 30) to jazz fusion group Gray Matter (June 29) on the Outdoor Stage.
Returning venues like The Distillery District (55 Mill Street) will fill up their cobblestone alleyways with the sounds of vocalist Tia Brazda, the Eric St-Laurent Trio and guitar-trumpet duo Herriot Harkness from June 24 to July 2, the fest has some new jamming places to play for the first time with swanky department store Holt Renfrew (50 Bloor Street West) on their third floor with Canadian acts doing acoustic, intimate performances of Jane Bunnett and Hilario Duran (June 24), Joe Sealy - Solo Piano (June 25) and Molly Johnson Trio (June 26); King and John Streets’ Second Cup Coffee new café concept to also be a year-round jazz outlet with Pram Trio (June 29, 7 p.m.), Brownman Akoustic Trio (July 1, 7 p.m.) and others and the Hilton Toronto Downtown Hotel (145 Richmond Street West) on their Pool Deck for the likes of jazz duo Shannon Butcher and Ross MacIntyre (June 30, 4 p.m.), soul-funk stylist Justin Bacchus (July 1, 8 p.m.) to pianist Richard Whiteman (June 29, 4 p.m.).
Rounding out the rest is a free jazz workshop and concert with noted trumpeter Chase Sanborn at the North York Central Library (5129 Yonge Street) on June 21 and City Hall will be invaded by youths for the opening weekend of June 25-26 with the Regent Park School of Music’s interactive demos, a instrumental “petting zoo” and the steelpan rhythms of Dave Clark and the Woodshed Orchestra (June 25) and gets all artsy for the for a music-inspired graffiti art slam with aerosol artisans Elicser and Mediah doing a life-size mural to the jazz-rap of Tanika Charles on June 26.
While all events mentioned are FREE, however a wristband policy goes into effect for the KC and The Sunshine Band June 24 concert to be distributed on the eastside of the Toronto Star Tent at 4 p.m. on said date. One wristband per person only. For more information, visit torontojazz.com.
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