The Power Plant
11-12-05 e-flux (servicio de noticias on-line)
POWER PLANT GALLERY
231 Queens Quay West, Toronto
This winter, The Power Plant presents the Canadian premiere of. La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc (Rozelle Hospital) 2004 by Venezuelan artist Javier Téllez. Téllez's work sensitively questions the limits of individual reason, the state, and the pathology of emotion. This particular project was produced as a result of a residency at Rozelle Hospital, Sydney, Australia, where Téllez worked with twelve female patients for over a month. As a video installation and twin projection, the work involves the use of the Carl Dreyer silent film masterpiece La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc. Téllez worked with the patients to produce new inter-titles for the Dreyer film. On one wall the original film is screened while the new titles are continuously being inscribed onto a blackboard. On the facing wall a sequence of portraits of and interviews with the women are shown. An intense dialogue and exchange is established between the haunting images of Renée Falconetti, who plays Jeanne d'Arc, and th e humanity of the patients. On its completion, the women told Téllez that the project had been the best experience of their lives.
Téllez's work reflects a sustained interest in bringing peripheral communities and "invisible" situations to the fore of contemporary art. On 29 August of this year Téllez's performance at inSite Tijuana culminated in the firing of a human cannonball across the Mexico US border. The performance, entitled One flew over the void, also involved thirty-five psychiatric patients from the Baja California Mental Health Center in Mexicali, Mexico. Téllez called the project "living sculpture" and said it was about "dissolving borders" between the United States and Mexico and between mental health patients and the rest of the world. Téllez's installation Choreutics/, shown at the Venice Biennale in 2001, involved the depiction of a community of Venezuelans in the throes of St. Vitus's dance, dance-like movements that result from Huntington's disease.
Concurrent with Téllez's exhibition, The Power Plant features the only Canadian appearance of On Kawara: Consciousness. Meditation.Watcher on the hills, a retrospective exhibition of the Japanese artist's work organized by Ikon Gallery, Birmingham, UK and Le Consortium, Dijon, France, and The Cold City Years, a historical survey of artworks from Toronto's former Cold City Gallery curated by Nancy Campbell, Marlene Klassen and Pamela Meredith. All three exhibitions run from December 10, 2005 until March 5, 2006.
The Power Plant is located at 231 Queens Quay West, Toronto. Open Tuesday to Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. and Wednesday until 8 p.m. (free admission Wednesdays after 5 p.m.). Children and members have free admission. For exhibition and tour information, the public can call 416-973-4949 or visit http://www.thepowerplant.org
The Power Plant recognizes the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council and the City of Toronto through Toronto Arts Council.