Plug In ICA: Karen Asher: Class, April 27 - June 30

Karen Asher: Class
April 27 to June 30, 2019

Plug In ICA has the pleasure to work with Karen Asher in presenting her solo exhibition Class. Opening Friday, April 26, 2019, Class will see Asher for the first time extending her established photographic practice into the broader realm of installation. The exhibition will feature a ninety-minute video of music, dance and visual effects. The central video reflects her photographic practice for which she slowly engages her subjects, mostly friends and family, in a set of scenarios that border on highly composed to happenstance.

The video is part of Class, an installation of video, photographs and props that elude to Asher's past. Class is almost a coming of age story in which Asher recreates the night clubs and bars she frequented and worked at in her late teens throughout her twenties. These places, where her identity was made, were permissive. This merged recreation of places is part of a dreamscape of pleather seats, plastic glossy linoleum, shiny satin curtains, a flashing neon sign. They are sensual, bargain bin, gaudy, gauche – the material of a class identity that is blinded by the glitter, but also aware of its own tactlessness. Asher sits amongst the kitsch, but also behind it as a controlled observer. Like her subjects who perform their desires for the camera, Asher unearths a powerful authority of who she is.

Thursday, May 23, 7pm Ming Hon will give a performance as part of the Respondent series for Karen Asher's exhibition.

Friday, June 14, 7pm Karen Asher will give an artist talk followed by a dance and karaoke party.

BIO: Karen Asher received her BFA from the University of Manitoba's School of Art in 2009, and is the recipient of numerous awards, grants, and honors. Her work is featured in Flash Forward 2010 – Emerging Photographers from Canada, United Kingdom and the United States as well as Front Line: Interviews with International Contemporary Photo-Based Artists. Her first solo exhibition No Cause For Concern was presented at Platform Centre for Photographic and Digital Arts, Winnipeg with her most recent solo exhibition The Full Catastrophe presented at Ace Art Inc., Winnipeg. Asher has exhibited work at Toronto's Contact Photography Festival; the Gimli Film Festival; the Pingyao International Photography Festival, Beijing; Truck Contemporary Art, Calgary; and Feature Art Fair, Toronto. Asher's work has been featured in The National Post, Blackflash, Canadian Art, and Border Crossings.