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Indepth Arts News:

"Stretch: Works by Artists from North and South America"
2003-06-20 until 2003-09-01
Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery
Toronto, ON, CA

Canada's leading non-collecting contemporary art gallery, The Power Plant, hosts the exhibition premiere of Stretch. This innovative presentation of thirty-five works features nineteen artists from North and South America. Stretch explores the global and local dynamics of life and art in the Americas with internationally acclaimed visual artists mounting outdoor and indoor works in video, sculpture, audio, photography and performance. Stretch begins June 20 and runs until September 1, 2003.

Comments co-curators Keith Wallace and Eugenio Valdes Figueroa, "Bringing together artwork from different nations within the Americas serves to provide a perspective on the works' similarities and differences. In spite of the virtual demise of national borders through mass communication systems and corporate globalization, the internal dynamics of the local context persist."

Stretch includes artists from Canada, USA, Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, Colombia and Brazil whose collected works in this exhibition are informed by the legacy of Minimal and Conceptual art while also revealing the diverse ways these art forms are introduced into the complexities of daily life. Fernando Arias‚ coffin is constructed from Lego blocks; Santiago Sierra's video documents a trailer truck as it purposely blocks Mexico City rush hour traffic; Manuel Pina's portraits of utopian Cuban housing projects disintegrate as the exhibition progresses; Teresa Margolles‚ abstract wall painting is constructed using human grease.

The collection of these artists allows Stretch to boldly offer a rethinking of how the Americas are generally represented. Comments Keith Wallace and Eugenio Valdes Figueroa, "While specificity of place often arises in the symbolic content of the work, it is not an illustration of national identity but about everyday experience.

Many of the predominately Latin artists in the exhibition have international profiles. American/Brazilian Vik Muniz has exhibited solo worldwide at the 2001 Venice Biennale and New York City's Whitney Museum of American Art. Mexican-based artists Santiago Sierra and Francis Alys, Cuban duo Ordo Amoris Cabinet and Fernando Arias (Columbia) have also extensively exhibited worldwide.

Stretch artists include: Fernando Arias (Colombia/UK), Inaki Bonillas (Mexico), Francis Alys (Belgium/Mexico), Los Carpinteros (Cuba), Dario Escobar (Guatemala), Terence Gower (Canada/Mexico/USA), Silvia Gruner (Mexico), Roni Horn (USA), Doug Lewis (Canada), Oswaldo Macia (Colombia/UK), Teresa Margolles (Mexico), Kelly Mark (Canada), Oscar Munoz (Colombia), Manuel Pina (Cuba), Wilfredo Prieto (Cuba), Ordo Amoris Cabinet (Cuba), Santiago Sierra (Mexico), Vik Muniz (USA/Brazil) and Iran do Espírito Santo (Brazil).

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