This Year’s Creative Time Summit Includes a ‘Living Monument’ for the Russian Revolution’s 100th Anniversary

This year’s Creative Time Summit, the New York nonprofit’s 10th annual conference on art and politics, is heading to Canada for the first time. The conference, which debuts in Toronto this weekend, is organized around the theme “Of Homelands and Revolution.” The summit takes the Russian Revolution’s centennial as a starting point to reflect on social and political movements of both the past and present.

After a series of workshops on Saturday, the event will conclude with the unveiling of A Monument to the Century of Revolutions, a large-scale installation curated by Nato Thompson and produced by the City of Toronto as part of its all-night contemporary art festival Nuit Blanche.

Detail of Creative Time's A Monument to the Century of Revolutions, Toronto 2017. Photo: Sue Holland, image courtesy of Creative Time.

Detail of Creative Time’s A Monument to the Century of Revolutions, Toronto 2017. Photo: Sue Holland. Image courtesy of Toronto’s Economic Development & Culture office.

For the installation, Creative Time’s artistic director Nato Thompson and Russian artist-activist collective Chto Delat have collaborated with the City of Toronto to create a “living monument” in Nathan Phillips Square. Composed of numerous shipping crates, the monument will house various artistic interventions open for the public to explore. About half of the crates will, according to Thompson, “take on different historic revolutions ranging from 1917 Russia to 1956 Cuba” through each uprising’s aesthetic and material culture.

In addition to the work by Chto Delat, the other half of the crates will house installations by more than 90 Toronto-based artists, who were invited to answer the question, “What does revolution mean to you?” Umbereen Inayet, a programming supervisor for the City of Toronto, describes the monument as an artistic village meant to foster community among its diverse artistic participants and the public at large.

Installation in progress of Creative Time Summit's, A Monument to the Century of Revolutions, Toronto 2017. Photo: Sue Holland, image courtesy of Creative Time.

Installation in progress of Creative Time Summit’s, A Monument to the Century of Revolutions, Toronto 2017. Photo: Sue Holland. Image courtesy of Toronto’s Economic Development & Culture office.

Though Nuit Blanche in Toronto ends early Sunday morning, part of Chto Delat’s installation will travel to Paris for the French capital’s edition of the festival on October 7.

The 10th Creative Time Summit, “Of Homelands and Revolution” takes place in Toronto, Canada, September 28–30th, 2017.

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