Strong feelings

Power Plant shows some emotion

AUTO EMOTION : AUTOBIOGRAPHY, EMOTION AND SELF-FASHIONING at the Power Plant (231 Queens Quay West), to August 19. 416-973-4949. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNNN

The power plant has cranked up the wattage to give us a real jolt this summer.

On the quay outside, as part of the Luminato festival, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer has the world’s largest searchlights switching on and off to the heartbeat of visitors.

Inside, Sophie Calle ‘s Exquisite Pain strikes the first chord of the performance-based Auto Emotion show. A series of photographs counts down to the moment when Calle loses love in a hotel room in New Delhi.

The second half of the series evokes moments of other people’s shattered love, represented through diary-like embroidering on large pieces of fabric. Calle’s work is heartfelt, bittersweet and sprinkled with dark humour.

Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay ‘s five-screen video installation, Lyric, sheds ironic light on life’s toughest emotions. His uproarious attempts at third-rate karaoke love songs constitute antidotes to Calle’s sincerity.

More humorous than beautiful, Lyric speaks about the weirdness of the manufactured emotions colonizing our cultural sensibilities through pop music.

Lozano-Hemmer contributes the mesmerizing Eye Contact to the show. Viewers find themselves enthralled by a flutter of stamp-sized videos on a large TV screen connected to a motion detector.

As if this weren’t cool enough, the intensity of light in the small videos mimics viewers’ movements. The screen responds in an almost human way, blurring the boundaries between people and technology.

Auto Emotion offers visual bombshells ranging from the violent to the hilarious to the intensely beautiful. This summer, the Power Plant is the place to get juiced.

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