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The Power Plant launches the new exhibition ‘Universal Code’ and the All Summer, All Free program with the annual Summer Party on Thursday, 11 June, 2009


Toronto, 4 June 2009 – The Power Plant ignites its ALL SUMMER ALL FREE season with an opening summer party for one of its most ambitious exhibitions. ‘Universal Code’ is a group exhibition featuring 22 artists from around the world, and it will officially open to the public with an outdoor summer party on Thursday, 11 June, 2009, from 8 to 11 PM.

On the water and under the stars, the opening party will begin at 8 PM where guests will enjoy music by DJ Berny from Superfly Entertainment. Sure to be the highlight of this celebration is a sculpture made from fireworks produced especially for the occasion by renowned Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans. Commissioned by The Power Plant this spectacular work will be ignited at 10 PM. The fireworks performance will feature a text taken from seventeenth-century German astronomer and physicist Johannes Kepler’s ground breaking book Harmonia Mundi (Music of the spheres), which related the nature of the universe to harmonics.

Gregory Burke, Director of The Power Plant and curator of the ‘Universal Code’ exhibition says: “Evans is one of the world’s leading artists and has an enduring interest in astronomy, codes, poetry and philosophy. I knew of his interest in Kepler and I am thrilled that he agreed to make this new firework piece related to the famous astronomer. What better way to launch an exhibition about the universe.”

The work of Cerith Wyn Evans has been described as both minimalist and psychedelic. He began his career as an experimental filmmaker and an assistant to Derek Jarman, but since these early beginnings, he has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions internationally, including representing Wales at the Venice Biennale (1995 and 2003). The artist’s work has incorporated many mediums to explosive effect. In his Firework pieces, for example, and on opening night, he will ignite a wooden structure that will burn to spell out open-ended texts, illuminating the night sky.

After the party, the entire weekend will feature participating artists and special guests who will engage in discussion and stage performances, all related to the exhibition. The Power Plant is delighted to have these artists in Toronto to celebrate the opening and to make important contributions to an already rich series of programming that will continue throughout the summer. Because ‘Universal Code’ combines the work of both Canadian and international artists who are all drawing inspiration from the cosmos in innovative, individual ways using many different mediums, the exhibition presents an outstanding platform for sharing ideas on related developments in contemporary culture. On Saturday, 13 June at 6 PM, British artist Katie Paterson and French artist Tania Mouraud will both present lectures, after which Mouraud will perform a musical composition and Paterson will play her Lost Notes from the Moonlight Sonata. Swedish artist Henrick Håkansson will also give a short presentation of his work. The opening weekend concludes on Sunday, 14 June at 3 PM with a forum entitled ‘The Lawful Universe?,’ when Paterson will be present with Sean Gryb and Lee Smolin, both of the Perimeter Institute, to discuss contemporary thinking about the nature of time. The Power Plant is pleased to host this significant forum. The Perimeter Institute was founded by Mike Lazaridis, founder and Co-CEO of Research In Motion (RIM)—maker of the successful BlackBerry™. It is a world-class organization devoted to theoretical physics, which aims to help foster research and innovation in Canada.

A diverse range of related programming is scheduled to continue all summer until the close of the show on Sunday, 30 August. Everything from Friday night gallery walk-throughs, Sunday Scene tours, a lakeside listening lounge on Saturdays with music by contemporary artists, a stargazing party, and three featured films are offered to appeal to a diverse audience. An extended listing of programs is attached, and the gallery is open later in the summer so visitors can enjoy all events. The Power Plant is pleased to announce that it will be offering free gallery admission all summer through its ALL SUMMER, ALL FREE program, thanks to the support of the Hal Jackman Foundation and Media Partner NOW Magazine.

The exhibition ‘Universal Code’ has been generously supported by Lead Donors Nancy McCain & Bill Morneau, Support Donors Elisa Nuyten & David Dime, Laura Rapp & Jay Smith and Garnet & Evan Siddall, and Cultural Agency Supporter le Consulat Général de France à Toronto. The Power Plant is extremely thankful for their integral support.

Some artists, including Henrik Håkansson, Tania Mouraud, and Katie Paterson, will be available for an interview from 10 June – 12 June.

Curator of the exhibition, Director Gregory Burke, is available for an interview upon request.

