Summer 2019 Opening Party
Join us for a FREE party to celebrate the launch of The Power Plant's Summer 2019 Exhibition Season! Be amongst the first to experience exhibitions by Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, Mario Pfeifer and Thomas J Price.
Admission is FREE. Cash bar available all evening and food from Kungfu Dawg!
As always, MEMBERS can access the party through a dedicated Members' entrance! Remember to bring your Membership card to take advantage of this Members' benefit.
Summer 2019 Exhibitions
On view 22 June – 2 September
Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige | On Scams
For over twenty years, artists and filmmakers Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige have collaborated across the worlds of art and film to reimagine the relationship between fiction and reality. Both born in Beirut, Lebanon, Hadjithomas and Joreige’s collaboration began by exploring histories of their home country. Across diverse media, they have investigated topics from the Lebanese Civil War to Beirut’s participation in the space race of the 1960s, underpinned by a commitment to questioning the ways that history is written.
This exhibition presents a series of works never before exhibited in Canada. The landmark series On Scams (I must first apologise) is a multi-part project exploring notions of trust and faith across geographical and virtual borders. This series takes as its point of departure an archive of over 4,000 spam emails Hadjithomas and Joreige have received and collected since 1999. They were intrigued by the emotional appeals of these messages, and the manner in which these fictions were grounded in political realities: the messages often contain references to real people, places, and conflicts to legitimize their claims.
The exhibition also presents the immersive multi-screen installation The Rumor of the World (2014), in which scam emails are brought to life by amateur actors that appear on monitors encircle the viewer. Relocating email texts to the bodies of actual people, the work’s cacophony of voices generates a reimagining of recent history in which war and unrest are the backdrop to a series of ultimately implausible circumstances.
Mario Pfeifer | If you end up with the story you started with, then you're not listening along the way
Mario Pfeifer’s work centres on narratives often forced out of our frames of vision. In this, his first solo exhibition in Canada, the Berlin-based artist presents a trilogy of video installations. Demonstrating a profound commitment to the stories of individuals and communities, Pfeifer sees himself as an intermediary to bring uncovered stories to broader attention. He immerses himself in the domains in which he works so as to present them in all their complexity and contradiction.
#blacktivist (2015) is a two-channel video installation produced in collaboration with Brooklyn rap group Flatbush ZOMBiES. The work brings together Pfeifer’s music video for the group’s track Blacktivist with found imagery and interviews in a startling critique of contemporary gun violence. Footage of ‘Defense Distributed’, a Texan organization notorious for developing plans for the first DIY 3D-printed handgun, is brought together with disturbing imagery of police brutality, as well as a surreal narrative charting the Flatbush ZOMBiES’ own imagined response.
The footage at the heart of the three-channel installation Approximation in the digital age to a humanity condemned to disappear (2014) was filmed over a period of four months with the Yaghan people in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. Presenting an Indigenous community forced to abandon or adapt their traditions as a result of settlers, anthropologists, tourists and the demands of global capitalism, Approximation brings together high-resolution imagery of the contemporary activities of the community with a soundtrack by Iranian born American electronic sound artist, producer and musician Kamran Sadeghi.
Pfeifer’s most recent work, Again (2018), which debuted at the 10th Berlin Biennale, confronts attitudes to immigration and justice in the artist’s home country of Germany. Playing on the format of television crime re-enactments, the two-channel video installation restages the sequence of events involving Schabas Saleh Al-Aziz, a Kurdish-Iraqi refugee in Germany who was tied to a tree by four local men following what they perceived as violent behaviour in a supermarket. Charting his tragic fate and the polarizing media response that followed, Pfeifer’s work uses reconstruction and public responses to expose rising xenophobia and racial division.
Connecting to each of these works, Pfeifer has been commissioned by CONTACT Photography Festival and The Power Plant to produce a billboard outside the gallery depicting the Tierra del Fuego landscape. The artist’s overlaid text, reiterating the exhibition’s title, serves to indicate his open-ended approach, expressing a resistance to preconceived conclusions and his perpetual interest in inviting us to question our own standpoint in relation to the content of his works. One cannot see these works with indifference; instead, they compel us to think of our own behaviour and prejudices.
Thomas J Price | Ordinary Men
The Power Plant presents Thomas J Price’s first solo exhibition in Canada.
Since 2005, Thomas J Price has focused on creating what he terms ‘psychological portraits’ in sculpture. Ranging in size from small busts to monumental bronze statues, these sculptures depict the bodies, clothing and characteristics typically associated with black men. However, these works are not representations of actual people. Instead, they combine facial expressions drawn from ancient, classical and neo-classical sculpture, stereotypes represented in contemporary news media, and observed individuals—some of whom Price knows personally, others whom he has witnessed in public spaces.
The exhibition at The Power Plant features a series of sculptures in varying sizes. Inside the gallery, a newly commissioned work is presented alongside several smaller bronzes and photographs that challenge the erasure of black bodies within the traditions of classical sculpture. Outside in Canada Square sits Price’s Numen series, 2016, a continuation of the artist’s investigation into Greek, Roman and Egyptian mythology. To the west, on the South Terrace, a monumental cast-bronze titled Cover Up (The Reveal), 2019 is presented. These four works extend the exhibition’s reach into the public sphere, thus engaging visitors both inside and outside of the gallery and confronting us with images of black male bodies on a monumental scale.
To learn more about our Summer 2019 Exhibition Season, visit bit.ly/TPPWinter19