August 27, 2011 - The Power Plant - Fall 2011 Exhibitions
August 27, 2011

Fall 2011 Exhibitions

Derek Sullivan, detail from “Persistent Huts,” 2008.
Accordion-fold artist’s book, published by Printed Matter Inc. in an edition of 500 copies.*

Fall 2011 Exhibitions
Opening Reception: 23 September, 8–11 PM

Derek Sullivan: Albatross Omnibus
Curated by Gregory Burke, Independent Curator
24 September–20 November 2011

Simon Fujiwara: Welcome to the Hotel Munber
Curated by Melanie O’Brian, Curator & Head of Programs
24 September–11 November 2011

The Plot
Keren Cytter, Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys, Isabelle Pauwels
Curated by Melanie O’Brian, Curator & Head of Programs
24 September–6 November 2011

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

The Power Plant’s 2011 commission Albatross Omnibus by Toronto-based artist Derek Sullivan involves artists’ books, and a drawing and installation project. The commission’s core is a series of 52 limited edition books produced through print-on-demand technology. One full set of books is displayed in a grid hanging from wires at a height that visitors must use a stepladder to reach. Each book will be available for purchase, with one title on sale per day of the exhibition. A large accordion-shaped wall reads like the left and right pages of an oversized open book, upon which are hung new works from the Poster Drawings series and a nine-part work titled Illustrations from The Albatross (2010).

Mutability, a characteristic of Sullivan’s practice, is deepened in this exhibition, with forms and ideas folding into one another to test the boundaries of the finite. The project draws on the history of artists’ book production to examine its relationship to the larger art economy, while also exploring an interplay between book, furniture and garden design; concrete poetry; minimalism and conceptual art; authorship and appropriation; and the idea of reading as a stand-in for interpretation. Ultimately, the physical form of the book both supports and is the artwork.

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue featuring texts by curator Gregory Burke, artist AA Bronson and writer Kathleen Ritter. Also, a full set of the 52 books is available in a limited edition of ten, collected in a hinged, cloth-bound case.

Through performance, short stories, installation-sets, lectures, and novels, British-Japanese artist Simon Fujiwara scripts and performs his own biography as fiction. Often weaving his own personal history into broad social events, Fujiwara plays raconteur and dramaturge to construct parallel histories. Playing multiple and often conflicting roles—from archaeologist and eroticist to architect—Fujiwara’s seemingly multifarious identities both establish and erase themselves within his narratives, forming a complex portrait of the contemporary individual.

Welcome to the Hotel Munber (2010) is a multi-layered installation that sets the stage for his parents’ lives during Spain’s Franco era. The work is a reconstruction, based on photographs and oral histories, of the bar in his parents’ hotel during the 1970s. The scene—a stereotypical Spanish bar—has been authored by Fujiwara as an extension of an unfinished novel in which he reinterprets his parents’ lives as gay erotica. Pivoting on the censorship and sexual oppression enforced by Franco, Fujiwara has created an unnerving environment that deftly maps the conflict between desire and suppression operated by and within political systems.

Artists working in film and video have long engaged questions of narration and structure, truth and fiction. The Plot brings together the work of artists who share approaches to non-linear narrative. They use structural breaks, an economy of means and the employment of film as a stage upon which amateur actors (or their proxies) consider history, human relationships and the space created by the camera. The Plot explores film and video not only as a tract upon which scenes are enacted, broken and re-spatialized, but as a scenario, a deception and a scheme.

The Plot includes Avalanche (2010) by Berlin-based Keren Cytter, whose films often present characters acting out complex and alienated relationships. Her scripted work offers an instability that references direct experience and personal observation, as well as calling upon popular cultural forms. Unstable notions of identity, memory and relationships are also found in the work of Vancouver-based Isabelle Pauwels. Pauwels’ work, including W.E.S.T.E.R.N. (2010) and Eddie (2005), typically weaves a dense, layered story that implicates the viewer in a negotiation with psychologically complex spaces. Finally, Brussels-based collaborators Jos de Gruyter and Harald Thys create films and installations, including Das Loch (2010), that focus on issues of thwarted communication and defensive interiority.

*Image above:
Courtesy the artist and Jessica Bradley Art + Projects, Toronto.

Fall 2011 Exhibitions
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