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Plastic Heart: Surface All the Way Through

Centre culturel canadien
November 16th, 2022 - March 24th, 2023

Kelly Wood, Great Lakes: Accumulations, 2020 - détail d’un ensemble de 6 images / detail of a group of 6 images, photographie numérique, encre à base d'eau sur papier chiffon en coton / digital photographs, water-based ink on cotton rag paper.

Avec l’aimable autorisation de l’artiste/Courtesy of the artist.
Lan Tuazon, False Fruits, 2017, contenants emboîtés trouvés / found nested containers.

Avec l’aimable autorisation de l’artiste / Courtesy the artist.
  • 🌙 Late openings in March: Thursday 16 and Monday 20 until 9pm.
    Guided tours the 16 and 20 at 7pm.

Christina Battle, IAIN BAXTER&, Sara Belontz, J. Blackwell, Amy Brener, Hannah Claus, Patricia Corcoran, Heather Davis and Kirsty Robertson, Aaronel deRoy Gruber, Fred Eversley, Pierre Huyghe, General Idea, Kelly Jazvac, Kiki Kogelnik, Tegan Moore, Skye Morét, Meagan Musseau, Nyaba Leon Ouedraogo, Claes Oldenburg, Aude Pariset, Meghan Price, Alain Resnais, Françoise Sullivan, Catherine Telford-Keogh, Lan Tuazon, Joyce Wieland, Nico Williams, Kelly Wood

Curated by The Synthetic Collective

Plastic Heart: Surface All the Way Through is what happens when scientists and artists create a project together to build relationships and impact change in society, museums, and industry on one of today’s vital issues: the impact of plastic pollution. The exhibition examines plastic in all its complexity, and the way in which artists have seized upon it and are now critically questioning its use. Plastic is presented here as art material, cultural object, geologic process, petrochemical product, and a synthetic substance fully entangled with the human body. The exhibition includes historical and contemporary artworks that relate to plastic as a politically loaded material, and investigations into the paradoxes of plastic conservation in museum collections. 

The Great Lakes in North America are home to 21% of the planet’s fresh surface water, but the region is also home to pollution-intensive industry. The Synthetic Collective provides a first-ever snapshot of post-industrial microplastics pollution on the shores of the Great Lakes, while questioning our collective responsibility around the use of plastic and showing us how arts-based approaches to thinking and working can make viable contributions to environmental science and activism.

The exhibition was presented in the fall of 2021 at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto. In this new version, completely redesigned for the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, the Synthetic Collective modified the original selection of works to limit the carbon footprint of transportation and added works by French artists to highlight the local context and discourses on plastic. This adaptation underscores the collective’s experimental museum approach to reducing reliance on fossil fuels in exhibition production.

The Synthetic Collective is an interdisciplinary collaboration between visual artists, cultural workers, and scientists working together to sample, map, understand, and visualize the complexities of plastics and microplastics pollution in the Great Lakes Region.

An exhibition produced and circulated by the Art Museum/University of Toronto and the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris.

Bande-annonce de l'exposition - 1:04
Bande-annonce de l'exposition / Teaser of the exhibition - 1:04
Vidéo de présentation de l'exposition, 7:17
Vidéo de présentation de l'exposition / Presentation video of the exhibition, 7:17
Plastic Pollution, Toxicity, and Policy Change
Plastic Pollution, Toxicity, and Policy Change (4th Space Concordia University hosted the Plastic Heart symposium in 2021)
Plastic Pollution in the Laurentian Great Lakes- Industry and Invisibility
Plastic Pollution in the Laurentian Great Lakes- Industry and Invisibility (Space Concordia University hosted the Plastic Heart symposium in 2021)
The Plastic Conservation Conundrum
The Plastic Conservation Conundrum (Space Concordia University hosted the Plastic Heart symposium in 2021)


Centre culturel canadien
130 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, Paris

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