The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea is curated by Christine Shaw and produced by Blackwood Gallery in Toronto. Presented in partnership with the City of Mississauga, the University of Toronto Mississauga, and K. Verlag, 2018–2019.
Over the course of ten days, the Southdown Industrial Area in Mississauga will be transformed into a site-specific contemporary art exhibition. With commissioned works by Canadian and international artists, The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea will create an operatic experience of elemental forces, geopolitical processes, and environmental violence impacting the Earth. Drawing on the language of the Beaufort Scale of Wind Force - breaking, scattering, drifting, tumbling, rolling, driving, whistling, rustling, extending, raising, swaying, inconveniencing, impeding, damaging, uprooting - the exhibition will unfurl the 13 forces, from 0 (Calm) to 12 (Hurricane), and punctuate the area with 13 artist projects moving between modes of allegory and creative adaptation strategies.
The exhibition will be contained within a roughly 1km² zone in Mississauga’s Southdown Industrial Area, bordered by Clarkson to the north and Lake Ontario to the south. This complex area features a cement plant, a gypsum pier, an oil and lubricants refinery, a carbon dioxide production facility, a wastewater treatment plant, heritage sites, a nursery, a fruit distribution centre, a commercial transport hub, a hazardous waste management facility, an abandoned paint and resin plant, a working farm, a radio transmission field, and a permanent ambient air monitoring program, among other sites. These are in addition to the popular recreational sites of the Petro Canada Park and Cricket Ground and Lakeside Park, with its Cobble Beach comprised of the remnants of buried clay pipes from the National Sewer Pipe Company, increasingly exposed as the shoreline and bank erodes.
A contemporary art project of this scale is the first of its kind in Mississauga - held over two weekends, the festival aims to provoke, surprise, and delight viewers by demonstrating that art can be experienced anywhere and everywhere. The two-week festival (staged at one centralized location) will also feature a series of live events, including performances, film screenings, talks, workshops, and other on-site events, to further animate the thirteen exhibition sites and commissioned projects, reaching diverse communities across the city. The Work of Wind: Air, Land, Sea is an invitation to the city’s publics to create memorable encounters with art, in the common struggle for a healthy, vibrant future. This transformational project presents an opportunity for artists, thinkers, industry, and everyday citizens to engage with each other in meaningful discussion about climate change and environmental responsibility.