WINTER AT THE POWER PLANT BEGINS WITH A LECTURE BY ARTIST STAN DOUGLAS
The Power Plant opens two new exhibitions and presents an entire weekend of events, all featuring participating artists
ENTERTAINMENT: SELECTIONS FROM MIDCENTURY STUDIO
10 December – 4 March, 2012
Entertainment: Selections from Midcentury Studio is an exhibition of new photographic work by Vancouver artist Stan Douglas. The work in the exhibition continues the artist's practice of reexamining historical, site-specific layers, particularly the imaging of postwar North American diversions from cabaret to sports. The body of work is largely a meticulous studio project in which Douglas assumes the lens of a photographer who takes on various jobs from Weegee-esque photojournalism to advertising. A social system – and an economic system – of entertainment is revealed here in the artist's inhabitation of a historical fiction. Achieving verisimilitude, Douglas reconstructed a studio using authentic equipment as well as hired actors to produce staged photographs that emulate the period's obsession with noir-ish drama, magic, dance, sporting events, curious artifacts, fashion, "caught-in-the-moment" scenes, gambling, and, of course, shifting technologies.
The exhibition includes the Malabar People, a series of sixteen black-and-white portraits of the patrons and staff of a fictional 1950s nightclub. The patrons range from single women to loggers, and the staff encompass bartenders, waitresses and entertainers (a dancer, a female impersonator, a musician). Accompanying them are additional photographs from Midcentury Studio that provide a further context for period entertainment including a multiple exposure image of a dancer, photographs of stage magic tricks or sleight of hand, and large-scale images of hockey and cricket events. Together, the works reveal a highly mixed demographic. The works were shot in Vancouver, and although the locations are not always revealed, the city not only plays itself but stands in for a midcentury every city. The notion of entertainment is entwined with a postwar optimism, while at the same time inflected with darker ramifications of looking back.
Presenting Sponsor: Rogers Communications
10 December – 4 March, 2012
Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz, Aleesa Cohene, Glen Fogel, Onya Hogan-Finlay,
Christian Holstad, Danny Jauregui, Adam Garnet Jones, Jean-Paul Kelly,
Tim Leyendekker, Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, James Richards, Emily Roysdon,
Dean Sameshima, Jonathan VanDyke, Susanne M. Winterling
Featuring 15 artists from New York, Los Angeles, Berlin, Toronto, and beyond, Coming After is a response to the recent renewal of interest in the period from the mid-1980s to early 1990s that was decisive for North American cultural politics. This time period witnessed the (first of many) Culture Wars, the birth of "queer" as an identity and theory, and the rise of a direct-action AIDS activist movement – epitomized by ACT UP – fighting a new plague that was devastating communities of artists, queers and people of colour. While these years were highly traumatic, they also represented a galvanizing, dynamic moment for queer citizenship – one that is arguably haunting our present and our future.
The artists in Coming After were primarily born in 1970 or later and share a certain queer sensibility that is in dialogue with the past in some way. Rather than melding with the consumer-culture lifestyle that has been touted as GLBT citizenship over the past fifteen years, the work evidences a sense of having come after or missed out on something. The potential represented by this very recent and more faraway radical (queer) historical moments is both an open wound and a fount of inspiration. What was lost along the way from then to now? Some works are specifically referential, while others more obliquely capture a sense of having arrived too late, a kind of knotty nostalgia or even melancholic deflation. For example, one motif in the exhibition is of spaces haunted with both historical resonance and a glimmer of future potential.
Support Donors: Liza Mauer & Andrew Sheiner
The Power Plant has an outstanding lineup of OPENING WEEKEND EVENTS to kick off the winter season:
INTERNATIONAL LECTURE SERIES
Thursday, 8 December / 7 PM / FREE Members, $12 Non-Members
Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre
Stan Douglas will be in Toronto in advance of the opening of his exhibition to speak about his new work and his critically renowned practice. Douglas's pioneering work in photography and film/video installation has been exhibited nationally and internationally for more than three decades. Don't miss this special opportunity to hear Stan Douglas discuss his work – visit thepowerplant.org or call the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416.973.4000 to purchase tickets.
2011-2012 International Lecture Series Donor: J.P. Bickell Foundation
OPENING PARTY & LIVE
with a durational performance by Jonathan VanDyke
Friday, 9 December / 8 – 11 PM / FREE
The Power Plant
The Power Plant will celebrate the opening of the winter exhibitions with a FREE party from 8 – 11 PM. Guests will witness Obstructed View, a durational performance for two figures by New York-based artist Jonathan VanDyke, part of his contribution to the exhibition Coming After. Don't miss the first of two opportunities to see this performance as it takes place within the installation of his work – click here for more information.
SUNDAY SCENE: Aleesa Cohene & Jean-Paul Kelly
Sunday, 11 December / 2 PM / FREE with gallery admission
Every Sunday, speakers from the world of art and beyond offer their responses to the current exhibitions. Kicking off this series for the winter season will be two artists who are both included in the current exhibition Coming After. Both based in Toronto, Aleesa Cohene has been producing videos since 2001, and Jean-Paul Kelly works in drawing, photography and video.
For information on these events and the rest of The Power Plant's public programming for winter 2011, visit our website.
Institutional Donor: Nancy McCain & Bill Morneau
Primary Education Sponsor: CIBC Wood Gundy
Corporate Leaders: BMO Financial Group, Manulife Financial, Rogers, TD Securities
Government Funding: Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Arts Council
$3 Students / Seniors
BMO FREE Wednesday Evenings 5 – 8 PM
Tuesday to Sunday 12–6 PM
Wednesday 12–8 PM
Open holiday Mondays
Media Contact: Robin Boyko, +1.416.973.4927, email@example.com
The Power Plant
231 Queens Quay West
Toronto, ON Canada M5J 2G8
Image: Stan Douglas, The Flame, 1947 (2010). Courtesy the artist and David Zwirner, New York.