Kurt PERSCHKE, RedBall : Toronto (Canada)
July 1, 2009 - Artist Kurt Perschke infiltrated Toronto with the RedBall Project, an ongoing site-specific installation that catalyzes interaction between community and urban space. Luminato, the Toronto Festival of Arts and Creativity, brought Redball to town as part of its public art series. The project quickly became Luminato's headlining event in the press and amongst the enthusiastic public.
Traveling the globe and adopting various cities as its canvas, RedBall explores each locale through temporality, mutability, and migration. This 15-foot inflatable, bright red sphere is compressed into a unique site each day for a series of 2 to 3 weeks at a time. All sites are previously chosen by the artist as a carefully plotted performance that reflects both the artist's perception of the city, and city-dwellers' own bodily experience of urban space.
From June 5th-14th, Torontonians found the RedBall squished under bridges, wedged into alleys, and popping up unexpectedly throughout Toronto's urban landscape, including Nathan Phillips Square, Old City Hall, First Canadian Place, Ryerson University, and Queen St. W.
Having traveled from Sydney to St. Louis, Barcelona to Chicago, RedBall has garnered public, critical and media attention worldwide. "RedBall straddles the realms of formalist sculpture, street performance, ephemeral urban installation and hands-on art object, without ever deciding for any one terrain over the others - its presence in Barcelona was an unequivocal success." Jeffrey Swartz, Barcelona Critic
According to Perschke, "In public art, it's a challenge to draw people out of their daily routine on the street, and RedBall deliberately uses an act of startling whimsy to issue an invitation. People always approach me at the street sites with suggestions about where to put it in their city. In that exchange, the person is no longer a spectator but a participant in the act of imagination."
Luminato's Artistic Director Chris Lorway speaks about RedBall's popularity in Toronto: "We were thrilled by the way the RedBall's presence in the city ignited people's imagination and creative impulses. It just goes to illustrate that a simple idea can have a major impact on the way that people view and celebrate their city."
To learn more about RedBall Project and review the project's migration in Toronto, please visit www.redballproject.com.
About the artist
Kurt Perschke's public projects have earned him a national award from the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network. Perschke has worked with Contemporary Art Museums in Barcelona and St. Louis and participated in the Busan Biennale. His work is in institutional and private collections throughout the United States. Having lived in St. Louis, Vienna, Egypt, the Virgin Islands and his native city Chicago, he is based in New York City.
Now in its third year, Luminato is an annual ten-day celebration of the arts where Toronto's stages, streets, and public spaces are infused with theatre, dance, classical and contemporary music, film, literature, visual arts, and design. The festival encourages local, national, and international artists to discover unprecedented creative expressions through unexpected partnerships. Luminato's hallmarks include free widely accessible events, and "accidental encounters with art." Festival-goers are invited to participate, explore, and celebrate their own creative spirit, Luminato is designed to showcase Toronto's bustling downtown core and the cultural renaissance.
The Luminato staff, led by CEO Janice Price, partners with the Luminato Artistic Committee, as well as the arts leadership of the City of Toronto, to shape the programming offered at the Festival.
Caption: RedBall: Toronto. Nathan Phillips Square, June 5, 2009. Toronto (Canada). (c) Kurt Perschke