Stretch - artists from Canada, USA, Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, Colombia and Brazil
Francis Alÿs » Fernando Arias » Sylvia Gruner » Kelly Mark » Óscar Muñoz » Vik Muniz » Manuel Piña » Santiago Sierra » & others
Exhibition: – 1 Sep 2003
The Power Plant
231 Queens Quay West
M5J 2G8 Toronto
Stretch includes artists from Canada, USA, Mexico, Cuba, Guatemala, Colombia and Brazil. Bringing together artwork from different nations within the Americas serves to provide a perspective on more than thirty works that derive their visual economy from the legacy of Minimal art and their linguistic underpinnings from Conceptual art. But to present what might be called Minimal or Conceptual art is neither the goal of the artwork nor the goal of the exhibition. Instead, Stretch reveals the diverse ways that artists make incongruous the literal and self-referential precepts of Minimal/Conceptual art forms by introducing the often messy, often poetic, complexities of daily life. Incorporating narrative, metaphor or vernacular symbolism into their work, the artists in Stretch combine the pure with the impure and create a dynamic where one accentuates the other. Stretch boldly offers a rethinking of how the Americas are generally represented. Artists originating from Latin American nations are a predominant presence in this exhibition, a reflection of the fact that in the Americas there are more than thirty nations with strong Latin histories and very few without. Stretch neither illustrates a movement nor presents a prescriptive thesis. Although the referents to Minimalism and Conceptualism certainly reside at its foundation, it is a proposition of sorts. Stretch has evolved from an observation of parallel processes or intentions that have been evident during the past decade among artists who are not necessarily aware of each other's work. There is, then, no tight package, no uniform aesthetic or medium. Instead, it generates a collision of associations, strategies, and individual statements that ricochet throughout the galleries. It is as much about an overall resonant experience as it is about individual works of art.