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Navigate your way through an uncertain world with help from The Power Plant’s Winter exhibitions - ‘If We Can’t Get It Together’, an international group exhibition curated by Nina Möntmann, the North American debut of Goldin Senneby, and a new installation by Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby.

TORONTO, December 4, 2008 – Following a challenging and thought-provoking Fall season, where visitors explored Scott Lyall’s newly-commissioned work ‘The Color Ball’ in addition to exhibitions by Harrell Fletcher and Manon de Boer, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre proudly announces its Winter 2008/2009 exhibitions and public programs running from December 13, 2008 through February 22, 2009.

The Winter 2008/2009 season at The Power Plant is about the uncertain conditions in our present world. Identities, communities, modes of communication, and economic systems are in a process of near-constant change, and the three exhibitions offer us a way to make sense of that change. All Winter exhibitions open with a free public reception on Friday December 12, 2008 from 7:30 PM to 11 PM.

If We Can’t Get It Together’ is a major group show featuring eight artists from around the world which addresses the concept of community, and shows how contemporary artists are rethinking and reshaping definitions of “communal” and “public”. The exhibition features an eclectic diversity of voices – both in terms of the range of media (film/video, sculpture, installation, photography, and ephemera) – and the geography of the featured artists (from Mumbai, Berlin, Cairo, Stockholm, Toronto, and beyond). Artists include Shaina Anand, Egle Budvytyte, Kajsa Dahlberg, Hadley Maxwell, Luis Jacob, Hassan Khan, Emily Roysdon and Haegue Yang.

If We Can’t Get It Together’ is also significant in that has provided The Power Plant with the opportunity to bring in an external, international perspective. Guest curator Nina Möntmann is a correspondent for Artforum magazine, and has curated major international exhibitions including the Pavilion of the Republic of Armenia at the 2007 Venice Biennale. Her international experience will certainly be an asset for the gallery in our presentation of ‘If We Can’t Get It Together’.

Meanwhile, Stockholm-based artists Goldin Senneby present ‘Headless’, a major solo exhibition that is also their North American debut. In ‘Headless’ the artists investigate a mysterious off-shore corporation named Headless Ltd. – a timely project, as the confidential activities of corporations are being traced and investigated in the wake of collapsed world markets and global economic instability.

As a global financial crisis looms, ‘Headless’ is exceedingly relevant. There is considerable confusion and unrest about the financial crisis, and much of that unrest comes from the fact that the crisis seems intangible, without an immediate, identifiable cause. Headless Ltd. embodies this lack of identity – it is a corporation that operates off-shore, its activities shrouded in secrecy and without any apparent connection to people, places or things. In ‘Headless’, Goldin Senneby don’t explicitly aim to educate their audience. In fact, given its complex, interconnected components, the exhibition raises more questions than it answers. However, it is perhaps in these mysterious, open-ended questions that the audience can find a means of making sense of the current global financial crisis.

Finally, Syracuse-based Canadian duo Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby combine ditties, stories, cartoons, scavenged video footage, taxidermic animals and other sculptural elements in a new installation entitled ‘Beauty Plus Pity’. The exhibition investigates the perverse ethical, emotional and existential relationships among adults, children, animals and God. Their work has been exhibited internationally including at the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis and The Renaissance Society, Chicago, and nationally at the Vancouver Art Gallery. This new work, presented alongside some of the most cutting-edge international artists working today, certainly cements Duke and Battersby as leading Canadian artists whose profile will only grow further in the future.

A dynamic group of public programs is also a feature of the Winter 2008/2009 season. Key among them is a major international symposium entitled ‘We, Ourselves and Us’. Running from January 23-24, 2009, the symposium considers some of the core themes of the exhibition ‘If We Can’t Get It Together’. ‘We, Ourselves and Us’ is presented with the support of Public, an academic journal published at York University. In 2009, a special issue of Public, based on the themes of ‘We, Ourselves and Us’, will be edited by Nina Möntmann, the guest curator of ‘If We Can’t Get It Together’.

Winter 2008/2009 is also a season for new partnerships at The Power Plant. ‘If We Can’t Get It Together’ is presented in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut, Toronto. Additionally, The Power Plant welcomes The W. Garfield Weston Foundation as our Winter 2008/2009 Lecture Series Lead Donor. Their support allows the gallery to bring in a diverse group of thought-provoking speakers from around the world, including philosopher Simon Critchley, who will deliver the keynote lecture for ‘We, Ourselves and Us’, and Dan Cameron, Curator of ‘Prospect.1 New Orleans’, who will be presenting at our International Lecture Series.

