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The Power Plant artfully stirs the heart the mind the digestive system this Spring

TORONTO, March 3, 2004 – The Power Plant at Harbourfront Centre, Canada’s leading non-collecting contemporary art gallery, announces three new exhibitions running from March 27 through May 23, 2004: Wim Delvoye: CloacaNew & Improved, Republic of Love and Daniel Richter: Pink Flag – White Horse. The Power Plant presents two of Europe's most acclaimed artists, Wim Delvoye and Daniel Richter, in their first Canadian
exhibitions.

Belgian artist Wim Delvoye’s engaging sculpture Cloaca – New & Improved addresses a number of cultural taboos while challenging viewers to consider society's discomfort with digestive functions and to question the elaborate cultural mechanisms constructed to keep those functions hidden. The forty foot machine - comprised of metal casing, glass beakers, tubes and enzymes - duplicates the human digestive system through the daily riutal of feeding and defecating. Cloaca can be seen as a cyborg-like hybrid of man and machine directly confronting the contemporary state of confusion of when and where human life begins, and ends. Accompanying the Wim Delvoye: Cloaca - New & Improved sculpture are 27 preparatory drawings for the original Cloaca. For more information on Cloaca and Wim Delvoye visit www.cloaca.be

Born in rural Flanders in 1965, Wim Delvoye lives and works in Ghent. He has had numerous one-person international exhibitions at venues including Paris' Centre Georges Pompidou and at MUHKA in Antwerp. He was a participating artist at the 48th Venice Biennale (1999) and Documenta IX (1992). The Power Plant’s presentation of Wim Delvoye: Cloaca - New & Improved, curated by Adjunct Curator Nancy Campbell, marks the first exhibition of this notable artist’s work in Canada.

Republic of Love tests the waters of 21st century notions of desire, love and longing with new work by Toronto-based artists Shary Boyle, Jay Isaac, Paul P. and Tony Romano. In the age of Internet dating and reality television, how is our concept of love evolving? Are the dramatic global events of today bringing on a re-birth of the “make love, not war” approach of the 1960s? The artists’ methods of expression and focus in this exhibition vary quite broadly: Boyle’s watercolour, ink and gouache works examine the psychosexual complexities and social phobias of intimacy; Paul P.’s paintings and drawings are based on images of young men in gay pornographic magazines published in the pre-AIDS 1970s and early 1980s; Isaac explores the idea of love as an emergence from a mired landscape into a futuristic, alien utopia through a series of Dali-esque paintings and a large scale sculpture; Romano’s work looks at the labyrinthine structures of relationships in two installation works involving video, lighting effects and computer software. The exhibition is organized by
Xandra Eden, Assistant Curator.

Berlin-based artist Daniel Richter has achieved a notable reputation, especially in Europe, for his abstract paintings of the last decade. In the last five years he has garnered a heightened level of critical attention with the emergence of his large-scale quasi-surrealist works for which he employs an expansive archive of found images that include reproductions of artworks, book covers, film stills, newspaper clippings, comics and record album covers. Daniel Richter: Pink Flag – White Horse presents an important selection of recent paintings which brings revisionist politics, history painting and the impact of violence and fear in popular culture in the media, into sharp focus.

Born in Germany in 1962, Richter has been included in numerous exhibitions, including recent shows at NBK - Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin; Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; and the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. This is Richter’s first museum exhibition in North America. Co-organized by Wayne Baerwaldt, Director; Kitty Scott, Curator of Contemporary Art, the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and Scott Watson, Director/Curator, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver. The exhibition is accompanied by a colour catalogue with an introduction by the curators, an artist interview, a text by Chicks on Speed, and documentation of recent paintings.

The public is invited to the free admission opening reception for these exhibitions on Friday, March 26, from 7 to 10 p.m.

Public Programmes offered to complement the exhibits include talks and tours by the artists, as well as Director’s and Curator's tour and The Power Plant’s continuing International Lecture Series which presents Wim Delvoye on Thursday March 25. From tattooed pigs to stained glass x-rays, from cathedrals to Cloaca, Delvoye challenges perceptions and addresses a number of cultural taboos with extravagant images and installations. Delvoye will discuss past and current projects. (7 p.m., Brigantine Room, 235 Queens Quay West, free to members. Non-members $15. Call 416-973-4000 to reserve.).

On Saturday March 27, The Power Plant's Artist's Talk features Daniel Richter with Edek Bartz. German painter Daniel Richter’s recent paintings distort images from popular culture and current events to highlight the visual field of electronic media as it copes with global-political communication and conflict. In an improvised dialogue with musical accompaniment, Richter and Vienna-based writer/curator Edek Bartz will discuss the painter’s worldview (2 p.m., Brigantine Room, free).

On Wednesday April 7 Power Plant Director Wayne Baerwaldt and curators Nancy Campbell and Xandra Eden will give walking Director's and Curators' Tours of the Wim Delvoye, Republic of Love and Daniel Richter exhibitions (6:30 p.m., The Power Plant, free). On Tuesday April 13, The Power Plant’s riveting prime time rumble at the Rivoli, Hubbub!, becomes an avant-variety show of creative people and crucial ideas. Inspired by Wim Delvoye and Daniel Richter, the theme is “Getting Wasted,” featuring York University professor Marcus Boon, on drugs and creativity. Music and video share the stage. (8 p.m., The Rivoli, 334 Queen St. W., free admission).

On Wednesday April 28, the Visiting Artist's Talk features London-based, Canadian artist Mark Lewis - who creates film installations that explore the pictorial possibilities of the moving image. In addition to a National Gallery of Canada solo exhibition in 2000, Lewis has participated in the 2002 Liverpool Biennial and the 2002 Gwangju Biennial. He will be exhibiting at Toronto's Monte Clark Gallery in May 2004 (7 p.m., The Power Plant, free admission).

On Wednesday May 5, The Power Plant will host a panel discussion entitled 21st Century Love. Love is a battlefield, a conundrum and an inspiration for many contemporary artists. Republic of Love artists Shary Boyle and Paul P, along with eye weekly columnist Sasha and University of Toronto art historian Alexander Nagel will contemplate relationships, love and desire in art and personal experience (7 p.m., The Power Plant, free admission).

p.o.v.: David Moos on Daniel Richter - on Sunday May 16 the newly appointed Curator of Contemporary Art for the Art Gallery of Ontario leads a point of view tour (2 p.m., The Power Plant, free with admission).

Last but not least, The Power Plant announces Power Ball 6. On Thursday June 3, the gallery opens its doors to host one of Toronto's most exciting fundraising parties with some of the city's hippest attendees. Call 416-973-4000 to reserve tickets.

The Power Plant is located at 231 Queens Quay West. Open Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. and Wednesday until 8 p.m. Admission is $4 ($2 students and seniors), children and members free. Admission is free on Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Exhibition tours, lasting about 20 minutes, are conducted by gallery staff every Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m. For information, the public can call 416-973-4949 or visit www.thepowerplant.org.

For information on Harbourfront Centre's visual arts exhibitions call 416-973-4000 or consult our Visual Arts webpage

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Media Contact: Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655,
shaneg@harbourfront.on.ca
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