February 24, 2011 - The Power Plant - Three exhibitions
February 24, 2011

Three exhibitions

Thomas Hirschhorn, “Das Auge (The Eye),” 2008.
Mixed media. Installation view: Secession, Vienna.
Courtesy the artist and ARNDT, Berlin.

Thomas Hirschhorn: Das Auge (The Eye)

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle: Phantom Truck + Always After

To What Earth Does This Sweet Cold Belong?

Andrea Carlson, Annie MacDonell, Kevin Schmidt, Jennifer Rose Sciarrino, Erin Shirreff

11 March–29 May 2011

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

The Power Plant is re-opening 11 March 2011 with a new website and graphic identity in addition to a new lobby and retail space. In association with the re-opening the gallery is launching three exhibitions for our Spring 2011 season. Those by Thomas Hirschhorn and Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle seek to give form to resistance and protest. Landscape is also a phantom reference in their installations and is explored more specifically by the artists included in the group exhibition To What Earth Does This Sweet Cold Belong?

We are pleased to present the North American premiere of Das Auge (The Eye), one of Thomas Hirschhorn‘s largest and most immersive sculptural installations. Selected to represent his native Switzerland at the 2011 Venice Biennale, Hirschhorn is renowned for his sprawling artworks that use everyday materials, found images from the news and mass media, and impassioned graffiti-like texts to engage audiences in actively thinking about politics and philosophy. Hirschhorn is interested in the aesthetics of political protest – slogans, placards, provocative photos—and in moving people to think and act critically in the world.

Crafted from paper, packing tape, colour photocopies, stuffed animals, mannequins, and other provisional materials, Das Auge (The Eye) is based around an eye that sees only the colour red. Cobbled together from hundreds of different sculptural elements, images and texts, the entire mise-en-scène is dominated by the juxtaposition of red and white: the flags of Canada, Switzerland and other nations; the veins in an eye; blood on snow. The artist has written: “Das Auge [The Eye] does not see everything—but it sees everything that is red. Das Auge only sees the colour red. Thus it can only show red, it can only name red, and it can only ‘be’ red.” Potent and overwhelming, Das Auge links perception and voyeurism with the politics of the body, all-seeing eye to all-too-fragile flesh. The exhibition is organized by Gregory Burke, Director of The Power Plant.

Thomas Hirschhorn (born in 1957, Bern) lives and works in Paris. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2004), Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston (2005), Pinakothek der Moderne, Munich (2005), and Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (2007).

Lead Donor:
The Latner Family

Cultural Agency Supporters:
L’Institut français
Consulat Général de France à Toronto

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle‘s sculpture and video works have explored such phenomena as war, migration and the environment with impeccable formal elegance and metaphoric power. For much of the 2000s, Manglano-Ovalle has been producing work exploring the “climate” of our times—both in terms of meteorology and the state of global geo-political affairs.

Originally produced as a project for documenta 12, Manglano-Ovalle’s Phantom Truck is a full-scale reproduction of a mobile truck trailer ostensibly containing a biological weapons lab. Such a truck was described by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell when addressing the U.N. Security Council prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq. After the invasion, no such lab was found, so Manglano-Ovalle has built one. Parked in existential limbo in a darkened space, the barely perceptible yet huge truck austerely reflects on its own status as a fiction of Powell’s imagination while towering above those who view it.

Employing long, graceful takes, Always After (The Glass House) focuses on the broken glass accumulated after the windows of the Mies-designed Illinois Institute of Technology’s Crown Hall were smashed as part of a ceremony in advance of the building’s renovation. For Manglano-Ovalle, this dreamlike scene of destruction is a potent metaphor for seeing the world “as a condition of a post-event.” For Manglano-Ovalle, we are doomed to always clean up our messes rather than thinking through the consequences of creating them in the first place. The exhibition is curated by Gregory Burke, Director of The Power Plant.

Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle (born in Madrid, 1961) has had solo exhibitions at such venues as the Art Institute of Chicago (2005) and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, North Adams (2009), among many others.

With the gallery transformed into a darkened and grotto-like environment, To What Earth Does This Sweet Cold Belong? refracts the natural world through five younger artists’ meditations on and mediations of the landscape. The artists in the exhibition craft topographies of the imagination detached from geographic reality and the experience of actually “being there.” Instead they filter their images of the earth through conceptual practices, archival research, cultural references, and technologies of simulation. After years of critically debating the landscape genre—particularly in Canada—artists Andrea Carlson (Minneapolis), Annie MacDonell (Toronto), Kevin Schmidt (Vancouver), Jennifer Rose Sciarrino (Toronto), and Erin Shirreff (New York) achieve complex, fantastical visions of land, sky and sea apropos to the 21st century. The exhibition is curated by Jon Davies, Assistant Curator at The Power Plant.

Support Donors:
Shanitha Kachan & Gerald Sheff
Nancy McCain & Bill Morneau
Laura Rapp & Jay Smith

Presented with the support of Bockley Gallery, Minneapolis.

Each of the Spring 2011 exhibitions will be accompanied by a small folded publication, which will feature short essays, interviews, images, and other material on the exhibitions.

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