- May 20th, 2013
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Celebrity gawking, fear mongering, and other distractions, oh my! Is spectacle a harmless escape from reality, or something more?
Rulers throughout history have gone to great lengths to communicate and maintain their status. Whether that ruler was a dictator, royalty, religious figure, or democratically elected government, displays of power to validate and reinforce control over the masses declared who to admire, what to believe, and how to behave. Preying on core instincts to create situations that appeared effortlessly natural and self-evident, these displays of power featured elements capable of seducing people into agreement, distracting them from unpleasant truths, and/or scaring them out of rebellion.
Today’s spectacle takes many forms, from big budget events and entertainment to ever-present news media and advertising. It displays lifestyles we should envy and tells us how to succeed. It keeps us busy with news about celebrities and sports scores so we dismiss as boring anything that actually affects our lives. It sensationalizes violence while showing us what might happen if we rock the boat. It is power represented through repetitive sights and sounds, stereotypes and cliches, and other social signals about wealth, fame, and technology, and it all serves to influence general opinion and behaviour to support a consumer society and those who profit from it the most.
Taking cues from blockbuster exhibitions past and present to explore the complex nature of contemporary spectacle, A Total Spectacle is a mini spectacle about spectacle created by Winnipeg-based independent curator, Milena Placentile, in collaboration with local, national, and international artists including: Dayna Danger, Glen Johnson, Joe Johnson, Istvan Kantor, Praba Pilar, Scott Sørli, and Paul Wiersbinski. The exhibition will be accompanied by texts written by Placentile and Martin Zeilinger.
The exhibition launched at Atomic Centre (167 Logan Avenue, Winnipeg) on May 17 with an opening ceremony performed by Istvan Kantor with the participation of Ian Mozden and Dita Vendetta.
Regular open hours from May 18 – June 9 are as follows:
- Wednesday to Friday: 3:00 – 7:00 p.m.
- Saturday and Sunday: 12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
- Monday and Tuesday: Closed
There are two more events scheduled to take place in relation to the exhibition:
- Church of the Nano Bio Info Cogno with Reverend Praba Pilar at 167 Logan Avenue: Saturday, May 25, 2103.
Doors at 8:00 p.m. ; service at 8:30 p.m. No late entry.
- “About Spectacle”, the first lecture in the new series delivered by Glen Johnson called “How to Think” at 167 Logan Avenue: Saturday, June 1, 2013 at 4:00 p.m.
Admission to the exhibition and all related events is free of charge. Please stay tuned for details!
This exhibition has been made possible with thanks to generous financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts through a program formerly known as “Independent Critics and Curators in the Visual Arts Program”, which provided opportunities for creative intellectual research and production initiated by curators working beyond conventional institutional frameworks.
The curator and artists would also like to acknowledge the generous in-kind and promotional support of Mentoring Artists for Women’s Art, Martha Street Studios / Manitoba Printmakers Association, Central Canadian Centre for Performance, RAW: Gallery of Architecture and Design, Edge Village and Gallery, and Akimbo.ca =-)
Graphic design by Colourblind Graphic Design.