September 14, 2017 - The Power Plant - Fall 2017 exhibition season
September 14, 2017

The Power Plant

Amalia Pica, In Praise of Listening, 2016. Marble, paint, silicone tubing, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Marc Foxx, Los Angeles.

Fall 2017 exhibition season
Amalia Pica, Sammy Baloji & Filip De Boeck, Michael Landy
September 29–December 31, 2017

The Power Plant
231 Queens Quay West
Toronto Ontario M5J 2G8
Hours: Tuesday–Wednesday 10am–5pm,
Thursday 10am–8pm,
Friday–Sunday 10am–6pm

T +1 416 973 4949
F +1 416 973 4933
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The Power Plant wraps its 30th anniversary year in 2017 with its fall 2017 season, on view from September 29 until December 31, 2017. The season presents three major solo exhibitions by artists Amalia Pica, Sammy Baloji & Filip De Boeck, and Michael Landy.

Amalia Pica: ears to speak of
Curator: Carolin Köchling, Curator of Exhibitions, The Power Plant
Assistant Curator: Nabila Abdel Nabi, RBC Curatorial Fellow, The Power Plant

The nature of communication, semiotic systems, metaphor, and the shaping of thought through language have been ongoing threads in Amalia Pica’s work. 

For ears to speak of, her first solo exhibition in Canada, Amalia Pica will develop a new work entitled Ears (2017), which continues her engagement with obsolete technologies and the failures and impossibilities of communication. The artist will create monumental cardboard reconstructions of acoustic radars, also referred to as “listening ears,” found in Denge, Kent, England. These devices were built along the coast of England between the 1920s and 1930s. Designed to pre-empt aerial attacks by detecting the sound of incoming aircraft, these radars were quickly outmoded, due to the rapid evolution of aircraft and radar technologies. The structures now stand as ruins; monuments to failure. By rendering these technologies in cardboard—a material that absorbs sound—Pica highlights the uselessness and ephemeral quality of the structures. The exhibition also features works from Pica’s series In Praise of Listening (2016), large-scale sculptures of hearing aids rendered in marble, granite and soapstone. At the heart of these devices is the intention to make listening possible on a personal level. Pica reproduces the devices in a medium that both monumentalizes and renders them mute, thereby making visible the multitude of ways that people attempt to communicate more effectively with one another, even if we seem to grow increasingly reluctant or unable to do so. 

The exhibition will be accompanied by a publication co-produced by The Power Plant, Toronto and the IMA Institute of Modern Art, Brisbane, where Amalia Pica will present a solo exhibition from November 18, 2017–March 10, 2018.


Sammy Baloji & Filip De Boeck: Urban Now: City Life in Congo
Guest curator: Devrim Bayar, Curator, WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels

Focusing on the “urban now,” a moment suspended between the broken dreams of a colonial past and the promises of a neoliberal future, this exhibition by photographer Sammy Baloji and anthropologist Filip De Boeck presents an artistic and ethnographic investigation of what living—and living together—might mean in Congo’s urban worlds. As elsewhere on the African continent, Congo’s cities increasingly imagine new futures for themselves. Often depicted in billboards and advertisements that tell of the city that is to come, these idealistic, neoliberal re-imaginings exist in sharp contrast to Congo’s current infrastructure: echoes and reminders of a colonial legacy in shattered form, affecting the quality of the city’s social life and pushing it to the limit of what is considered liveable. 

Yet Congo’s urban residents constantly invent new social spaces to bypass or overcome the breakdown, exclusion, poverty and violence. It is in this complex postcolonial context that Baloji and De Boeck explore what “urban” means. Urban living constantly attempts to “suture the city,” finding ways to stitch together gains and losses, or pasts and futures in the moment that is the “urban now.” The photographs in this exhibition capture this potentially more inhabitable and inclusive urban world, where the possibilities of present, collective action and dreams of a shared future continue to be explored. Shaped over the past years, the archive renders visible the elusive ways that people manage not only to survive, but to transcend that basic level of bare life; where they have made attempts at a more inclusive urban commons, and where collective action and dreams of a shared future can thrive. Constructed as a large visual essay around selected sites, forms of urban life, and contrasting topographies and terrains, the exhibition reflects upon the city and the processes of colonization, occupation, mobility and dislocation that are giving form to a new urban terrain. 

The exhibition is accompanied by the book Suturing the City: Living Together in Congo's Urban Worlds, published by Autograph ABP, London in association with WIELS, Brussels and The Power Plant, Toronto.

Urban Now: City Life in Congo is initiated by WIELS, Brussels; in collaboration with The Power Plant, Toronto; The Open Society Foundations, New York; and Galerias Municipais/EGEAC, Lisbon.

Curator: Nabila Abdel Nabi, RBC Curatorial Fellow, The Power Plant

A key member of a generation of groundbreaking artists that emerged in London in the 1990s, Michael Landy's practice explores notions of capitalism, commerce, value, creation and destruction.

For his exhibition at The Power Plant, Landy invites the public to collaborate in building a "wall of protest" by submitting images, words, texts and slogans that represent their thoughts and feelings—of hope or of despair, on matters small or large, from high to low and across the cultural spectrum—to be transformed by the artist into drawings. Over the course of six months, Landy will translate these submissions into red and white drawings of protesters, which will be pinned directly on to the wall of the gallery to create a continually evolving installation. By mapping the reactions, feelings and experiences of individuals, DEMONSTRATION aims to create a bridge of communication for the multiplicity of narratives and histories that define Canada. Through accumulation, the demonstration will grow, capturing the country's social and political landscape through the eyes of its inhabitants.

Michael Landy’s site-specific project DEMONSTRATION is the third edition of the Fleck Clerestory Commission Program. 

Open call: Participate in Michael Landy’s exhibition by sending in your own submissions. Learn more about the open call and submission guidelines here.


Support for ears to speak of includes Presenting Donor: Koerner Foundation; Lead Donor: Lonti Ebers; Support Donor: Keir Foundation.

Support for Urban Now: City Life in Congo includes Donors: Dr. Kenneth Montague & Ms. Sarah Aranha, and Brian C. Pel; Supported by Axis Gallery and Galerie Imane Farès.

Support for DEMONSTRATION includes Donor: Nadine Léonard; International Arts Partner: British Council; Supported by Thomas Dane Gallery and Sennelier / Savoir-Faire.

Admission at The Power Plant is all year, all free, presented by BMO Bank of Montreal.

Director: Gaëtane Verna
Media contact: Nadia Yau, Marketing & Communications Officer / media [​at​] / T +1 416 973 4927

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