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9 February – 3 April 2005

"Istvan Kantor's work in video and performance art is on the cutting and critical edge of contemporary art. His is an aggressive and unapologetic aesthetic of excess. Kantor's interdisciplinary, no-holds-barred, neo-Dada art has earned him a large international following and a unique reputation. He embraces technology in order to confront, and revolt against, the mind-numbing and oppressive nature of technology and the power structures it supports ."

--Jury citation, Governor General's Award for Visual and Media Arts, 2004

The AGYU presents the opportunity for the public to examine the work of controversial 2004 Governor General's Award in Visual and Media Arts winner Istvan Kantor. The exhibition concentrates on his recent works overlooked in the media controversy: Kantor's interactive machine and video works.

A new work, Spielraum/Playroom - Remains of a Revolution , will transform the AGYU into an interactive installation involving live video feeds, projections, and robotics. Also shown will be the feature-length video Lebensraum/Lifespace - Spectacle of Noise (2004), a semi-autobiographical, science-fiction allegory on the battle for living space in and the gentrification of Capital City (Toronto) and the resistance that combats it.

"In the land of accumulation all activity remains activated, causing continuous interventions, overlapping structures, sudden changes, global explosions, turmoil, tumult, turbulence, everything happens at once and simultaneously...It's accumulation that makes the earth shake at six o'clock and demolishes the difference between art and life, labour and leisure". – Istvan Kantor, 2004.

Public programmes for Istvan Kantor: Machinery Execution include Direct Art, Material Action , a film screening featuring the works of Kurt Kren and Otto Muehl on Wednesday 23 February 2005, 3:30 pm and again on Sunday 27 February 2005, 2 pm . Both screenings will take place in the Nat Taylor Cinema, N102 Ross Building, York University. On Tuesday 8 March 2005, 4:30 pm York University professors: Dr. Steven Bailey (Assistant Professor, Science and Society); Dr. Shannon Bell (Associate Professor, Political Science); and Dr. Jennifer Fisher (Assistant Professor, Canadian Art History/Curatorial Studies) will take part in an interdisciplinary discussion panel on the work of Istvan Kantor. This discussion will consider how Kantor seeks to destabilize the stranglehold and omnipresence of technology and its attendant systems of social control throughout his video, installation, and performance work. On Sunday, 3 April 2005 , the AGYU will team up with the Koffler Gallery and the Doris McCarthy Gallery for a contemporary bus tour of the current exhibitions. The free bus departs from the Ontario College of Art and Design at 1 pm and returns downtown at 4 pm. Please call the AGYU at 416.736.5169 to reserve a seat on the bus.
Art Gallery of York University | Accolade East Building, 4700 Keele Street | Toronto ON M3J 1P3 | agyu [at]