MAKE YOUR OWN LIFE: ARTISTS IN & OUT OF COLOGNE at the Power Plant (231 Queens Quay West), to December 3. $4, stu/srs $2, free Wednesday 5-8 pm. 416-973-4949. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNNN
The Power Plant's current show, Make Your Own Life: Artists In & Out Of Cologne, curated by Bennett Simpson for the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, maps the historical significance of a city where art and life merged.
The more than 25 international artists in this show work with the idea that everything you do becomes the basis for art.
In the early 90s, Cologne, Germany, was a hub of creative activity. At the centre of this fertile moment was the often controversial conceptual artist Martin Kippenberger. His Input-Output, one of several works in this show, consists of 67 hotel receipts with drawings of hotels, apartments and girlfriends' houses he lived in.
In Hans-Jörg Mayer's large photograph, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, 1991, women contributors to the Cologne art scene Cosima von Bonin, Michaela Eichwald, Charlene von Heyl, Jutta Koether and Texte zur Kunst journal editor Isabelle Graw pose as gun-toting militants with semi-automatic guns.
This untraditional conceptual show focuses on social aspects of being an artist. Case in point: you can hang out in a lounge and listen to records by art bands like Red Krayola.
Many of the contributors were part of the huge Cologne electronica music scene. Since the art community here shares the Cologne scene's heavy involvement with music, T.O. artists should feel a special connection to this show.