AUTO EMOTION: Autobiography, emotion and self-fashioning

AUTO EMOTION: Autobiography, emotion and self-fashioning

The Power Plant

June 20, 2007

AUTO EMOTION: Autobiography, emotion and self-fashioning
18 May-19 August, 2007

Marina Abramovic, Reza Afisina, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Sophie Calle, Andrea Fraser, Rodney Graham, Christian Jankowski, Yayoi Kusama, Nikki S. Lee, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer,
Matt Mullican, Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Adrian Paci, Johannes Wohnseifer

Curated by Gregory Burke and
Helena Reckitt

Despite Conceptual Arts disavowal of narrative and self-expression, a number of contemporary artists are mining autobiographical and biographical genres. Some artists have not hesitated to express deep feelings about the world, themselves and the artists role. Others have wrestled with questions of how to represent the self, sometimes trying to avoid clichés, at others deliberately appropriating them. Drawing inspiration from events in their own lives, and setting up situations that blur the division between art and life, several artists explore arts potential for transformation and catharsis. Auto Emotion includes works that carry an interest in the relationship between social conformism and autonomy, brain chemistry and emotion, automatic behavior and self determination, the fictional and the real.

Performance becomes self-portraiture in Official Welcome (2001) by Andrea Fraser, The Onion (1995) by Marina Abramovic, and during a hypnotized performance given by Matt Mullican. Canadian artist Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay represents the biographical in Live to Tell (2002) and Lyric (2004), where pop songs are represented as folklore both to tell his story, and to investigate notions of clichés as cultural truths. This element is taken into the therapists office for artists block experienced by Christian Jankowski in the pressure to make new work, or questioned as fictional elaborations of romantic partnerships by a master of disguises, Nikki S. Lee, exposing these states of perpetual flux within the varying personas. Adrian Pacis Vajtojca (2002) shows the self in the cycle of birth and death, both as an Albanian, and as an artist, when he stages his own funeral and pays a professional mourner to weep for him.

This exhibition is a timely reflection on issues of the complexity of self-representation and deflection, within and outside the art institution as many of the artists in Auto Emotion question the role of the artist in society.

1 17 June, 2007 PULSE FRONT: Relational Architecture 12

Rafael Lozano-Hemmer

Curated by Gregory Burke

In association with and linked to Auto Emotion, The Power Plant presents Pulse Front: Relational Architecture 12, a new commission by Montreal-based artist Rafael Lozano-Hemmer. Pulse Front features a matrix of light over The Power Plant and Harbourfront Centre, made with light beams from twenty of the worlds most powerful robotic searchlights. The installation is entirely controlled by sensors that measure the heart rates of passersby. Ten metal sculptures with embedded sensors and computers are placed along the harbour where they detect the pulses of people who hold them and convert them into light pulses. Computers also determine the orientation of the beams, recording changes in participants physical and emotional states. The resulting effect is a visualization of vital signs, arguably our most symbolic biometric, in an urban scale.

Lozano-Hemmer is an artist who relies on the public to create the work, and claims that he merely orchestrates the tools. While he has exhibited in over 48 countries, Pulse Front is his first public interactive installation in Canada.

Pulse Front is commissioned by and premiered at Luminato, curated by The Power Plant and co-produced by Harbourfront Centre. Presented by TELUS.

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery
231 Queens Quay West
Toronto ON Canada M5J 2G8

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June 20, 2007

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