Primary Education Sponsor: CIBC Wood Gundy.

Winter 2008/2009 Lecture Series Lead Donor: The W. Garfield Weston Foundation.

Winter 2008/2009 Public Programming:

SPECIAL EVENT CURATOR AND ARTISTS’ TOUR NINA MÖNTMANN AND HADLEY MAXWELL
Saturday, December 13, 5 PM - FREE with gallery admission, The Power Plant
Hamburg- and Stockholm-based curator Nina Möntmann along with Vancouver and Berlin-based artists Hadley Maxwell lead a walk-through of the exhibition ‘If We Can’t Get It Together’.

LECTURE / GOLDIN SENNEBY
Angus Cameron, Spokesperson
Saturday, December 13, 6 PM - FREE with gallery admission, The Power Plant
Angus Cameron lectures in Human Geography at the University of Leicester (UK). His research centres on the dynamic and dialectic relations between state, economy and civil society, and the complex, overlapping spatialities of social, political, economic, and cultural life.

FORUM / WHY LOOK AT ANIMALS?
Monday, January 19, 7 PM - $4 Members, $6 Non-Members, The Power Plant
Artists and scholars discuss the figure of the animal in contemporary art, culture and politics.
Featuring:
Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby, artists currently showing at The Power Plant
Matthew Brower, Curator of the University of Toronto Art Centre
Bill Burns, Toronto-based artist responsible for the Safety Gear for Small Animals project.
Moderator Jon Davies, Assistant Curator of Public Programs at The Power Plant

MAJOR INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM / WE, OURSELVES AND US

Keynote Lecture: Friday January 23, 7 PM - The Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre
Simon Critchley, ‘Mystical Anarchism’ – moderated by Ian Balfour

Symposium: Saturday January 24, 10 AM–6 PM
The Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre
Featuring:
Nina Möntmann, Emily Roysdon, Luis Jacob, Carlos Basualdo and others
A series of two-person presentations followed by discussion
Concluded by a screening of Nicoline Van Harskamp’s To Live Outside the Law You Must be Honest (2005-6)
Full Program - $25 Members & Students, $35 Non-Members
Saturday Only - $20 Members & Students, $30 Non-Members
Friday Only - $8 Members & Students, $10 Non-Members

Taking its cue from ‘If We Can’t Get It Together’ this symposium traces the creation of temporary social formations. Organized by The Power Plant in association with the journal Public and with the collaboration of the Goethe Institut, Toronto. A special issue of Public arising from the exhibition and symposium and edited by Nina Möntmann will be published in 2009.

INTERNATIONAL LECTURE SERIES / DAN CAMERON
Saturday, January 31, 4 PM - FREE to Members, $10 Non-Members -Brigantine Room, Harbourfront Centre
Dan Cameron is Visual Arts Director at the New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center, and Curator of the inaugural Biennial ‘Prospect.1 New Orleans

FILM / TOGETHER, ALONE
Wednesday, February 11, 7 PM - $4 Members, $6 Non-Members - The Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre
Recent film and video works by international artists illustrate how the new social forms and ways of understanding “community” explored in the exhibition ‘If We Can’t Get It Together’ have evolved into radical forms of communication and representation.
Featuring:
Liew Seng Tat’s Matahari (The Sun), 2007
Emily Roysdon’s Social Movement, 2005
Ulla von Brandenburg’s Around, 2005
Victor Alimpiev’s Sweet Nightingale
Jani Ruscica’s Batbox/Beatbox, 2007
Eric Beveraggi & Charles Bédué’s Waltz on Thin Air, 2008

SUNDAY SCENE/
December 14 to February 22, 2 PM - FREE with gallery admission
Every Sunday speakers from the world of art and beyond offer their responses to the current exhibitions.

December 14 / Kajsa Dahlberg
December 21 / Rinaldo Walcott
December 28 / Tess Takahashi
January 4 / John Greyson
January 11 / Shawn Micallef
January 18 / FASTWÜRMS
January 25 / Gregory Burke
February 1 / Haema Sivanesan
February 8 / Izida Zorde
February 15 / York Lethbridge
February 22 / Tamara Toledo

For information on exhibitions and all public programs, call 416-973-4949 or visit www.thepowerplant.org.

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

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre, 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.). Holiday Hours: Closed December 25-26 2008, January 1 2009

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Media Contacts:

Darryl Bank
Interim Marketing and Development Coordinator
The Power Plant
416- 973-4927
dbank@harbourfrontcentre.com

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