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Author | Photo Kapwani Kiwanga, still from A Primer, 2017. Co-produced by The Power Plant, Toronto and the Logan Center Exhibitions, University of Chicago. Courtesy the artist and Galerie Tanja Wagner, Berlin, and Galerie Jérôme Poggi, Paris.

A wall is just a wall: The Architecture of Control

As we go about our daily lives, we enter into and are confronted by spaces designed to shape and regulate our behaviour, whether we notice it or not.

Kapwani Kiwanga’s solo exhibition A wall is just a wall uses an afrofuturistic aesthetic to investigate this architecture of control. Examples include the obvious (Bentham’s Panopticon – a watchtower surrounded by confinement cells, allowing for constant surveillance of prisoners) and less obvious (the paint colour Baker Miller Pink is believed to reduce aggressive behaviour among inmates).

How do the physical (and virtual) spaces we inhabit influence our behaviour without our awareness? Kiwanga goes deeper into the subject with her film, A Primer, in which she “deconstructs the physical and psychological qualities of different environments, including schools, prisons, hospitals and mental health facilities.”

Both A Primer and Sun Ra’s afrofuturistic masterpiece, Space Is the Place, will be screened at the Power Plant in addition to the exhibition. In Space Is the Place, Sun Ra and his band The Arkestra find themselves on a new mysterious planet and embark on a journey that involves time travel and musical performance and clashes with their adversary, The Overseer.

Catch the exhibit at The Power Plant from January 28 to May 14 at The Power Plant (231 Queens Quay W).

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