Opening of the exhibition “Plastic Heart: Surface All the Way Through” on November 15 from 6pm to 9.30pm (last entrance at 9pm) –
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.