Bik Van der Pol’s “Eminent Domain” at The Power Plant

Bik Van der Pol, Eminent Domain, 2015. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2015. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Bik Van der Pol, Eminent Domain, 2015. Installation view: The Power Plant, Toronto, 2015. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Saturday, 22 August 2015
The Power Plant (231 Queens Quay West, Toronto)
4 PM

Facilitated by cheyanne turions

Reflecting the collaborative strategies at play in their current exhibition on view at The Power Plant entitled Eminent Domain, artists Bik Van der Pol have compiled selections from articles and essays that have been instrumental in developing the project. Readings will include excerpts from Bruno Latour’s Agency at the Time of the Anthropocene and Bernd Scherer’s The Monsters.

For their commissioned project at The Power Plant, Bik Van der Pol investigate the ways that human activity in the globalized age have had a direct effect on ecological systems. The exhibition title references the concept of “eminent domain,” a term coined by author Hugo Grotius in 1625. “Eminent domain” is understood as the power that the State may exercise over land within its territory, whereby the government or one of its agencies has the right to expropriate private property for public use through payment or compensation. By foregrounding this concept, Bik Van der Pol’s project alludes to the increasing privatization of previously public goods including territory, property and the public domain at large.

Through their practice, Bik Van der Pol aim to articulate and understand how art can produce a public sphere, and to create space for speculation and imagination. This includes forms of mediation through which publicness is not only defined but also created. Their working method is based on co-operation and research inquiries surrounding the activation of situations serving the creation of platforms for various kinds of communicative activities. Recent solo shows and projects include Ternitz, Austria (2014); 31st Bienal de São Paulo (2014); Witte de With Center for Contemporary Art, Rotterdam (2014); CAFAM Biennial, Beijing (2014); the Biennale of Mercosul, Porto Alegre (2013); Hoog Catherijne, Utrecht (2013); Between A Rock and A Hard Place in collaboration with Musagetes, Sudbury, ON (2011); The ENEL Award; MACRO, Rome (2010); and The Western Front, Vancouver (2010). Recent curatorial projects include Kunstfort Asperen, Acqouy (2011); and Plug In, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2009). They are currently the course directors of the School of Missing Studies at the Sandberg Institute in Amsterdam.

Special thanks to The Power Plant for hosting this salon, and thanks also to the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto for their ongoing support of No Reading After the Internet (Toronto).