December 7, 2009 - The Power Plant - Michael Snow
December 7, 2009

Michael Snow

Michael Snow, The Corner of Braque and Picasso Streets, 2009. Video installation at angles barcelona. Courtesy the gallery

Winter 2009-2010 Exhibitions
Recent Snow: Projected Works By Michael Snow

Nothing To Declare: Current Sculpture From Canada
11 December 2009–7 March 2010

Opening Reception: 10 December, 8–11 PM

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

Opening on the artist’s 81st birthday, ‘Recent Snow: Projected Works by Michael Snow’ surveys the legendary Canadian artist’s forays into video installation from the past decade. Featuring seven projection works, the exhibition includes the world premiere of two new pieces, Piano Sculpture and Serve, Deserve (both 2009). The exhibition attests to the ongoing relevance of Snow’s playful and experimental multimedia practice, and the influence it continues to exert on the contemporary art world.

The product of a restless intelligence and a sharp wit, Snow’s work deftly juggles and juxtaposes the sensorial and the cerebral. Snow’s video projections manipulate the space between the moments of recording and of reception, the surface of the world and the surface of the screen to stage the dynamic play between a video camera and material reality. In Snow’s hands, realism becomes far from realistic and the familiar takes us by surprise.

‘Recent Snow’ will be accompanied by screenings of some of Snow’s iconic experimental films, and by a feature article by art historian Martha Langford in issue #3 of The Power Plant’s magazine SWITCH.

Michael Snow (born in Toronto, 1928) has exhibited internationally for over five decades. Recent solo exhibitions have taken place at Àngels Barcelona (2009) and BFI Southbank Gallery, London (2008), and his work has been selected for recent biennials in Sydney (2008), São Paulo (2006) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (2006).

Curator: Gregory Burke, Director of The Power Plant
PRESENTING SPONSOR: Rogers Communications

Valérie Blass / James Carl / Liz Magor / Luanne Martineau / Tricia Middleton /
Gareth Moore / Michael Murphy / Kerri Reid / Brendan Tang / Kara Uzelman /
Rhonda Weppler & Trevor Mahovsky

Abandoning sculpture’s traditional job of memorializing the great and the good, the artworks in this exhibition instead revel in humble materials and everyday processes. Resisting abstract and overarching statements, meanings and metaphors result from intensive experimentation and improvisation. As such, the show highlights the renewed interest of contemporary artists – emerging, mid-career and senior – in objects and materials. The work explores sculpture’s status and function, its history and future.

Often straddling the boundary between figuration and abstraction, elegance and awkwardness, invention and decay, the works in the exhibition can seem ambiguous, open-ended and messy. They tend to make their points with lightness, wit and humility, with “nothing to declare.”

‘Nothing to Declare’ public programming includes a LIVE performance by Gareth Moore on 19 January. The exhibition will also be accompanied by an essay by curator Helena Reckitt in issue #3 of The Power Plant’s magazine SWITCH.

Curator: Helena Reckitt, Senior Curator of Programs
PRESENTING SPONSOR: The Royal Bank of Canada

The opening reception on 10 December will feature the launch of two new publications. The catalogue for the recent Power Plant exhibition UNIVERSAL CODE features essays by curator Gregory Burke, Director of The Power Plant, and by scholar Janine Marchessault, Canada Research Chair in Art, Digital Media and Globalization at York University, as well as entries on all 22 of the artists: Adel Abdessemed, Franz Ackermann, Angela Bulloch, Mircea Cantor, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Cerith Wyn Evans, Henrik Håkansson, Antonia Hirsch, Thomas Hirschhorn, Ann Veronica Janssens, Kimsooja, Jed Lind, Iñigo Manglano-Ovalle, Josiah McElheny, Tania Mouraud, Gabriel Orozco, The Otolith Group, Adrian Paci, Trevor Paglen, Katie Paterson, Fred Tomaselli, and Keith Tyson.

We are also pleased to launch the book NEW COMMUNITIES, co-published by The Power Plant and Public Books. The volume is edited by Nina Möntmann following the exhibition ‘If We Can’t Get It Together: Artists rethinking the (mal)function of communities’ that Möntmann curated for The Power Plant and the symposium ‘We, Ourselves and Us’ organized by The Power Plant and Public. NEW COMMUNITIES includes texts by Carlos Basualdo and Reinaldo Laddaga, Simon Critchley, Jon Davies, Brian Holmes, Luis Jacob, Saara Liinamaa, Maria Lind, Nina Möntmann, Nikos Papastergiadis, Raqs Media Collective, and Emily Roysdon, as well as contributions from the artists in the exhibition: Shaina Anand, Egle Budvytyte, Kajsa Dahlberg, Luis Jacob, Hassan Khan, Hadley + Maxwell, Emily Roysdon, and Haegue Yang.

To order publications from The Power Plant, please call 416.973.4949 or email

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