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The Power Plant archives, 2011. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid.

Dissenting Histories: 25 Years of The Power Plant


24 March - 3 September, 2012


Dissenting Histories: 25 Years of The Power Plant is a dynamic project designed to exhibit, activate, reconsider, and put into dialogue the gallery’s rich histories. Designed by Markus Miessen, a German architect and writer who has considered the history of the institution at length and contributed to our thinking about participation in public space and design, our upstairs North Gallery is transformed into a space to consider our history within local and international contexts, as well as within present spatial and theoretical concerns.

Over an extended period, the space will offer visitors opportunities to see rotating artist interventions responding to our archives. It will also be a space in which talks will take place around The Power Plant’s history including a “From the Archives” series of presentations and lively conversations between curators and artists from The Power Plant’s past. In addition, special events organized around specific thematics such as institutional memory, changing technologies and aesthetics, and Toronto’s contemporary art history will take place on-site, making available print materials, video, slides, and other treasures from our vaults. Concurrently, the project will provide space for sifting through materials, an opportunity to explore the archive as archive.

Markus Miessen (born in Bonn, 1978) is an architect and writer. In various collaborations, Miessen has published The Nightmare of Participation (2010), Institution Building: Artists, Curators, Architects in the Struggle for Institutional Space (2009), The Violence of Participation (2007), and Did Someone Say Participate? (2006). His work has been exhibited at the Lyon, Venice, Performa (NY), Manifesta (Murcia), Gwangju, and Shenzhen Biennials. In 2008, he founded the Winter School Middle East in Dubai and Kuwait, and is currently a professor for Critical Spatial Practice at the Städelschule, Frankfurt.

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