Stretch at the Power Plant (231 Queens Quay West) to September 1. 416-973-4949. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
stretch is more like a boxing day sale and the Power Plant a department store - you get a rush running around and sorting through the mess of works. The art, created by international artists predominantly from Latin America, functions mostly on the "So what? Oh, neat" principle. A piece's interest is revealed through close examination. Often, scrutinizing the artist's statement is essential to the process.
Even before you enter the gallery, the oversized water-droplet roadways of Los Carpinteros (the Carpenters) seem poised to run you down. Inside, Dario Escobar continues the freeway, stretching it across a trampoline frame in his equally playful version.
Teresa Margolles introduces her morbid theme in the form of a video of people making bubbles in a gallery. The text reveals that the water has previously been used to wash corpses. Similarly macabre things are revealed about a car-wash piece and the grease rubbed on one of the gallery's walls.
Steel mirror discs by Oscar Muñoz unveil interesting little portraits when breathed on heavily. (Some portraits are becoming permanently visible, no doubt the result of some perversely heavy breathing.)
A delicate ceiling sculpture by Ordo Amoris Cabinet is made of jagged TV antennas, while Roni Horn 's brutish floor blocks are in fact pretty pieces of glass.
Oswaldo Macià is a magnificent composer, having created a symphony of bird voices calling, singing and ululating. Viewers sit back in a couch as the birds sing from overhead speakers positioned about the room to mimic a real orchestra.
One of the most famous Mexico-based artists, Santiago Sierra , orchestrates humanity. Videotapes document that he filled up a gallery with more than 450 people, paying them simply to occupy the space. In another fascinating piece, he paid a truck driver to block a busy street with his rig. The long truck spans the road, forming a thick white barricade for five minutes, stalls traffic and then simply drives off.