The Cronenberg Project will run from November 1, 2013 to January 19, 2014 at Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox and will allow visitors to experience the director’s filmography through a series of multi-platform exhibits.
Speaking at a press conference held at TIFF Bell Lightbox this morning, TIFF CEO and Director Piers Handling sat alongside TIFF Artistic Director Noah Cowan and Canadian filmmaker David Cronenberg to discuss their museum’s newest exhibition.
“Before we moved into our permanent home at TIFF Bell Lightbox, we knew that the first major touring exhibition we would curate from our own collection would be dedicated to David,” Handling said. “Let’s just say we’ve taken the creative and innovative mind of David Cronenberg and brought it together into one very cool space.”
Starting things off is David Cronenberg: Evolution, a three-part exhibit that explores the evolution of the director by examining his work chronologically through a collection of props, costumes, and behind the scenes footage. According to a press release, the exhibition will “trace thematic developments across Cronenberg’s cinema while exploring sub-themes of sexual control, personal identity and Cronenberg’s relationship to science and science fiction.”
At the end of the exhibit, museumgoers will enter a special viewing area where short films from the director will be screened alongside an interactive space recreating the famous bar scene from 1991’s Naked Lunch.
If that wasn’t enough, participants will be able to step into the filmmaker’s mind with Body/Mind/Change, a multimedia exhibition produced by TIFF and the Canadian Film Centre that allows users to interact with props inspired by films like Scanners, Videodrome and eXistenZ.
On October 31, TIFF will continue to celebrate the acclaimed director with a full film retrospective entitled From Within: The Films of David Cronenberg. The cinematic series will showcase Cronenberg’s entire catalogue from his early beginnings as a filmmaker with 1969’s Stereo to last year’s Cosmopolis. The retrospective will also feature a substantial amount of newly restored 35mm prints and digital restorations of his work, including his 1975 debut Shivers.
Screenings will also feature introductions by guests like Guillermo del Toro, producer Jeremy Thomas, and Cronenberg himself, who will discuss the cinematic themes and cultural relevance of his work.
Along with the retrospective, TIFF will also play host to Psychoplasmic Panic!, a 10-film programme beginning on November 2 that will honour Cronenberg’s body-horror contemporaries with screenings from the likes of Shinya Tsukamato, Andrzej Zulawski, and Beyond the Black Rainbow director Panos Cosmatos.
Outside of TIFF’s exhibitions and film retrospectives, the organization has teamed up with a number of Canadian and International artists for a series of commissioned works inspired by Cronenberg’s films.
“David Cronenberg is among a very small handful of filmmakers who has an outsized influence and outsized impact on artists and creators outside of the cinema hall,” Cowan said. “So whether it’s visual artists, people in the new media universe, or academics, David has made a lot of new thinking occur worldwide.”
Art exhibit David Cronenberg: Transformation premieres today (September 5) and will run until December 29 at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art in Toronto. Curators David Liss and Noah Cowan invited six artists with clear affinities for Cronenberg’s films to respond to his work’s theme of witnessing the next stage of human evolution.
Not to be outdone, Cronenberg’s own curated exhibition, David Cronenberg: Through the Eye, will begin on Nov 2 and will feature pieces chosen by the director from the National Gallery of Canada’s private collection.
Finally, David Cronenberg: Virtual Exhibition will provide those unable to visit TIFF Bell Lightbox the chance to explore his exhibits through an interactive site created by TIFF’s Higher Learning Digital Resource Hub.
Tickets to exhibitions and film screenings can be purchased online at tiff.net. David Cronenberg’s new film, Maps to the Stars, is slated for release in 2014.