Toronto: Get ready for a Luminato Festival that is positively Jorn-ographic.
On Tuesday, artistic director Jorn Weisbrodt announced the full line-up for the eighth edition of the eclectic city-wide festival, and its over-arching, back-arching theme: Sex. "Go with the flow, be a little naughty," Weisbrodt implored the citizens of the city once best known for its prudishness.
A dizzying array of artists as well-known as the Roots and David Byrne will be coming to Ontario's capital to participate in Luminato – but the star of the 10-day orgy of art will be Matthew Barney.
Barney, a bad-boy American visual artist whose media range from film to Vaseline to his own body, will be feted with an in-depth retrospective at this edition of the festival set to run from June 6 to 15, the way performance artist Marina Abramovic was the year before.
Barney's most famous oeuvre, the Cremaster Cycle – a 403-minute series of films inspired by the titular testicular muscle (which Weisbrodt helpfully pointed to on his own body for the biologically baffled) – will be screened at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, while his latest operatic six-hour film, River of Fundament, will have its Canadian premiere at the Elgin Theatre. In addition, Barney (who also happens to be the husband of Icelandic pop star Bjork) will have an enduring presence in Toronto through an exhibition of video works from his Drawing Restraint series to be on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario from May 31 to Sept. 28.
All the Sex I've Ever Had: The International Edition is a homegrown coitus-themed creation from Toronto's own international live-art stars, Mammalian Diving Reflex. The performance involves interviews with senior citizens from around the world talking about their sex lives – in depth and uncensored.
In a similarly erotic vein, but previously announced are Kontakthof, a classic 1978 dance piece by the late German choreographer Pina Bausch about the battle of the sexes, and Green Porno: Live on Stage, which will see actress Isabella Rosellini's explore the bizarre sex lives of non-human animals.
For Luminato's high-end, high-art stream of ticketed programming, Weisbrodt also announced two new works from up-and-comers he pronounced as the successors to Abramovic and Bausch, respectively. Seattle-based performance artist Derrick Ryan Claude Mitchell will bring a ballet-symphony-opera-installation called Paradisiacal Rites (a co-commission from Luminato) to town to provoke, while choreographer Lemi Ponifasio will visit with a dance piece entitled Stones in her Mouth created with 10 Maori women and exploring female power.
On a completely different note, Rufus Wainwright – pop star and husband of Weisbrodt – has organized a star-studded concert entitled If I Loved You: Gentleman Prefer Broadway. The evening will feature classic musical theatre love songs "performed exclusively by men and to men" – and feature artists on such as David Byrne, Boy George, Josh Groban, Steven Page and Book of Mormon (and Girls) star Andrew Rannells.
Luminato's 2014 edition has enough events to fill a 100-page brochure – including a tribute to Canadian songwriter Daniel Lanois, concerts by the Roots and TV on the Radio, and an art exhibit by Terence Koh at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, as well as literary and magic and food programming. Oh, and Toronto's biggest, licensed outdoor patio in David Pecault Square. Full information can be found at luminato.ca.
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