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Indepth Arts News:

"Janet Cardiff: Forty-Part Motet, Laura Kikauka: Exactly the Same, but Completely Different and the North American exhibition premiere of artist/architect John Kormeling"
2004-06-19 until 2004-09-06
Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery
Toronto, ON, CA

The Power Plant at Harbourfront Centre, Canada‚s leading non-collecting contemporary art gallery, announces three new exhibitions running from June 19 through September 6, 2004: Janet Cardiff: Forty-Part Motet, Laura Kikauka: Exactly the Same, but Completely Different and the North American exhibition premiere of artist/architect John Körmeling. These exhibitions draw together three innovative, provocative approaches to contemporary sculpture, and imagine an expanded view that includes a wide range of philosophies and materials, including assemblage, mixed media, audio and kinetically charged installations.

Dutch artist John Kormeling‚s Mobile Fun, is a 100-foot high, functional Ferris wheel constructed to carry passengers in automobiles rather than regular carriages. Through the summer months, visitors to The Power Plant are invited to ride the Ferris wheel inside one of four SAAB 9-2X automobiles chosen by the artist and donated for the duration of the exhibition. In his first North American exhibition a selection of drawings, maquettes and sculpture will showcase the artist's highly unconventional, critical approach to our built environment, and highlight his strategies for skewing concepts of public/private art. Kormeling‚s consistent use of unusual materials and his fascination with contemporary urbanity combine topical issues in design, architecture and city planning. (The Mobile Fun Ferris wheel operates 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily from June 3 to August 8. $5 admission.)

In Janet Cardiff's Forty-Part Motet, forty separately recorded voices are played back through forty speakers circling the exhibition space. The effect created is deeply moving and has earned the work a popularity with visitors that is rarely encountered in contemporary art. Winner of the Millennium Prize 2001, the work is a reworking of Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis, a 16th-century English composer who is said to have produced one of the most complex pieces of polyphonic choral music ever composed. Even though Cardiff‚s true medium in this work is sound, her emphasis on the sculptural qualities of sound is what distinguishes her as an artist. Forty-Part Motet, originally commissioned by the Salisbury Festival and performed by the Salisbury Cathedral Choir, is on loan from the collection of the National Gallery of Art, Ottawa. Cardiff and George Bures Miller, represented Canada at the 2001 Venice Biennale with their acclaimed work, The Paradise Institute. Her work was also included in the opening exhibition of the Tate Modern in London and has been featured in exhibitions across Canada and abroad.

Berlin-based Meaford, Ontario artist Laura Kikauka's exhibition, Exactly the Same, but Completely Different, is a new large-scale installation that presents a unique approach to mixed media sculpture.

For the last twenty years, Kikauka has manifested a keen interest in material culture by bringing together vast mounds of outdated electronic gadgetry, industrially produced anonymous crafts and quality junk sorted by colour or some other common characteristic. Her process-oriented sculptures offer an arresting blend of slapstick humour, kitsch sentiments, party games and obscure popular music, all vying for attention in an assemblage of objects that veers from extreme orderliness to anarchic chaos.

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