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The Power Plant at Harbourfront Centre launches three Canadian premiere exhibitions beginning March 25 through May 28, 2006. The Power Plant feaures the exclusive North American exhibition of The Welfare Show by internationally lauded Scandinavian artists Michael Elmgreen (Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (Norway). This will also be their first Canadian show. Also premiering in Canada is acclaimed Toronto artist Shary Boyle's Lace Figuresseries of striking and macabre porcelain statues as well as the Canadian debut of UK artist Simon Martin's poetic film Wednesday Afternoon.

All three exhibitions run from March 25 through May 28, 2006. A free admission public opening reception will be held at The Power Plant on Friday, March 31, from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Please find individual exhibition releases below:

The Power Plant is located at 231 Queens Quay West, Toronto. Open Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. and Wednesday until 8 p.m. (free on Wednesdays after 5 p.m.). Admission is $4 ($2 students and seniors), children and members free. For exhibition and tour information, the public can call 416-973-4949 or visit www.thepowerplant.org

Hi-resolution jpegs available upon request. For artist and curator interviews please contact Shane Gerard.

Media Contact: Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655 or sgerard@harbourfrontcentre.com

The Power Plant contemporary art gallery at Harbourfront Centre
presents the exclusive North American exhibition of The Welfare Show
by Michael Elmgreen (Denmark) and Ingar Dragset (Norway)
Opening March 25 through May 28, 2006

Internationally lauded Scandinavian artists Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset bring their much-anticipated The Welfare Show to The Power Plant at Harbourfront Centre for an exclusive North American exhibition. The Welfare Show is Elmgreen and Dragset’s first exhibition in Canada, and is comprised of a number of sculptures and installations that obliquely and theatrically examine systems of welfare in the West, the changing nature of social responsibility and the roles of government toward its citizenry.

This thematic exhibition combines new and older work by Elmgreen and Dragset, and includes a site-specific installation. The Welfare Show intends to stimulate and provoke discussion and debate, and the artists invite visitors to consider a variety of power structures across a range of areas including; health care, poverty, immigration, travel, prostitution, the police state and the role art plays in society. The exhibition is accompanied by an extensive encyclopedia style catalogue that includes writings from Norway, Austria and Canada. This exhibition is the unique result of an ongoing four-way international curatorial collaboration taking place over the last two years. The Welfare Show is initiated by the Bergen Kunsthall (Norway) in collaboration with The Power Plant, the Bawag Foundation (Vienna), and London's Serpentine Gallery.

Based in Berlin, Elmgreen & Dragset have collaborated since 1995, producing highly theatrical sculptures, installations and performance works that consistently and cleverly provoke a reconsideration of power structures and public spaces. In a recent project the artists created Prada Marfa (2005), a permanent site-specific outdoor project situated in the West Texas desert. Here, in a desolate location between El Paso and Marfa, on the side of a lonely highway, the pair erected a store in precise mimicry of one of Prada’s signature shops, perfectly detailed save that it has no entrance or exit. The ‘shop’ is stocked with Miuccia Prada’s fall 2005 fashion accessories, including shoes and handbags, and then completely abandoned to slowly decay.

Elmgreen and Dragset create sculptures and installations that challenge conventional notions of institutions and public spaces within contemporary society. Since 1997, their Powerless Structures series of works have investigated how sites such as prisons, social security offices, hospitals, museums, galleries and parks exercise social control. Site-specific works are created to address each international gallery venue that The Welfare Show travels to. In Toronto, Elmgreen and Dragset have temporarily co-opted The Power Plant’s signature smokestack to read ‘The Powerless". This dryly humorous adaptation of The Power Plant’s iconic white lettering simultaneously pokes fun at the gallery’s reputation as Canada’s pre-eminent contemporary art gallery, while probing larger notions of power and public space.

On Thursday March 30 (7 p.m.), as part of the International Lecture Series, Elmgreen and Dragset will be in person in Toronto to discuss their artistic strategies and the provocative social commentary behind The Welfare Show (Studio Theatre, 235 Queens Quay West, Free to members, Non-members $15, call 416-973-4000 to purchase tickets).

Elmgreen (b. 1961, Denmark) and Dragset (b. 1969, Norway) live and work in Berlin. Their work has been included in numerous exhibitions internationally, including the Untitled series at Tate Modern in 2003 and Utopia Station at the 50th Venice Biennale in 2003. They were nominated in 2000 for the Hugo Boss Prize and received Germany’s biggest art prize, Preis der Nationalgalerie für Junge Kunst, in 2002. They are represented by Klosterfelde Gallery, Berlin, Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen, and Galleria Massimo de Carlo, Milan.

More artist information at: http://www.klosterfelde.de/sites/artists/elm-drag/ar_f.html

The Power Plant is located at 231 Queens Quay West, Toronto. Open Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. and Wednesday until 8 p.m. (free on Wednesdays after 5 p.m.). Admission is $4 ($2 students and seniors), children and members free. For exhibition and tour information, the public can call 416-973-4949 or visit www.thepowerplant.org

Hi-resolution jpegs available upon request. For artist and curator interviews please contact Shane Gerard.

