Image by Daniel Ehrenworth

The Circle With A Hole In The Middle
Curated by Gregory Elgstrand

The area around City Hall

Step right up to The Circle With A Hole In The Middle, where the festival of the immediate future becomes nothing less than a circus of ideas. This is a circus where one thing does and does not lead to another and another to another. The circle describes a hole to be filled with an idea to be thought. But not just the one idea, rather, it is a place where the many ideas of the many people come together in celebration of ideas of celebration, death, philosophy, and parades in a play of interpretations to produce more ideas and so on.



Jeff Koons (New York, USA)

A look up into the night sky from the hole in the middle of this glassed-in arcade, it is clear that it’s late, it’s late on this very important date. The hole descends as the looking glass ascends. The bottom is reflected in the top. Mr. Koons has said of this most iconic work that he thinks that “it reflects the needs of culture and society and can represent so many different things to the viewer.” In the looking glass or through it, step right up and jump into this circle with the hole in the middle and rise or fall into a wonderland of your own making. It’s late, it’s late on this very magnificent date.


Audio Parade: Field Recording #3, 2009
Anitra Hamilton (Toronto)
Sound Installation

Audio Parade: Field Recording #3, fills the courtyard of Toronto’s Old City Hall with the traditional oom-pah-pah’s of a parade that befits the season and spirit of the evening. The whole parade is broadcast from speakers lit by streams of light from traditional stained glass windows and the smiling faces of the audio spectators. Create the parade that you are listening to as you walk around in circles listening to the parade. Now march!


The Blinking Eyes of Everything, 2009
Geoffrey Farmer (Vancouver)

In the early 1960s English mathematician Ian Sommerville and Canadian mystic poet Brion Gysin devised a stroboscopic machine capable of inducing hallucinatory visions to those who sat near it with their eyes closed. Enter the beautiful setting of The Church of the Holy Trinity and sit down. A soundtrack composed by Geoffrey Farmer and performed on the rich and powerful organ that inhabits the Church will accompany your experience. Close your eyes. Open your ears.


Ghost Chorus – Dirge for Dead Slang, 2009
Katie Bethune-Leamen (Toronto)
Musical performance

From the dead centre of Larry Sefton Park the sights and sounds of Ghost ChorusDirge for Dead Slang rise up into the trees and into the ears of onlookers, rubberneckers and passers-by. These ghostly apparitions raise their voices to the driving melancholic baseline from the beyond to revivify outmoded slang of the long and recent past. See the dead rise to life! Hear the dead rise to life! Sing. Sing. Sing.


Dead Philosophers' Limbo, 2009
Susie Burpee  (Toronto)
Dance performance

Dead Philosopher's Limbo is a twelve-hour dance to the life of ideas and the death of philosophers as told by the living philosopher Simon Critchley in his The Book of Dead Philosophers. Each dancer's boombox emits passages from the book, broadcasting epitaphs as the score for the performers who literally and figuratively use dance to break into that space between life and death, between mind and body and between the here and the now. Find your place in this limbo as twenty-four dancers dance and nearly two hundred philosophers die. Witness the wonder and amazement as these bodies describe a philosophical dictum for the ages. Dance all you dead philosophers – dance!



Night Equals Day, 2008
Adrian Blackwell (Toronto)

Night Equals Day describes the intersection of Sackville and Oak Streets in Regent Park as filmed from sunrise to sunset on 4 October 2008. Exactly one year later to the day and the night, the film is broadcast around the inside of Toronto City Hall’s Council Chambers.


Hey Dave!, 2009
Dave Clarke, Chris Hanney (Toronto); Morgan Russell (Burlington); Sandi Becker (Ottawa); Jen Cameron
(Elliot Lake)

Step right up and say “Hey, Dave!” Take a stand. Be heard. Make a friend the old fashioned way. A simple hello will do, perhaps a handshake or two.


The Sonic Fun House, 2009
Christine Duncan's Element Choir & Orchestra (Toronto)
Sound Installation

Distorting mirrors and slippy slides not required: come in and look around, amaze yourself and your friends and your friends’ friends as you use your own voice to create a weird and wonderful soundscape as you walk through this Fun House.

Curator Biography

Gregory Elgstrand is a curator, writer and producer. He has curated and organized numerous exhibitions across Canada including Happy Medium, a survey of Brian Jungen's drawings, Redwood Downs by David Hoffos, an exhibition of posters and publications produced by Portikus in Frankfurt and group exhibitions such as Futures with Garry Neill Kennedy, Louise Lawler and John Will, and Blue Calgary Sky. He recently curated the exhibitions Exhibitions and Exhibition in 2006 and 2008 respectively at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. Elgstrand has a number of upcoming curatorial projects in Toronto, Halifax and Vancouver and he is part of the organizing group behind Reverse Pedagogy 2 held in Venice in June 2009. His writings have been published by Canadian Art, C, the Palais de Tokyo, YYZ, the Glenbow Museum, the University of Calgary and his jazz reviews were regularly published by The Coast, Halifax. Elgstrand recently served as Director of YYZ from 2004 to 2008 and as Director/Curator of the Art Gallery of Calgary (AGC) from 1999 to 2003. Before joining the AGC, Elgstrand worked as Director of Truck in Calgary and from 1995 to 1998 he was Coordinator of Struts Gallery in Sackville, New Brunswick. In 1993, he and his brother, screenwriter, playwright and director Kris Elgstrand, co-founded AH UM Theatre in Vancouver. Elgstrand studied at the Emily Carr College of Art and Design, Simon Fraser University and the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Elgstrand is co-editor with Dave Dyment of One for Me and One to Share, a survey of artist multiples (YYZBOOKS, 2009). In the fall of 2009, Elgstrand will launch a lecture series in Toronto and he and his brother will launch their occasional publication, The Legstandard.