For more information on exhibitions and all public programs, call 416-973-4949 or visit

The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery at Harbourfront Centre
231 Queens Quay West, Toronto

Admission: ALL SUMMER, ALL FREE thanks to the support of the Hal Jackman Foundation and Media Partner NOW Magazine

NEW Extended Summer Gallery Hours:
Tuesday to Sunday 12 – 6 PM
Friday, Saturday 12 – 8 PM
Closed Mondays (Open Holiday Mondays 12 – 6 PM)


LIVE / Cerith Wyn Evans
Thursday, 11 June / 10 PM / FREE
The Power Plant

Join us on opening night for the lighting of a firework text by Welsh artist Cerith Wyn Evans, especially commissioned by The Power Plant.

LECTURE / Katie Paterson and Tania Mouraud
Saturday, 13 June / 6 PM / $4 Members, $6 Non-Members
Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre

This special event includes talks by British artist Katie Paterson and French artist Tania Mouraud, followed by a musical composition by Mouraud and a performance by Paterson of her Lost Notes from the Moonlight Sonata.

FORUM / The Lawful Universe?
Sunday, 14 June / 3 PM / $4 Members, $6 Non-Members
Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre

In this engaging discussion, physicists and artists consider contemporary thinking about the nature of time. Featuring Sean Gryb and Lee Smolin of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo, along with Katie Paterson, a British artist included in ‘Universal Code.’ Moderated by Misha Glouberman.

FILM / The End Out of the Present
Tuesday, 30 June / 7 PM / $4 Members, $6 Non-Members
Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre

Andrei Ujica’s cult classic Out of the Present (Germany/Russia, 1995, 96 min) will be paired with Turner Prize-winning British artist Mark Wallinger’s 2006 short 35mm film The End.

FILM / The Otolith Group
Wednesday, 29 July / 7 PM / $4 Members, $6 Non-Members
Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre

We present the first two installments of The Otolith Group’s acclaimed, in-progress video trilogy in conjunction with ‘Universal Code.’

Co-presented with the South Asian Visual Arts Centre (SAVAC) and in collaboration with the Images Festival.

FORUM LIVE / The Other Night Sky
Thursday, 13 August / 8 PM Talk, 9:30 PM Stargazing Party / $6 Members, $9 Non-Members
The Power Plant

This not-to-be-missed event includes a talk with renowned artist Trevor Paglen, joined in conversation by Ted Molczan, one of the world’s leading amateur satellite observers. Following the talk, Molczan and Paglen lead a Stargazing Party by the lakefront, where participants will be invited to observe classified satellites gliding through the evening sky over Toronto.

FILM / Sima Urale
Tuesday, 18 August / 7 PM / $4 Members, $6 Non-Members
Studio Theatre, Harbourfront Centre

Join us for an evening of films by Samoan—New Zealand director Sima Urale. Titles include O Tamaiti (1996, 35mm, 15 min.), Velvet Dreams (1997, video, 47 min.) and Still Life (2001, 35mm, 11 min.).

Presented as part of Planet IndigenUs

Sunday, 23 August / 2–5 PM / FREE for children ages 5–10 and their adult companions
The Power Plant

Enjoy hands-on artmaking projects, interactive gallery tours and discussions about the galaxy,
all inspired by the exhibition ‘Universal Code.’

14 June to 30 August / 2 PM / FREE

Every Sunday speakers from the world of art and beyond offer their responses to the current exhibitions.

14 June / d’bi.young anitafrika & Melissa D’Agostino

21 June / Sally McKay

28 June / Dan Falk

5 July / John Oswald

12 July / Peter Mettler

19 July / Katie Kehoe & Xenia Benivolski

26 July / Kathleen Pirrie Adams

2 August / Sarah Robayo Sheridan

9 August / Katherine Pill & Stacy Ernst

16 August / Jon Davies

23 August / Ivan Semeniuk

30 August / Willy Le Maitre

13 June to 29 August / 2-8 PM / FREE

Relax at The Power Plant’s lakeside listening lounge and enjoy eclectic music selected by contemporary artists every Saturday throughout the summer exhibition.

13 June 20 June / Emily Roysdon

27 June 11 July / Mark Laliberte

18 July 25 July / Geoffrey Farmer

8 August 15 August / Tyler Clark Burke

22 August 29 August / Tim Lee

6–8 PM / FREE

The first Saturday evenings of July and August, come out to our lakeside terrace to hear a live set by a local DJ.

4 July / Matt Smith

1 August / Alex Snukal


Media Contacts:
Robin Boyko, Marketing and Communications Coordinator, The Power Plant

Linda Liontis, Media Relations, Harbourfront Centre
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