Media Contact: Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655 or sgerard@harbourfrontcentre.com


The Power Plant at Harbourfront Centre presents Lace Figures
the premiere exhibition of a striking series of Porcelain statues
by Toronto artist Shary Boyle (opening March 25 to May 28, 2006)

The Power Plant at Harbourfront Centre premieres an ambitious series of unique porcelain works by Toronto artist Shary Boyle that explore her ongoing fascination with repressed undercurrents in mythology and fairy tales. The exhibition Lace Figures assembles a collection of small, extravagantly detailed statues that the artist has created over the past two years in conjunction with her education in the craft of fine porcelain lace-draping.

This arcane and delicate technique for adorning porcelain figures has been reimagined in Boyle’s hands, and acts as a startling foil for the inherent violence of her subject matter. Her creations - which are adorned in beautiful ball gowns and elaborate dresses - grow extra appendages, carry disembodied heads in their hands, and bear the marks of fantastic physical transformations. In one work a woman sprouts six arms and numerous, spider like eyes. In another a figure carries her dismembered hands in a basket on her arm. Together, the figures evoke a macabre and hallucinatory universe.

Boyle stresses that, “In the 18th century economics of Europe, porcelain was an exclusively white, masculine domain of artisans and monarchies, with a product produced for the privileged upper class.” The nature of the craft shifted in the twentieth century. Where porcelain had historically acted as a signifier and symbol of male prestige, power and taste; contemporary china painting and porcelain decoration is now almost exclusively practiced in North America by middle-class female hobby-craft enthusiasts. Boyle works closely with these women through an intricate network of grassroots clubs and basement studios, often employing individual molds hobbyists have made for their own figurines in tandem with adaptations of their craft techniques. Boyle states of this unique social milieu, the “performative experience of creating relationships with elderly strangers, while introducing and exchanging creative ideas between cultures and generations is a crucial aspect of my project.”

On Sunday May 14 (2 p.m.) Shary Boyle will discuss her solo exhibition at The Power Plant, and specifically her interest in porcelain figures and lace-draping (The Power Plant, free with admission).

Shary Boyle (b.1972) graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design in 1994. In 2006 she will have a solo exhibition in Toronto at Jessica Bradley Art Projects and has recently exhibited her work at the Or Gallery, Vancouver (2004) and Gallery F52 in Montreal (2004). Her work has been included in the group exhibitions Drawing Restraint at S.A.W. Gallery, Ottawa (2006); Alternative Girlhood: Diaristic Indulgence and Contemporary Female Artists, State University of New York, Tower Fine Arts, New York (2006) and Republic of Love, The Power Plant (2004). She has also staged live drawing performances around the world (in collaboration with musicians such as Feist) - in Spain, Finland, France and Canada.

More artist information at: http://www.sharyboyle.com/sculpture01.htm

The Power Plant is located at 231 Queens Quay West, Toronto. Open Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. and Wednesday until 8 p.m. (free on Wednesdays after 5 p.m.). Admission is $4 ($2 students and seniors), children and members free. For exhibition and tour information, the public can call 416-973-4949 or visit www.thepowerplant.org

Hi-Resolution Jpegs available upon request. For artist and curator interviews please contact Shane Gerard.

Media Contact: Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655 or sgerard@harbourfrontcentre.com


The Power Plant at Harbourfront Centre
presents the Canadian debut of Wednesday Afternoon
a film by British artist Simon Martin
Opening March 25 through May 28, 2006

The Power Plant at Harbourfront Centre presents the Canadian debut of Simon Martin's (UK)Wednesday Afternoon. This poetic film follows an anonymous narrator who gives an account of his days spent wandering through London's museums. The film posits a subjective enquiry into how we spend time and how we value that experience. As the narrator states, "What I want to do is capture the magic of looking at people and things. I want to do this without disrupting what is there or altering anything that might happen... suspending conclusions and resolutions, keeping things open, somehow remaining critical." Juxtaposing the figure of the flaneur with the theatre and abundance of the museum, Wednesday Afternoon is a profound meditation on the acts of looking, thinking, and passing time.

On Sunday April 2 (2 p.m.) Simon Martin will be in Toronto to discuss his film (The Power Plant, free with admission).

Simon Martin (b.1965, Cheshire, England) lives and works in London, England. Recent solo exhibitions include London's Counter Gallery (2005 and 2003) and New York's White Columns (2005). Wednesday Afternoon was recently exhibited at CCA Glasgow and at the Argos Film Festival Belgium and will be shown in the Tate Triennial (Tate Britain, London) in March 2006. More artist information at:
http://www.tate.org.uk/britain/exhibitions/triennial/artists/smartin.htm

The Power Plant is located at 231 Queens Quay West, Toronto. Open Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. and Wednesday until 8 p.m. (free on Wednesdays after 5 p.m.). Admission is $4 ($2 students and seniors), children and members free. For exhibition and tour information, the public can call 416-973-4949 or visit www.thepowerplant.org

Jpegs available upon request. For artist and curator interviews please contact Shane Gerard.

Media Contact: Shane Gerard, 416-973-4655 or sgerard@harbourfrontcentre.com

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