Dan Graham’s Performance Café with Perforated Sides (2010).

Plug In ICA co-produces Dan Graham pavilion at Scotiabank Nuit Blanche, Toronto

On Saturday, October 2, 2010 from 6:57 p.m. to sunrise, Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art is pleased to participate as a co-producing partner with Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto. A brand new commissioned installation by New York artist Dan Graham will be unveiled at Toronto City Hall, Podium Green Roof, 100 Queen Street West as part of the event.

The work was curated by Plug In Director Anthony Kiendl, who is curator of exhibition area B West for the all night event. Entitled Performance Cafe with Perforated Sides (2010), the installation will move to its permanent home at Plug In ICA in Winnipeg in 2011.

Since the late 1970s, the foundation of Dan Graham’s work has focused upon public architectural installations called pavilions. Referencing geometric forms, the Pavilions are constructed using plate glass, two-way mirrors and steel armature. In Performance Cafe with Perforated Sides, Dan Graham creates a structure that is intended to function as a space for encounter. The pavilion evokes connotations or performer and audience, as viewers see themselves reflected in its shimmering surface. Conceptually, Performance Cafe is a stage. Both mirror and steel create optical effects. The perforations in the steel create a moire pattern, an effect of visual interference. These quasi-hallucinogenic effects are reminiscent of the optical effects of rock shows or psyechedelic drug experiences associated with youth or rock culture. The pavilion beckons as a space for human interaction on a grand or intimate scale.

His insertion of these works within the built environment offers a momentary diversion, an alternative experience. It also performs notions of urban architecture; where atriums of corporate skyscrapers provide workers with green spaces as respites which heighten or restructure experience.

Recalling previous works by Graham such as Performance/ Audience/ Mirror(1975), this Pavilion explores the relationship between audience and performer and explores the concepts of objectivity and subjectivity. As a performance space, the work further reflects Graham’s longstanding pre-occupation with rock music, as documented in his video Rock My Religion (1982).

Dan Graham lives and works in New York.

Scotiabank Nuit Blanche is organized by the City of Toronto.

Performance Cafe with Perforated Sides was Co-produced by Plug In ICA and the City of Toronto, with the support of Michael Nesbitt.

Plug In also gratefully acknowledges the support of The Manitoba Arts Council, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Winnipeg Arts Council.