Partners in Art is proud to support BREATHLESS, a multifaceted project, curated Ala Roushan, that considers the urgencies evoked by today’s air crises, including a global respiratory pandemic, racial injustice (“I can’t breathe”), forest fires, and carbon emissions, all of which instill feelings of uncertainty for our futures.
BREATHLESS will take shape as an immersive installation – a public space that is experienced individually within a translucent pavilion on The Power Plant’s South Terrace, opening May 2022. Conceptually, the project builds upon a recent history since post-World War II when multiple threats from the air were imminent much like today. From this point of departure, the BREATHLESS pavilion expands on Alison and Peter Smithson’s speculative project House of the Future (1956), specifically challenging the closed condition of domestic space and the notion of uncontaminated air. The pavilion was conceived and designed by project curator Ala Roushan; Alex Josephson, co-founder of PARTISANS; Bryan Schopf, Project Director at Maffeis Engineering; Charles Stankievech, artist and professor at the University of Toronto.
The pavilion and select artworks create a dynamic ecosystem, including artists Flaka Haliti, Marguerite Humeau, Donna Kukama, and Julius von Bismarck. On entering the pavilion Haliti establishes the ground by inverting the blue sky into a sandy floor of microparticles. The post-human sculpture of Humeau, composed of disembodied respiratory tracts, breaths the air from a future world. Kukama vibrates the air of the pavilion with a sound installation of her voice, marking the breath. The video installation of von Bismarck threatens the hermetic boundaries of the pavilion with a fiery projection of a world engulfed in smoke and smog.