Juan Ortiz-Apuy: Darkroom, 2022 (left). Farah Al Qasimi: The Swarm, 2020 (right).

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art is pleased to present:

Darkroom & The Swarm

A solo exhibition by Juan Ortiz-Apuy & A solo exhibition by Farah Al Qasimi

September 29, 2023 – December 22, 2023 | September 29, 2023 – January 13, 2024

Opening reception of ‘Darkroom’ by Juan Ortiz Apuy and ‘The Swarm’ by Farah Al Qasimi: Friday, September 29,  2023 | 7 PM

Artist Walkthrough with Juan Ortiz Apuy: Friday, September 29,  2023 | 6:30 PM 

Plug In ICA is thrilled to invite you to the opening receptions of Darkroom, a solo exhibition featuring Juan Ortiz-Apuy, and The Swarm, a solo exhibition featuring Farah Al Qasimi. Darkroom will take place in our galleries from September 29, 2023 to December 22, 2023, and The Swarm will run from September 29, 2023 to January 13, 2024.

To celebrate the opening of the exhibition please join us on Friday, September 29 from 6:30 pm for an Artist Walkthrough of Darkroom, with the artist, Juan Ortiz-Apuy, and from 7:00 to 10:00 pm, the exhibition’s Opening Reception.

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art recently crossed its fiftieth anniversary in existence. It continues to support artists and other cultural workers engaged in some of the most pivotal conversations in contemporary art today. Looking toward the next chapter and into the organization’s future, one of the many curatorial questions we are considering includes the image as central to contemporary culture. As we navigate the various demands of contemporary life, we do so with an ever-proliferating, dizzying glut of images moving toward and impressing itself on us. Incontrovertibly, images–photographs, video, virtual realities, AI, or other mimetic forms–have increasingly become an inescapable fabric of the everyday. It is a focal access to information, education, and in turn, monopolizes indelible ways of seeing and interacting with the world. Frighteningly, they continue to supplant the experiences they pullulate out of and govern the way we move through our felt and tangible experiences. With its omnipresence and evidentiary authority, we ask: How do photographs, in particular, frame and alter our perspectives? How does it direct our knowledge and interpretation of the world? 

We are very pleased to continue celebrating this fiftieth milestone by presenting two tandem solo exhibitions that offer crucial social, political, and historical reflections on the complex world of images in which we are all entangled one way or the other. Both artists are exhibiting in Winnipeg for the first time and they each broadly draw on the lives of objects and their intersections with the fickle nature of images.

Juan Ortiz-Apuy is a Canadian-Costa Rican artist who has been living and working in Tiohtià:ke/Montreal since 2003. Ortiz-Apuy has a BFA from Concordia University (2008), a Post-Graduate Diploma from The Glasgow School of Art (2009), and an MFA from NSCAD University (2011).

His work has been exhibited across Canada and internationally in venues such as Les Abattoirs Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art (France), IKEA Museum (Sweden), Pamflett (Norway), DHC/ART Fondation Phi pour l’art contemporain (Montreal), Art Gallery of Mississauga (Mississauga), Owens Art Gallery (Sackville), Carleton University Art Gallery (Ottawa), AXENÉO7 (Gatineau), MOMENTA Biennale de l’image (Montreal), Quebec City Biennial: Manif d’art 7 (Québec), Truck Contemporary Art (Calgary), Museum London (London), Gallery 44 Centre for Contemporary Photography (Toronto), VOX Centre de l’image Contemporaine (Montreal), and The MacLaren Arts Centre (Barrie).

His work has been awarded numerous grants from the Canada Council for the Arts and Le Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and has been reviewed in various publications such as Canadian Art, MOMUS, esse arts + opinions, The Gazette (Montreal), Le Devoir (Montreal), and Public Parking.

Ortiz-Apuy has completed several artist-in-residence programs, most notably at MASS MoCA (USA), The Vermont Studio Center (USA), The Frans Masereel Centre (Belgium), and the Guldagergaard International Ceramic Research Center (Denmark).

Ortiz-Apuy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Studio Arts at Concordia University.

Farah Al Qasimi (b. 1991, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; lives and works in Brooklyn, NY) makes photographs, films and music. Often working with large-scale vinyl imagery and a multiplicity of photographic prints and screens, Farah is interested in the internet and its hierarchies of information and emotion. Farah also loves the complexity of storytelling and value-building in children’s cartoons, and many of her video works include primary narrators who are anthropomorphized. She has a highly collaborative practice and has worked with hand-sewn puppets, falcons, African Land Snails, exorcists, and most recently, a Jack Sparrow impersonator.


We are on Treaty 1 Territory. Plug In ICA is located on the territories of the Anishinaabeg, Cree, Oji-Cree, Dakota, and Dene peoples, and the National homeland of the Red River Métis. Our water is sourced from Shoal Lake 40 First Nations.

Plug In ICA extends our heartfelt gratitude to our generous donors, valued members, and dedicated volunteers. We acknowledge the sustaining support of our Director’s Circle. You all make a difference.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council, the Manitoba Arts Council and Winnipeg Arts Council. We could not operate without their continued financial investment and lobbying efforts.

Plug In ICA relies on community support to remain free and accessible to all, and enable us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at or by contacting Caitlin at

For more information on public programming and exhibitions contact Allison Yearwood at

For general information, please contact: or call 1.204.942.1043