The Power Plant - 231 Queens Quay W, Toronto, Ontario M5J 2G8
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Shona Illingworth works across sound, video, photography, drawing, and immersive video and multi-channel sound installation. Informed by her long-term investigations into individual and societal amnesia, her work critically examines the devastating psychological and environmental impacts of military, industrial, and corporate transformations of airspace and outer space, and the implications for human rights.
This limited edition includes five individual artworks that are part of the development of a large new series entitled Weaponisation and the Fantasy of Total Control. These five works layer the quartering of the sky into restricted airspace (for military and security purposes) over highly contested sites that have been used for nuclear testing or have been subject to nuclear disaster. As such, these territorial restrictions of airspace not only speak of power and colonization but also of how this sectioning of the sky can neither contain or mitigate against nuclear threat and the development of nuclear weapons and contamination (and, indeed, accumulating threats of climate change, air toxicity, pandemics, and transboundary pollution), nor be easily maintained. They also set the territorialization of the sky in contrast to urgent threats and the legacy of nuclear attacks, testing, and disasters that have affected people, life, and ecologies across generations, and which “cannot be contained in space or time”1—or are, as Svetlana Alexievich describes the Chernobyl disaster, “a catastrophe of time.”2 The remaining five editions consider the sky as “‘thick’ with data, signals, chemicals, electromagnetic frequencies, particles, microbes, radionuclides, pollutants, smart dust, and encrypted machine-to-machine communications.”3 These are part of the artist’s broader research on the complex and nuanced understanding of the sky, its deeper cultural, social, and political history, as well as the implications of the accelerating territorialization, weaponization, and instrumentalization of airspace.
Dimensions: approx. 36 x 30 cm (unframed)
Sold: framed (in process)
Falling Man through Networked Sky (2022)
The Power Plant is Canada's leading art gallery devoted exclusively to contemporary art by artists from Canada and the world. We aim to share art with wider audiences through free admission to our exhibitions, public programs, and educational publications.