February 28, 2007 - The Power Plant - Fiona Banner: The Bastard Word & Yael Bartana: Ritual
February 28, 2007

Fiona Banner: The Bastard Word & Yael Bartana: Ritual

Fiona Banner, Every Word Unmade A-L (Neon Alphabet), 2007, studio shot. Courtesy of the artist.

Fiona Banner: The Bastard Word
Yael Bartana: Ritual

3 March-22 April, 2007

The Power Plant
Contemporary Art Gallery
231 Queens Quay West
Toronto ON Canada M5J 2G8
1 416 973 4927

Fiona Banner: The Bastard Word

Fiona Banner, a leading mid-career British artist and former Turner Prize nominee, has been exhibiting widely since her first solo show at City Racing in 1994. Her exhibitions include Asterisk, Gesellschaft für Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen, 1999; Your Plinth is my Lap, Dundee Contemporary Arts / Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, 2002. Banner is represented in various collections including The Museum of Modern Art, New York, Philadelphia Museum, The Arts Council of England, Tate Gallery, London and the Walker Art Gallery, Minneapolis.

The Bastard Word, curated by The Power Plant Director, Gregory Burke, is an exhibition of new and recent work that brings together a range of sculptures, installations, drawings, and a selection of newer pieces that are among her most ambitious to date. Banner investigates the limits and possibilities of written language, drawing on source material from military hardware and films to pornography and the tradition of the nude. Recent work that addresses her interest with the concept of war include Parade, 2007, an installation of 179 Airfix models of all of the worlds fighter planes and Tornado Nude, 2006, a drawing on the wing of a Tornado airplane that stands at nearly 6 metres high. Every Word Unmade, 2007, is a work of the twenty-six letters of the English alphabet in neon physically bent by the artist. These rather crude and primitive letters are indicative of a ritualistic process of personally re-creating language. Banner will also be giving a rare performance, related to the Nude series, for which she will create a word painting as a life-drawing.

In conjunction with the exhibition, The Power Plant and The Vanity Press are producing an illustrated newspaper with a rare and insightful interview between Fiona Banner and Gregory Burke, and an essay by Cay-Sophie Rabinowitz, the Senior US Editor of Parkett.
Fiona Banner: The Bastard Word is generously supported by lead donors Yvonne & David Fleck, Guy Knowles, Phil Lind, Liza Mauer & Andrew Sheiner, Nancy McCain & William Morneau, and the British Council.

Fiona Banner is represented by 1301PE, Los Angeles, Frith Street Gallery, London, Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin, and Tracy Williams Ltd., New York.

Yael Bartana: Ritual

Documenting and restaging everyday activities, Yael Bartanas films suggest how social rituals and other group activities promote national and cultural cohesion. Bartanas context looks to her native Israel with regards to how militarization, nationalism and the possibilities of protest resonate in many contemporary situations. Her approach to the quotidian has been likened to amateur anthropology, a notion borrowed from the Polish-Canadian writer Eva Hoffman. Yet while Hoffman posits the immigrant as one who sees minute details that others take for granted, Bartana is no detached voyeur. By slowing down footage, manipulating and editing footage, she isolates moments of ambivalence, resistance or over-compensation that undercut simple national and cultural affiliations. In so doing, Bartana hopes to provoke honest responses and perhaps replace the predictable, controlled reactions encouraged by the state. There will be four film works shown at The Power Plant, including her latest piece, Wild Seeds, 2006 a video of young Israelis playing a game based on the forced withdrawal of Jewish settlers from Gilads Colony in 2002. This exhibition has been curated by The Power Plants Senior Curator of Programs, Helena Reckitt.

Yael Bartana divides her time between Amsterdam and Tel-Aviv, and her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, 2003, Kunstverein Hamburg, 2006, and Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven, 2006; group exhibitions include Manifesta 4, Frankfurt, 2002, 10th Istanbul Biennial, 2005, and Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel, 2006.
Yael Bartana: Ritual has been generously supported by the Consulate-General of the Kingdom of The Netherlands. It is presented in conjunction with 20th annual Images Festival, Toronto. Bartana is represented by Annet Gelink Gallery, Amsterdam.

The Power Plant
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