The Power Plant presents a solo exhibition by Ydessa Hendeles.


Ydessa Hendeles has explored notions of difference and diversity, assembling objects and artefacts to make contemporary fables about the way representation and distortion, appropriation and assimilation can filter group and individual identities. For this first survey of her artistic practice, The Power Plant will display works from the past decade that develop these subjects. Included is From her wooden sleep… (2013), built around a group of wooden artists’ manikins composed in an unsettling tableau vivant. Sitting on benches arranged on the gallery floor rather than displayed on plinths, they form a distinct community whose intense focus and collective gaze challenge visitors to decode their relationship with these other occupants sharing the space. Also part of this exhibition are THE BIRD THAT MADE THE BREEZE TO BLOW (Berlin, 2012)—including a large automaton, Aero-Car N˚500 (2011)—and Church & State (The Puss in Boots Project) (2008), originally made for Marburg! The Early Bird! (Marburg, 2010). Through the lens of cultural objects and icons, the exhibition conjures a deeply personal storyline about the power dynamics in relations between insiders and outsiders with all the vivid playfulness—and serious intent—of childhood fairy tales.

Beginning in the early 1990s, Hendeles began to incorporate her own artistic projects into her exhibition programme at the Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation in Toronto and continued to do so until the gallery closed in 2012, after 25 years and the passing of her mother. Her psychologically charged works have also been exhibited at Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany (2003); National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa (2004); Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2010); Marburger Kunstverein, Marburg, Germany (2010); Andrea Rosen Gallery, New York (2011); König Galerie, Berlin (2012); Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2015); Kunsthaus Hamburg, Germany (2016); Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel (2016); and the New Museum, New York (2016).

Ydessa Hendeles is represented by Barbara Edwards Contemporary, Toronto, where her recent work, Death to Pigs, was exhibited in 2016. She now divides her time between studios in Toronto and New York.