June 16, 2012 - The Power Plant - Summer 2012 exhibitions
June 16, 2012

Summer 2012 exhibitions

Claire Fontaine, Change, 2006.
Twelve twenty-five cent coins, steel box-cutter blades.

Summer 2012 exhibitions

Tools for Conviviality
30 June–26 August 2012

Dissenting Histories:
25 Years of The Power Plant

Until 26 August 2012 with a new
artist project by Dave Dyment

Opening: 29 June, 8–11pm

The Power Plant
231 Queens Quay West
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2G8 Canada

www.thepowerplant.org

The Power Plant’s Summer 2012 season explores individual and collective agency in contemporary art and life through the group exhibition Tools for Conviviality and the ongoing Dissenting Histories: 25 Years of The Power Plant, both organized by Curator and Head of Programs, Melanie O’Brian.

Tools for Conviviality features artists from Toronto, Vancouver, Paris, and Vienna who create and engage tools to affect social behaviour. It includes works that are interactive as well as mechanisms towards self-help, political shifts, ritual devices, defence, and critique. Referencing the 1973 text by philosopher Ivan Illich of the same name which sought to dismantle the specialization of industrial knowledge by elites, Tools for Conviviality seeks to develop a politic of having more individual influence in the world. The tools that most interested Illich, and are reflected in the exhibition, have links to self-organization, wiki models, democratic space, and forms of communal activity.

Works by Abbas Akhavan and Claire Fontaine include homemade armaments, while Franz West’s interactive Adaptives connect viewers with their individual visual and tactile experience of objects. Geoffrey Farmer presents an interactive project based around a half-formed figure that will be added to and changed by children over the course of the exhibition, and Ulla von Brandenburg’s engagement with stage and props results in a film installation that approaches the power of ritual as a tool. Kyla Mallett’s appropriated constellation-like diagrams are pulled from a self-improvement manual, Oscar Tuazon’s sculptural work brings an industrial aesthetic to playful utopian architecture, and Reece Terris identifies a professional and personal custom of thanks and consolation. Raymond Boisjoly’s new exterior text-based work considers The Power Plant’s location within aboriginal histories and Western vernaculars, and Swintak/Don Miller’s new work grafts a piece of an experimental rural project onto the gallery.

Dissenting Histories: 25 Years of The Power Plant is an ongoing project designed to activate and put into dialogue the gallery’s rich histories. Installed in a space designed by Markus Miessen, a German architect and writer who has considered institutional histories and has contributed to our thinking about participation in public space and design, the archive exhibition considers our history within local and international contexts, as well as within present spatial and theoretical concerns. As a space for staging events around The Power Plant’s history, including the From the Archives series of presentations and lively conversations between curators and artists vital to The Power Plant’s history, we are also presenting print materials, videos, slides, and an online archive of ephemera. Toronto-based artist Dave Dyment is mining the archives and responding to the project with a new series of works. Working with audio, video, photography, and the production of artists’ books, multiples, and editions, Dyment’s witty practice mines popular culture, vernacular photography, and music.

Support provided by The Power Players Program: BMO Financial Group, CIBC, Manulife Financial, Rogers, Stonegate Private Counsel, and TD Securities.

*Image above:
Claire Fontaine, Change, 2006. Twelve twenty-five cent coins, steel box-cutter blades. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Neu, Berlin.

Summer 2012 exhibitions at The Power Plant
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