Karen Asher, Class, 2019

Solo Exhibition | Class: Karen Asher

April 27, 2019 to June 30, 2019

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art | 1, 460 Portage Ave | Winnipeg MB | Canada

Opening Reception: Friday, April 26, 7pm

Respondent Series: Performance with Ming Hon: Thursday, May 23, 7pm

Artist Talk by Karen Asher: Friday, June 14, 7pm followed by a dance and karaoke party

Plug In ICA has the pleasure to work with and present Karen Asher’s solo exhibition Class. Opening Friday, April 26, 2019, Class will see Asher for the first time extending her established photographic practice into the broader realm of installation. The exhibition will feature a ninety-minute video of music, dance and visual effects. The video installation reflects her photographic practice where she slowly engages her subjects, mostly friends and family, in a set of scenarios that border on highly composed to happenstance.

The video is part of Class, an installation of video, photographs and props which are an amalgamation of Asher’s past – almost a coming of age story for which Asher recreates the night clubs and bars she frequented and worked at in her late teens throughout her twenties. These places, where her identity was made and she found a place of expression, were permissive. This merged recreation of places is part of a dreamscape of Pleather seats, plastic glossy linoleum, shiny satin curtains, a flashing neon sign. They are sensual, bargain bin, gaudy, gauche – the material of a class identity that is blinded by the glitter, but also aware of its own tactlessness. Asher sits amongst the kitsch, but also behind it as a controlled observer. Like her subjects who perform their desires for the camera, Asher unearths a powerful authority of who she is.

All public programming is FREE and open to the public. Everyone welcome!


Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art recognizes we are on Treaty One Territory, the traditional territories of the Anishinaabe, Métis, Cree, Dakota, Dene, and Oji-Cree Nations.

Production of Class was made possible through funding support of Winnipeg Arts Council and the Manitoba Arts Council. The Artist would like to thank with love the performers without whom this work would not be possible, including: Aremelle Alhéritière, Ashley Au, Irene Bindi, Hilary Crist, Elise Dawson, Bronwyn Guard, Rebel Harris Hon, Maegan Hill-Carroll, Ming Hon, Caitlin Hutchison, julian k, Georgia Morrison, Hayley Mummery,Lóa, Penny and Freya Olafson, Stephanie Poruchnyk-Butler, Malaikah Rang’inya, Andrea Roberts, Beth Schellenberg, Natalie Sharma, Tanja Woloshen. Filmed on location at Video Pool Media Arts Centre with assistance from jaymez and Ryan Simmons. Thank you to Kevin Doole who spent countess hours editing. Thank you to EQ3 and Black Hole Theatre for their assistance with staging.

Plug In ICA extends gratitude to our artists, generous donors, valued members and dedicated volunteers. With special thanks to our Director’s Circle.

We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, 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 enables us to continue to present excellent programs. Please consider becoming a member of Plug In ICA and a donor at or by contacting Angela Forget:

For more information on this and our other education programs, contact Jenifer Papararo at For general information please contact: or call 1.204.942.1043