Zone As theme is alienation, fear and disorientation, so look for works that are unsettling. If the experience disturbs you, you're getting the point.
EVENT HORIZON, by Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins, at King's College Circle, University of Toronto Our frayed urban nerves inspire Event Horizon, a work that cleverly exploits and subverts our increasingly heightened sense of imminent threat. Spectators are directed into the middle of a nightmare decontamination scenario with flashing lights, emergency vehicles and billowing smoke around a large tent in King's College Circle. A single-file line will lead them inside. What's waiting to be viewed, however, is entirely unexpected and miraculous.
NON-SPECIFIC THREAT, by WIllie Doherty , at Burano Development Site, 832 Bay
Though Northern Ireland native Doherty will not attend, he sends this 7-minute video loop, which screened at last summer's Venice Biennale (the art world equivalent of the Oscars). The video of a threatening man in a dingy warehouse plays in the creepy garage of a former car dealership awaiting redevelopment, setting the tone of urban paranoia for the zone.
NOITE DE SAO JOAO (NIGHT OF ST. JOHN), by Laura Belém, Cumberland between Bay and Yonge
In one of Zone A's more upbeat notes, Brazilian installation artist Belém imports the tropical ambience of a rural South American street festival to tony Yorkville, using coloured flags and danceable recorded soundscapes. Though some of her subtle site-specific pieces go unnoticed at first glance, this one aims to stand out.
CANARD DEVELOPMENT GROUP, by Sara Graham, courtyard at McKinsey & Co., 110 Charles West
Wish a ceiling would finally settle on Toronto's ultra-hot real estate prices? Well, why not lift your own ceiling instead? It's an option absurdly made possible in the faux (yet frighteningly plausible) Architectural Inflatable Retreat housing unit, which features a floating, balloon-suspended roof. Beware: commission-ready sales reps will be on site!
AURORA READINESS CENTRE, by Annie MacDonell, room 066, Faculty of Architecture Building, U of T, 230 College
Given the sophisticated surveillance technology the "war on terror" has introduced into public life, the Cold War's infrastructures of fear - bomb shelters - seem almost quaint. This meticulous replica of one of those bricks-and-mortar intimations of imminent apocalypse will take you back to those simple yet scary pre-glasnost days.
More Zone A tips
BIRD'S EYE VIEW , at 1 Austin Terrace Karen Kaeja and Diana Groenendijk direct dancers in the Casa Loma stables.
NIGHTLESS CITY Performances on Church from Wellesley to Alexander on the idea of a red light district.
DEEPARTURE, by Mircea Cantor, at Isabel Bader Theatre, 93 Charles West Like Joseph Bueys and the coyote, a deer and a wolf share a gallery space in this video projection/installation.