The Power Plant opens its Fall 2023 season with solo exhibitions by three international artists examining time, history, and the social impact of architecture through multi-generational lenses
Exhibitions by Abdelkader Benchamma and Aria Dean, representing the artists’ first solo shows in Canada, alongside Anna Boghiguian’s first major exhibition in Toronto.
Anna Boghiguian, The Chess Game, 2022. Installation view first floor, Kunsthaus Bregenz, 2022. Photo: Markus Tretter. Courtesy of the artist ©Anna Boghiguian, Kunsthaus Bregenz.
The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery is thrilled to announce its upcoming fall season, featuring works by renowned artists from around the globe. The programming includes solo exhibitions from French artist Abdelkader Benchamma, Egyptian Canadian artist Anna Boghiguian, and American artist Aria Dean—the first shows in Toronto for all three artists, and the first in Canada for both Benchamma and Dean. The presentation of Aria Dean at The Power Plant is organized and developed in partnership with The Vega Foundation. The three exhibitions will open on October 13, 2023, and run until January 7, 2024, with free admission to the gallery.
Each artist featured in this season’s programming provides a different generational perspective while engaging with intellectual discourses about time, history, and architecture in their respective work, seeking to decipher new meanings from them. Visitors can look forward to thought-provoking installations, paintings, drawings, and film that ask fundamental questions of humanity, and reflect on topics such as our interconnectedness with our world, revolutionary upheavals, and the role that industrial architecture plays in our lives.
Free public programs will accompany the Fall 2023 season, including artist talks with curators, guided exhibition tours, and creative workshops for children aged 7–12 on select Sundays. Detailed information about all public programs will be announced on The Power Plant’s Event Calendar.
“This season’s exhibitions at The Power Plant will offer visitors entry points into what we hope will be meaningful encounters with art, inspiring reflections on the impact of time, history, and artistic creation on our humanity. Through a range of accessible free talks, workshops, and events, everyone will have the opportunity to engage with the powerful work of these three artists for the first time in Toronto.”
— Adelina Vlas, Head of Curatorial Affairs, The Power Plant
Solastalgia: Archaeologies of Loss
Curator: Noor Alé, Associate Curator
Solastalgia: Archaeologies of Loss will be Benchamma’s first major solo exhibition in Canada, and the most comprehensive to date in North America, featuring existing and newly created works, as well as an immersive, site-specific mural for The Power Plant’s Fleck Clerestory Commissioning Program.
Envisioned as a geological epic of our universe, Solastalgia: Archaeologies of Loss is a solo exhibition by French artist Abdelkader Benchamma that conjures enigmatic worlds and elemental forces at the precipice of transformation, evoking a yearning for worlds yet to be. Like an archaeologist, Benchamma unearths symbols across mythologies and legends inscribed by humanity onto the land, sky, and celestial bodies to create an elusive topography of dreams.
Time of Change
Curators: Adelina Vlas, Head of Curatorial Affairs, and Noor Alé, Associate Curator
Time of Change maps Egyptian Canadian artist of of Armenian descent Anna Boghiguian’s interest in revolutionary upheavals spurred by political, social, and cultural ideas in the Americas, Europe, and North Africa. Following her vast travels throughout Canada and the globe, Boghiguian draws on her own lived experiences as a diasporic subject, examining the impact individuals have on history and how history impacts individuals. This exhibition presents installations and drawings—some newly commissioned for this exhibition—that reference historical characters and events that have played a role in shaping our modern world.
Commissioned by Kunsthaus Bregenz, Time of Change was originally presented in Venice in the summer of 2022. A highlight of the exhibition is The Chess Game, 2022, an oversized chess board with cut-outs of influential historical figures from the last three centuries referencing political ideas and conflicts. For Boghiguian’s first major solo show in Canada, she will add a number of North American characters to the installation
Aria Dean, Abattoir, U.S.A.!, 2023. Single-channel video, sound, colour. 10:50 minutes. Courtesy the artist, Greene Naftali, New York.
Organized and developed in partnership with The Vega Foundation
Guest Curator: Julia Paoli, Executive Director at The Vega Foundation
For its second partnership with The Vega Foundation, The Power Plant will be presenting Abattoir, U.S.A.!, the first Canadian solo exhibition of American artist and writer Aria Dean. The exhibition at The Power Plant is organized and developed in partnership with The Vega Foundation. Abattoir, U.S.A.! surveys the interior of an empty slaughterhouse. In Dean’s animated film, the viewer follows a linear path through an impossible architecture—a seamless combination of nineteenth-, twentieth-, and twenty-first-century design elements and non-Euclidean spaces rather than a direct model of an existing building.
Accompanied by an immersive eight-channel score by composer Evan Zierk, the film ruminates on the ways slaughterhouses and industrial architecture reveal modernism’s intimacy with death on conceptual, political, and material levels. Abattoir, U.S.A.! was commissioned by the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, where it was curated by Myriam Ben Salah with Karsten Lund and Michael Harrison and presented in February 2023. The film was co-produced with The Vega Foundation.