June 20, 2016 - The Power Plant - Summer exhibition season
June 20, 2016

The Power Plant

Franz Erhard Walther, 1. Werksatz (First Work Set) (detail), 1963-69. Installation view: Franz Erhard Walther: The Body Decides, WIELS, Brussels, 2014. Collection of The Franz Erhard Walther Foundation. Courtesy WIELS & The Franz Erhard Walther Foundation. Photo: Sven Laurent.

Summer exhibition season
June 25–September 5, 2016

Opening: June 24, 8–11pm

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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For The Power Plant’s summer 2016 season, visitors will be immersed in the physical and aesthetic experience of works presented in solo exhibitions by German artists Franz Erhard Walther and Ulla von Brandenburg. On view June 25 through September 5, 2016.  The Power Plant will also present a commissioned performance by American artist Emily Mast on June 29–30, 2016.  


Franz Erhard Walther: Call to Action
Curator: Gaëtane Verna

Franz Erhard Walther’s first major solo exhibition in Canada brings together sculpture, drawing and video, produced between the 1950s to the present. Call to Action offers insight into the seminal German artist’s radical ideas about the relationship between space, object and the human body. His work sheds light on the potential of spectators to consider their body as a means to activate sculpture and disrupt the space of display. He first gave this concept physical form with his 1. Werksatz (First Work Set) (1963–69), a work comprised of 58 objects made of fabric and intended to be used alone or in a group. The sculptures materialize through measured actions laid out for viewers to enact according to the artist’s instructions. With this approach, Walther’s sculptures transcend their physical and formal qualities to position the viewer’s body, and the space and time it acts within. Throughout the duration of the exhibition, visitors are invited to activate works both inside and outside of the gallery space. In so doing, Call to Action highlights Walther’s positioning of his audience as imperative towards contributing to his work’s final form. 

Call to Action is presented in partnership with the Franz Erhard Walther Foundation.


Ulla von Brandenburg: It Has a Golden Red Sun and an Elderly Green Moon
Guest Curator: Alexandra Baudelot, Co-Director, Les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers, France and Director, ROSASCAPE, Paris / Assistant Curator: Clara Halpern, RBC Curatorial Fellow, The Power Plant

It Has a Golden Red Sun and an Elderly Green Moon, Ulla von Brandenburg’s first solo exhibition in Canada, brings together five recurring themes in her work: colour, ritual, movement, stairs and textiles. The inspiration for these themes is drawn from the architecture of modern theatre and theorist Adolphe Appia's stage designs; the dances of movement theorist Rudolf von Laban and the Judson Dance Theater; the work on movement by playwright Samuel Beckett and the artist Bruce Nauman; and John Cage's musical constructions on randomness. The exhibition unfolds in a large, site-specific installation that operates simultaneously as both a stage set and a new commissioned film. Titled It Has a Golden Sun and an Elderly Grey Moon (2016), the film was shot on the stage of the Théâtre des Amandiers in Nanterre, France, which is mirrored by the installation at The Power Plant. Alongside this new work, The Power Plant will present a survey of von Brandenburg’s earlier films. It Has a Golden Red Sun and an Elderly Green Moon is presented concurrently with an exhibition at the Darling Foundry, Montreal.  

The exhibition is also accompanied by the publication It Has a Golden Sun and an Elderly Grey Moon, edited by Alexandra Baudelot and co-produced by the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Melbourne; The Power Plant, Toronto; Aarhus 2017: European Capital of Culture, Denmark and Museum Haus Konstruktiv, Zurich.


Emily Mast: The Cage is a Stage
Co-Curators: Julia Paoli, Associate Curator, The Power Plant and Christine Shaw, Director/Curator, Blackwood Gallery

In her choreographed performances and installations, Emily Mast incorporates bodies, movement, sound and light as live sculptural material. The Cage is a Stage is a multi-compositional project that is comprised of two gallery exhibitions, a billboard and a small performance at the Blackwood Gallery and an evening length performance that premieres onstage at Harbourfront Centre Theatre. By scrutinizing animality, the project examines some of the deep-seated compulsions of the human species such as the need to control, tame, punish and play. In this way, Mast will construct a landscape of stylized vignettes in order to expand on ideas that John Berger put forth in his essay “Why Look at Animals” (1977), in which he compares zoos to art galleries. During the development of her project, Mast researched both animal captivity and human confinement. To highlight her findings, she cast a core group of performers to physically interpret and embody her integrative points of interest. In her collaborative work with the cast, Mast generated scores that serve as “frames” in which to explore and examine both the political implications of marginalization and the behaviour of humans through a cultural understanding of animal nature. 

The Cage is a Stage is presented in partnership with Blackwood Gallery.

Performances at Harbourfront Centre Theatre: June 29–30, 2016, 8pm
Tickets available at thepowerplant.org

Concurrent exhibition at the Blackwood Gallery: June 22–September 18, 2016


Support for Call to Action includes Lead Donor: Hal Jackman Foundation; International Arts Partners: Goethe-Institut Toronto, Federal Republic of Germany Foreign Office; Support Donors: Robert B. Bell and Diane Walker, John Matheson, Brian Pel, Peter M. Ross, and Jeff Stober; Supported by: Peter Freeman, Inc.; Galerie Jocelyn Wolff; and MuseumPros.

Support for It Has a Golden Red Sun and an Elderly Green Moon includes International Arts Partners: Consulate General of France in Toronto, Institut Français, Goethe-Institut Toronto, Federal Republic of Germany Foreign Office. Support for It Has a Golden Sun and an Elderly Grey Moon, published by Mousse: funders the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), Melbourne; The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto; Aarhus 2017: European Capital of Culture, Denmark; Museum HausKonstruktiv, Zurich; the Ricard Foundation; and the CNAP, Centre national des arts plastiques, France.

Support for The Cage is a Stage includes Major Donor: Lonti Ebers.

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


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

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