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The Power Plant

Patrick Bernatchez Spends Time at the Power Plant



Stills from Chrysalide (detail) and Lost in Time (detail) by Patrick Bernatchez

JANUARY 30 TO MAY 15 The passage of time may be a fairly common theme in the creative arts, but Montreal’s Patrick Bernatchez gives the motif a distinctive twist. Time is an inextricable component of his multidisciplinary artistic practice; each series in his overall body of work is designed to show how his process and ideas—and in certain cases, subjects—evolve over the course of months and years. This is clear in the two work cycles comprising Bernatchez’s “Les Temps inachevés,” selections from which are now on display at The Power Plant. (A more comprehensive version of the exhibition just wrapped up at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal).

Chrysalides, for example, examines growth, transformation and decay in a trilogy of video works plus a sound-and-photography installation that focus on the Fashion Plaza, an industrial building that once housed the artist’s studio, but which has recently undergone gentrification. Even more thematically explicit is Lost in Time, which attempts to encompass time in all its dimensions—through a feature-length film, photographs, musical creations and a unique watch, whose single hand takes a millennium to complete a full rotation. Its title translated in English as “Unending Times,” the exhibition encompasses past, present and future—both conceptually and literally.  –Craig Moy

• The Power Plant, 231 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4949; thepowerplant.org
Map and reviews

The Power Plant’s Beat Nation Puts Aboriginal Identity on Display

The Power Plant Beat Nation Kent Monkman

Kent Monkman’s Dance to Miss Chief is but one of the works exploring urban First Nations culture at The Power Plant (photo: Kent Monkman/The Power Plant)

DECEMBER 15 TO MAY 5  Whether it’s tapped out with a hand drum or pulsing through a modern rap song, the enduring spirit of rhythm connects generations of Canadian indigenous culture. Beat Nation, the latest exhibition at The Power Plant explores this theme through everything from sculptures to video installations that link traditional Native values with the love many urban Aboriginal youth have for hip-hop culture. The result is an eclectic display that expresses how First Nations peoples across North America are adapting to prevailing trends while retaining their distinct identities.  —Anna Marszalek

>> The Power Plant, 231 Queens Quay W., 416-973-4949; thepowerplant.org
>> Map and reviews

Hot Art: Keep Time with Christian Marclay

A scene from Christian Marclay’s The Clock

SEPTEMBER 14 TO NOVEMBER 25  Set your watches for 5 p.m. on September 14. That’s when Swiss-American video artist Christian Marclay’s The Clock begins ticking at  The Power Plant. Composed of thousands of film scenes depicting every minute in a 24-hour period and synchronized to local time, the installation mines the minutiae of daily life from decades of cinema while time, undeterred, marches on—glimpsed variously on wristwatches, sundials, clock towers and other timepieces. For its opening 48 hours, the work is scheduled to screen in its entirety (following that, it will be on display during regular gallery hours), creating a viewing experience that is epic in scope yet surprisingly personal.

You Are Here: Harbourfront

The downtown stretch of Toronto’s lakeshore is a hotbed for cultural events and in-water activities. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: June 1 to 3

Friday: Whoopi Goldberg doles out both humour and sentiment

Friday, June 1
Swift-witted and ever the straight shooter, Whoopi Goldberg graces Toronto with her presence as part of the Unique Lives & Experiences lecture series. Be prepared to laugh and maybe cry—the hilarious and heartwarming comedienne, talk show host, actress and activist promises an entertaining night.

Get ready for a burst of theatrical ingenuity as the InspiraTO Festival tonight kicks off its seventh season with a set of 10-minute miniplays. On until June 10, the event offers a “vision” with productions grouped by the subjects of passion, alertness, mystery and new voices.

Don’t miss a new and exclusive display of carefully curated photographic works at Susan Hobbs Gallery. The exhibition, entitled Exposure, features works by top contemporary artists including Scott Lyall, Arnaud Maggs, Althea Thauberger and more. (more…)

Staff Picks: 10 Popular Public Art Galleries

The Art Gallery of Ontario features works by Michael Snow and many, many other artists

Become a part of Toronto’s hot art and culture scene by exploring these public art galleries, which are home to timeless masterpieces, contemporary creations, travelling exhibitions and everything in between. (more…)

Weekend Roundup: March 23 to 25

Friday: Tracy Morgan brings the funny

Friday, March 23
For one night only (tonight, obviously), Tracy Morgan brings his slightly off-base brand of comedy to the Sony Centre. Edgy laughs come fast and furious as the 30 Rock and former Saturday Night Live cast member presents his stand-up act as part of the Canadian International Comedy Festival.

