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Fall openings at MOCA Toronto

Fall 2022 begins at MOCA Toronto with a new lineup of exhibitions, including a major solo show by Thomas Demand and AR artworks by Ai Weiwei, Isaac Julien, Jakob Kudsk Steensen and more.

Thomas Demand, crossbill

Thomas Demand, crossbill, 2021. Framed pigment print, 172 x 135 cm. © Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Courtesy the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery / Galerie Sprüth Magers / Esther Schipper, Berlin / Taka Ishii Gallery.

Following a slew of exhibitions this past spring and summer, the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Toronto starts anew with its fall 2022 programming lineup. Leading the way is HOUSE OF CARD, a major exhibition of works by Thomas Demand, a globally recognized and awarded German sculptor and photographer. 

Thomas Demand, Refuge V

Thomas Demand, Refuge V, 2021. C-Print / Diasec, 90 x 70 cm. © Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Courtesy of the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery / Galerie Sprüth Magers / Esther Schipper, Berlin / Taka Ishii Gallery.

House of Card is on view now at MOCA through January 2023, featuring a selection of works Demand is well-recognized for — large-scale photographs of three-dimensional models that replicate notorious, media-worthy or familiar scenes, which he creates from paper and cardboard. These ‘recreations’ shape the core for the show on Level 3, along with other works by other noteworthy creatives in response to Demand’s work. These include the socially activated bar THOMAS DEMANDs HERE by Rirkrit Tiravanija on Level 1 and a site-specific commission by Martin Boyce on Level 2. Also on Level 2 is Demand’s first built project, The Triple Folly, designed in dialogue with Caruso St John Architects and included in model form; as well as a selection from Demand’s Model Studies photographs, for which Demand turned his camera to capture the modelling practice of other designers and architects. 

Thomas Demand, Goldstein #08, Goldstein #90, Goldstein #98

Thomas Demand, Goldstein #08, Goldstein #90, Goldstein #98, 2011. Set of three pigment prints, 135 x 90 cm each. © Thomas Demand, VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn. Courtesy of the artist and Matthew Marks Gallery / Galerie Sprüth Magers / Esther Schipper, Berlin / Taka Ishii Gallery.

Presented for the first time in North America on Level 3 is Refuge (2021), a series of photographs based on the room Edward Snowden is assumed to have lived in for a month in Sheremetyevo, Russia, while seeking refuge. The exhibition is an updated iteration of HOUSE OF CARD, which was first produced and presented by the Museum Leuven in Belgium in 2020, curated by Valerie Verhack.

 Ori Gersht, Forget Me Not

 Ori Gersht, Forget Me Not, 2021. Courtesy of the artist.

Opening on October 1 is Seeing the Invisible, an interactive exhibition which features augmented reality (AR) works visible at MOCA, along with Sorauren Park and High Park in Toronto’s West End. Using their personal mobile devices, viewers are invited to start their journey through the exhibition at MOCA and follow the designated walking route. The exhibition features thirteen works by established international artists: Ai Weiwei, Jakob Kudsk Steensen, Sarah Meyohas, Timur Si-Qin, Isaac Julien CBE RA, Ori Gersht, Refik Anadol, El Anatsui, Pamela Rosenkranz, Mohammed Kazem, Mel O’Callaghan, Daito Manabe and Sigalit Landau. The co-curators of Seeing the Invisible, Hadas Maor (curator of contemporary art) and Tal Michael Haring (virtual and augmented reality expert and curator), worked with the artists to select existing works as well as commission new ones. The works on view address converging themes surrounding the pandemic, sustainability, the environment and more. This exhibition is locally tailored for Toronto and presented in partnership with the City of Toronto and Toronto Parks Forestry and Recreation.

Kelly Jazvac, Polyempath Polyethylene

Kelly Jazvac, Polyempath Polyethylene (installation view at MacLaren Art Centre), 2021. Photo credit: Laura Findlay.

Also on view are commissioned site-specific interventions by Kelly Jazvac and Debashis Sinha. MOCA’s North End Gallery features Time Scale: Kelly Jazvac, a new installation by the Montreal-based artist, composed of discarded advertising billboard images, exploring a more sustainable way of making art. Continuing his commissioned video series from the spring, artist and educator Debashis Sinha presents Saṅkhyā Stories: Machine Learning Fables, which will be exhibited at the Museum throughout the fall, along with a new image on the exterior Lightbox that was generated from outputs of a model trained on the Rig Veda. 

Sarah Badr

Sarah Badr. Courtesy of the Artist.

Additionally, opening October 1, artist Sarah Badr has been invited to work on the South Stairwell sound commission. Badr’s practice focuses on world creation, complex natural phenomena and algorithmic media. Her new sound piece will be accompanied online by an audio-visual animation.

Debashis Sinha, Saṅkhyā Stories

Debashis Sinha, Saṅkhyā Stories I: The Elephant Headed God Ganesh Sleeps in the Bamboo Grove, 2021. Video still.

For more information on any of the exhibitions mentioned, visit

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