Video available all weekend July 23rd-25th
Bloordale Beach examines local Toronto artist Shari Kasman’s public art phenomenon of the same name as a springboard for larger issues of public space, community identity and the Toronto housing crisis. The “beach” existed in the neighbourhood of Bloordale from May – November 2020 as a piece of fenced-off demolition land Kasman rendered publicly accessible by removing the fence bolts. She erected signs dubbing the space “Bloordale Beach,” and even led guided “beach tours” throughout the summer. The site invites a layered reading of the increasing social and economic untenability of life in downtown Toronto— and many major urban centres worldwide— as exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The video echoes this tone by wreathing earnest commentary in absurd humour. Just as the beach fostered joy and community engagement in a trying time, the video poses an alternative strategy to the exhausting cycle of “disaster porn” imagery for depicting social crises.
Update: The beach has returned for summer 2021!
About Beth Warrian
For many years, Beth Warrian worked as the sous chef for one of Toronto’s original plant-based restaurants, where she received love both tough and tender and learned more than is respectable about astrology. She currently studies in Ryerson University’s Image Arts: Film program, with a focus on writing and directing. Her work in fiction and documentary is united by an interest in inner worlds and liminal states. She wants to hear about your performance art and anything worthy of an earnest laugh-cry.