Contemporary art gallery The Power Plant kicks off its 25th-anniversary celebrations tonight with the opening of two exhibitions, Kerry Tribe’s Speak, Memory, and Dissenting Histories: 25 Years of The Power Plant, the latter of which offers a retrospective of the gallery’s past quarter-century.

Legendary axeman John Hammond sings (and plays) the blues this evening in Toronto. After five decades on the road—he’s performed with everyone from Jimi Hendrix to Eric Clapton—and more than 30 albums under his belt, Hammond settles in at Hugh’s Room to play selections from his latest release, Rough and Tough. (more…)

Hot Art: Stan Douglas Shoots Period Pieces

Stan Douglas's Dancer II, 1950

DECEMBER 10 TO MARCH 4 We’re often told to examine the past in order to understand the present. Vancouver artist Stan Douglas takes this notion one step further. For his exhibition Entertainment: Selections from Midcentury Studio, he re-created a workspace using period equipment and hired actors to produce staged photographs representing a 1950s-era “every city.” On display at The Power Plant, these images—including a series depicting a fictional, historic nightclub—borrow from portraiture, photojournalism and even advertising to depict a culture of diversion and frivolity, buoyed by postwar optimism yet tempered by our own knowledge of what came next.


Weekend Roundup, December 9 to 11

Friday: Relive your Royal Conservatory days through Two Pianos Four Hands

Friday, December 9
Follow along with the melodies made by Ted Dykstra and Richard Greenblatt, the actor-musicians behind the hit comedy Two Pianos Four Hands, a hilarious and poignant story about two lives transformed by piano teachers, lessons and competitions. The show’s recently extended run continues at the Panasonic Theatre.

Listen to a Latin take on holiday music at Koerner Hall in A Salsa Christmas, performed by the Spanish Harlem Orchestra under the direction of world-renowned pianist, arranger and producer Oscar Hernández.

Get a first look at The Power Plant’s two new exhibitions at their free opening reception. The gallery’s winter exhibits showcase reflections on poignant moments in cultural history by Canadian Stan Douglas and an international collective of young artists.

There’s two more days of merriment after the jump!

Essential to Toronto: The Action’s at Harbourfront

Photo by Mark Bradshaw

Situated on the shores of Lake Ontario, Harbourfront Centre is a vibrant hub for family activities and cultural happenings. More than 4,000 events take place here annually, from contemporary theatre and music at the Enwave Theatre—including two performances by songstress Sarah Slean with the Art of Time Ensemble (May 24 and 25)—to visual arts exhibitions at The Power Plant, plus film screenings, readings and more. In warm weather, visitors can stroll the boardwalk, and children can take a spin on the artificial Natrel Kinder Rink year-round. After working up an appetite, enjoy a casual bite at Lakeside Eats restaurant or the World Café, which offers international cuisine throughout the summer. And don’t forget to stop by the Centre Shop for unique Canadian crafts and design products to take home with you.

Hot Art: Make Contact with Photography

Edward Burtynsky's Oil Refineries #3

May 1 TO 31 The world’s largest image event, the Scotiabank Contact Photography Festival, takes over Toronto with installations in public spaces like Brookfield Place and The Power Plant, as well as commercial galleries. Celebrating Marshall McLuhan’s monumental theory of “figure and ground,” this year’s showcase explores how all parts of an image—both the subject and the background—work together. Thousands of participating shutterbugs, including Fred Herzog and Alex McLeod, are on this year’s roster. Don’t miss Edward Burtynsky’s powerful series, Oil, including Oil Refineries #3, 1999, Oakville, Ontario, Canada, on display at the Royal Ontario Museum.

Hot Art: Hirschhorn’s Challenging Vision

MARCH 11 TO MAY 29 It may not make you angry, but provocative Swiss artist Thomas Hirschhorn’s installation The Eye will definitely have you seeing red. The sprawling work at The Power Plant curates an almost overwhelming array of objects and images—national flags, stuffed animals, blood-stained mannequins and much, much more—connected only by their shared primary hue. What lies at the (red) heart of this immersive display and its frenzy of loose associations? That’s up to the viewer to decide. As the artist has written: “The eye sees but the eye does not understand.”