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Press Release: MOCA Toronto and Province announce 5 million in funding, opening on September 22, 2018 and calendar of events for 2018 – 2019

TORONTO, May 3, 2018The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Toronto announces that the Province of Ontario has given five million dollars to the museum in its continued efforts to invest in strengthening communities. In addition, Heidi Reitmaier, Executive Director and CEO of the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto, announces MOCA’s international opening on September 22, 2018, as well as the lineup of programming for 2018-2019. MOCA will be open for a sneak preview weekend during Doors Open Toronto, May 26-27, 2018.

The Government of Ontario contributes to the 2018/19 fiscal year of the Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto as part of their commitment to culture and recreation infrastructure. The museum is honoured to receive this contribution toward its new, fully-accessible, 55,000 square feet home in the refurbished Tower Automotive building and welcomes local MPP Cristina Martins to present at the Junction Gallery on May 2, 2018.

“Davenport is home to an impressive number of talented artists who help make our community and Ontario so vibrant. Today’s announcement underscores our government’s commitment to investing in arts and culture. I’m so very proud of everyone at the Museum of Contemporary Art for creating an exciting new inclusive and innovative space. I look forward to their international opening,” said Cristina Martins, MPP for Davenport.

“We are grateful that the Ontario government is aligned with our vision of the new Museum of Contemporary Art Toronto,” says Executive Director and CEO Heidi Reitmaier. “MOCA will be a responsive and welcoming place, where we will strengthen the community, engage with visitors and nurture interdisciplinary artistic practice. Our programming will represent the diversity and plurality of our country, inspiring conversation and posing provocative questions about the issues of our times. We’re very excited to share our new home with the community.”

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 neighbourhood. 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 communities. 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.