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The Power Plant presents The Bastard Word: a major solo exhibition for UK-based artist Fiona Banner, and Yael Bartana: Ritual, both opening March 3, 2007

TORONTO, February 8, 2007. The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre is excited to announce its spring exhibitions.

Following on the fantastic success of the Winter Exhibitions We Can Do This Now, Carlos Amorales: Useless Wonder and Aleksandra Mir: Organized Movement – A Video Diary, The Power Plant is excited to announce the Spring Exhibitions. Opening March 3, 2007 are The Bastard Word, a major solo exhibition for UK-based artist Fiona Banner, and Ritual, featuring several films from Amsterdam-based Israeli artist Yael Bartana. Both exhibitions will continue from March 3 to April 22, 2007.

Fiona Banner is a leading mid-career artist and sculptor from London and a former nominee for the Turner Prize. Banner’s project and exhibition at The Power Plant, The Bastard Word, focuses on recent work taking the form of large and small sculptures, installations, films and drawings. Much of this work is being made for The Power Plant and represents some of the most adventurous work of her career.

The exhibition is being curated by Gregory Burke, Director of The Power Plant, who states: “This exhibition is one of the most ambitious yet staged by Banner and the exhibition is consistent with our aims of presenting work by leading international artists in depth and of facilitating the production of new work.”

The Bastard Word features Parade, a collection of models of all the world’s fighter planes, a new work that consists of a frieze of the alphabet hand modeled in neon by Banner and a set of alphabet drawings formed out of the parts of war planes. Banner will exhibit two films and also produce a number of site specific wall drawings for the exhibition, further works in her Nude series.

A centerpiece of the show will be a work executed on the main wing of a Tornado fighter jet, Banner’s largest sculpture to date, which stands on its end at a monumental 18 feet high.

Another major feature of the exhibition is a LIVE performance by Banner, where the artist will produce a new work in the Nude series live before an audience. The resulting work will be both documented as a performance and shown as a drawing in the exhibition.

The Power Plant will also collaborate with Banner to produce an accessible publication documenting the exhibition. This publication will feature many images and essays by curator Gregory Burke and Cay-Sophie Rabinowitz, a leading American art writer and the US Editor of renowned art magazine Parkett. The intention is to make the publication available to as wide an audience as possible.

Fiona Banner: The Bastard Word is generously supported by lead donors Yvonne & David Fleck, Guy Knowles, Phil Lind, Liza Mauer & Andrew Sheiner, Nancy McCain & William Morneau. Significant support has also been provided by The British Council.

“I commend these supporters who have enabled us to transport very substantial sculptural works to Canada and provide this rare opportunity for our audiences,” said Burke.

Fiona Banner is represented by Frith Street Gallery, London; Galerie Barbara Thumm, Berlin; Tracy Williams Ltd., New York; 1301PE, Los Angeles.

Also opening March 3, 2007, is Ritual, featuring films by Amsterdam-based Israeli artist Yael Bartana. Capturing the friction between public and private, the four short films in this exhibition share questions about the military’s pervasive presence, group behaviour amidst political uncertainly, and the conquest, settlement and defence of the land.

The film and video work of Israeli artist Yael Bartana addresses her relationship to her homeland and the complex interaction between the individual and society. Bartana is interested in how individuals behave within a collective and how they can exist within a belief system without compromising their own. Adopting the role of observer or ethnographer, the artist investigates the militarization and socio-political dynamics of her home country in her quest to document Israel’s national and cultural identity especially as reflected in its rituals and representations. According to the artist, “Personal, intimate reactions have the potential to provoke honest responses and perhaps replace the predictable, controlled reactions encouraged by the state.” While the themes in her work often relates to the Israeli context, they also have universal importance.

Yael Bartana: Ritual is presented in conjunction with the 20th Annual Images Festival, April 5-14, 2007. For more information please visit

Fiona Banner: The Bastard Word and Yael Bartana: Ritual launch with an Opening Reception held at The Power Plant at Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay West, on Friday, March2, from 7 to 11 p.m. Admission to the reception is free and open to the public.

The Power Plant would like to thank media partner NOW Magazine.

A separate media release will follow with details of the exhibitions and associated public programmes.

The Power Plant at Harbourfront Centre, is located at 231 Queens Quay West. Gallery Hours are Tuesday to Sunday 12-6 p.m., Wednesday 12-8 p.m. Closed Monday. Open holiday Mondays. Admission is Free to Members, $5 adults, $3 students/seniors.

For information on public programmes, the public can call 416-973-4949 or visit

Media Contact:
Cary Mignault
416- 973-4655


DESIRE: Our Lens. Your View.
Harbourfront Centre questions all that you desire. Every act of creation begins with a desire. But is desire by its very nature unattainable? Are you careful what you wish for? If it feels right, is it wrong? Through May 2007, Harbourfront Centre invites you to satisfy your cultural cravings. Immerse yourself in the sometimes bitter-sweet nostalgia of memories, kindled by the exhibition Objects of Longing; play the voyeur as love becomes obsession in the dance work…it’s only a rehearsal in Norway’s zero visibility corp.; or plunge into the void between truth and fiction in Hume Baugh’s play, The Girl in the Picture Tries to Hang Up the Phone—these are just some of the many facets of desire we are offering in the coming months. DESIRE is part of an ongoing focus on ideas in programming at Harbourfront Centre.

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery
at Harbourfront Centre
231 Queens Quay West
Toronto, ON Canada M5J 2G8
416.973.4949 //

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