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Turner Prize-winning artist Simon Starling launches Spring at The Power Plant
with a new commission and solo exhibition - March 1 to May 11, 2008

TORONTO, January 30, 2008 — Hot on the heels of Steven Shearer, one of the most critically acclaimed exhibitions in the gallery’s history, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre proudly announces its Spring 2008 exhibitions and public programs.

The Power Plant’s Spring 2008 program features a retrospective of British conceptual artist Simon Starling, the centerpiece of which is a newly commissioned work made for The Power Plant, part of The Power Plant’s Commissioning Program launched in 2006. Concurrently and in association with the 21st Images Festival, the gallery also features the installation Play Pause by American video artist Sadie Benning (a cofounder of the band Le Tigre), a work which The Village Voice cited as one the Top Ten Experimental Films of 2007. In tandem with the exhibitions and the newly commissioned work is a packed schedule of lectures, tours, films, forums, and special events.

The Power Plant's Spring program runs from March 1 to May 11, 2008. Exhibitions open with a free public reception on Friday, February 29, 2008 from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m.

A mollusk-infested remake of Henry Moore’s Warrior with Shield (1953-4) is the centrepiece of ‘Cuttings (Supplement)’, a major exhibition by Britain’s Simon Starling. The steel rendition of Moore’s sculpture was submerged in Lake Ontario for 18 months until overrun with zebra mussels. The startling result is Infestation Piece (Musselled Moore), a work that prompts viewers to reflect on cultural and environmental contamination, and on the reception of Henry Moore's work in Toronto.

“Starling’s new commission for The Power Plant references the close relationship between English sculptor Henry Moore and Toronto, which has one of the most significant collections of Moore’s sculpture in the world,” states Gregory Burke, Director of The Power Plant and curator of ‘Cuttings (Supplement)’. “Starling’s dialogue with Moore is both an engagement with an artistic legacy and an examination of larger social, cultural and environmental contexts” adds Burke.

Infestation Piece (Musselled Moore) anchors Starling’s exhibition, his largest show since winning the 2005 Turner Prize. ‘Cuttings (Supplement)’ features nine major works from 2002-07 that in different ways address the various ecologies – environmental, political, economic, cultural, and art historical – that Starling's works engage. Also included is Island for Weeds – Starling’s work from the Venice Biennale in 2003 when he represented Scotland – as well as Bird in Space, By Night, Nachbau, Autoxylopyrocycloboros, 24 hr Tangenziale, March 1969/To Indefinite Expansion, and Tabernas Desert Run.

Simon Starling (b. 1967 in Epsom, England) is a graduate of the Glasgow School of Art. He won the Turner Prize in 2005 and was shortlisted for the Hugo Boss Prize in 2004. Currently, he lives in Copenhagen and is Professor of Fine Arts at the Staedelschule, in Frankfurt. He has exhibited widely including the Bienal de Sao Paulo (2004) and the Busan Biennal (2006) and represented Scotland at the Venice Bienniale in 2003. In the past five years, Starling has also made solo exhibitions at Villa Arson (Nice, France), Dundee Contemporary Arts (Dundee, Scotland), Museum für Gegenwartskunst (Basel, Switzerland), and Museum of Contemporary Art (Sydney, Australia). Solo exhibitions in 2008 include MASS MoCA, Kunstraum Dernbirn, The Modern Institute, and Galleria Franco Noero.

The exhibition is curated by Director Gregory Burke. The commission was initiated by former curator at The Power Plant Reid Shier. The Power Plant gratefully acknowledges the generosity of the 2006 Founding Commissioners: Lonti Ebers & Bruce Flatt, Yvonne & David Fleck, The Latner Family, Phil Lind, Garnet & Evan Siddall.

The exhibition is accompanied by a new publication, Cuttings (Supplement), featuring essays by Tate Modern curator Mark Godfrey as well as Sarah Stanners, Shier and Burke.

‘Cuttings (Supplement)’ is proudly sponsored by Exclusive Presenting Sponsor BMO Financial Group and Supporting Donors Jay Smith and Laura Rapp.

“Thanks to the generosity of Presenting Sponsor BMO Financial Group and Supporting Donors Jay Smith and Laura Rapp we are thrilled to present this major international artist to the Canadian public,” states Burke. “Both BMO and Jay Smith and Laura Rapp have been long time supporters of The Power Plant and we truly thank them for continuing to support cutting edge arts and culture in Toronto and across Canada.”

Concurrently this spring, The Power Plant presents Play Pause by American artist Sadie Benning. Known for her intensely personal coming-of-age teenage works, this two-screen projected video installation, directed in collaboration with Solveig Nelson, comprises hundreds of drawings that weave in and out of public and private urban spaces in a post-9/11 world. The video spans a day-in-the-life of an anonymous American city and the search for everyday pleasures and play by its gender-bending cast of characters.

Play Pause premiered at the Wexner Art Center and screened at DIA, New York, prompting its inclusion in The Village Voice’s Top Ten Experimental Films of 2007.

Sadie Benning (b. 1973 in Madison, Wisconsin) started making films at age fifteen with a Fisher-Price Pixelvision camera. In 1993 those works appeared in the Whitney Biennial. In addition to her film and video practice, she is a former member/co-founder of the band Le Tigre.

Play Pause is programmed by and presented in conjunction with the 21st Images Festival, April 3-12, 2008. For more information please visit www.imagesfestival.com

Public programs this Spring elaborate upon the exhibitions’ themes. A lecture by Mark Godfrey, Curator at the Tate Modern in London, kicks off the programming schedule (Thursday, February 28, 7 p.m.). The Forum Moore, Mussels, and Modernism(Saturday, March 1, 4 p.m.) focuses on Starling’s work. Simon Starling joins the Director of The Power Plant, Gregory Burke, the curator who initiated his commission, Reid Shier, and art historians Mark Cheetham and Sarah Stanners.

An evening of Sadie Benning’s films (Wednesday, March 19, 7 p.m.) is presented, ranging from early diaristic shorts made with a Pixelvision toy camera to her featurette, Flat is Beautiful. As part of the 21st Images Festival, Sadie Benning discusses her work in conversation at Harbourfront Centre (Saturday, 12 April 12, 5 p.m.).

Also this Spring, we present an acclaimed documentary profiling Inuit artist and Sobey Award winner Annie Pootoogook, introduced by filmmaker Marcia Connolly and producer Katherine Knight(Thursday, March 6, 7 p.m.).

Our International Lecture Series features Berlin-based South African artist Candice Breitz(Thursday, May 1, 7 p.m.). Well-known for her darkly humorous video and photographic installations that dissect the power of social and racial stereotypes, Breitz is creating an ambitious new Power Plant commission in 2009.

For more information on exhibitions and all Public Programs, the public can call
416-973-4949 or visit www.thepowerplant.org.

The Spring Exhibition Openings are held at The Power Plant, Harbourfront Centre, 231 Queens Quay West, Friday, February 29, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. Admission to the reception is FREE and open to the public.

Regular Gallery Admission: $5 Adults, $3 Students/Seniors, FREE to Members, FREE to all Wednesday evenings 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre is located at 231 Queens Quay West, Toronto. Gallery Hours are Tuesday to Sunday 12 – 6 p.m., Wednesday 12 – 8 p.m. Closed Mondays (Open Holiday Mondays 12 – 6 p.m.).


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Media Contacts:

Shane Gerard
Publicist
Harbourfront Centre
416-973-4518
sgerard@harbourfrontcentre.com

Tony Hewer
Development & Marketing Coordinator
The Power Plant
416-973-4927
thewer@harbourfrontcentre.com
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