TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 29, 2010 - Dennis Oppenheim's Still Dancing will be dedicated this Saturday, October 2nd at 8:00 pm at Mill Square within Toronto's Distillery Historic District. The dedication will occur as part of Toronto's annual celebration of contemporary art Scotiabank Nuit Blanche Toronto, this year marking its fifth anniversary. Jamie Goad, a Partner at the Distillery Historic District, said "We are thrilled to formally introduce Still Dancing to the City of Toronto and are honoured to have Dennis Oppenheim in attendance at the official dedication ceremony on October 2nd."
The sculpture consist of a 38-foot chimney-like structure above a chamber formed by half circular arcs that elevate the chimney and allow people to enter under it. Angled down from the chimney is a massive spiral configuration made of perforated stainless steel. It encloses a pulsating, eighteen foot diameter frozen tear drop shape representing a liquid formation from a distillery. The spiral and tear drop shape are ignited by light operating in multiple directions on the surface of the structure.
The artist described the project in a recent conversation:
"Still Dancing" is a combination of sculpture, architecture and theater. By combining these art forms into one work, which derives content from an association with early distillery images and their alchemical apparatus, one encompasses a work which incorporates the extraordinary transformative drama inherent in the distillery process.
Dennis Oppenheim was awarded the commission by the DHD Public Art Program jury. It was commissioned in connection with a future mixed use development near the art site.The landmark district is becoming a vibrant place to live, work and create, as well as visit and enjoy.
Still Dancing is the second of six public projects which have been or will be completed this year. Pathways to Everywhere was installed in the lobby of the Jamieson Building in Calgary in January. Three outdoor commissions in the western United States will be finished in the coming weeks; Light Chamber for the new Denver Justice Center, Radiant Fountains for the Bush International Airport in Houston and Paintbrush Gateway, at the entrance to the Arts District in Las Vegas. Falls, a fountain sculpture, will be installed in Busan, Korea in mid-October.
Dennis Oppenheim has exhibited work internationally in galleries and museums worldwide since 1968. A major retrospective was organized by the Musee d'art Contemporain in Montreal in 1979. It traveled across Canada, Toronto then Winnipeg and Vancouver.
In 2007 he was recognized for Lifetime Achievement at the Vancouver Sculpture Biennale. The controversial work included in that show, Device to Root out Evil was recently installed in Calgary, Canada.