Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art: World Discovered Under Other Skies Exhibition, January 14 - April 3

Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art

World Discovered Under Other Skies, a solo exhibition featuring Manuel Mathieu

January 14 - April 3, 2022


Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art is honoured to present World Discovered Under Other Skies, a solo exhibition featuring Manuel Mathieu, curated by Amin Alsaden, that will take place in our galleries from January 14 until April 3, 2022. World Discovered Under Other Skies is organized and circulated by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, where the exhibition was first displayed from September 26, 2020 to January 3, 2021.

Manuel Mathieu is known for his vibrant paintings that seamlessly merge abstraction with figuration. His work reflects on our intertwined lives, in which the boundaries between the past and present or the personal and political are often blurred. Sharing recollections that depict everyday scenes, Mathieu also blends into his canvases an interrogation of the complex history of his familial homeland, Haiti. By unearthing the traumas of state violence, he addresses issues that remain as urgent today as they have been throughout Haitian history.

Presenting a constellation of new and past works—including paintings, drawings, and ceramics—the exhibition sheds light on Haiti's relationship to the world. Positioned at the fault lines of modern political and environmental crises, Haiti epitomizes a global longing for liberation, and grassroots resistance to imperialist and capitalist exploits. At the centre of this exhibition is an examination of the long-lasting repercussions of Haiti's 1791–1804 revolt for abolition, independence, and control of their lives, rights, and land, which led in more recent decades to embroiling the nation in political chaos, corruptio, and the intrigues of the Cold War.

Some paintings bring harrowing incidents back into contemporary consciousness, hinting at the atrocities committed by Haiti's ruthless dictatorships. Mathieu reminds us that commemorating the tragedies of the past does not fall solely on the shoulders of a nation's local or diasporic communities, but it is part of our collective responsibility. His works suggest a distinct understanding of Haiti's history—a history defined by global currents, which occasionally collide resulting in frenzied episodes of mass violence. Mathieu, therefore, proposes that the dynamics of the world might manifest themselves in one place, like Haiti. Underlining common links and struggles that unite us despite national borders, he invites us to enter a world discovered under other skies.

Manuel Mathieu (b. 1986 in Port-au-Prince, lives and works in Montreal). He received his BFA from Université du Québec à Montréal and his MFA from Goldsmiths, University of London. Mathieu was an artist in residence at Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart (2019-20), and the Pamela Joyner and Alfred J. Giuffrida residency program, Sonoma CA (2019). Recent solo exhibitions have been held at Montreal Museum of Fine Arts (2020); HDM Gallery, Beijing (2019); The Armory Show, New York (2018); Tiwani Contemporary, London (2017); and Institute of Contemporary Art, London (2015). He has participated in numerous group exhibitions held in Canada, the United States, and Europe, including Fondation Phi, Montreal (2020); Pérez Art Museum Miami (2019); Frieze London (2018); Art Basel (2017); and Grand Palais, Paris (2014). Mathieu was one of the artists recognized by the 2020 Sobey Art Award.

Amin Alsaden is a curator, educator, and scholar of art and architecture, whose work focuses on transnational solidarities and exchanges across cultural boundaries. With a commitment to advancing social justice through the arts, Alsaden's curatorial practice contributes to the dissemination of more diverse, inclusive, and global narratives, by decentering and expanding existing canons, and challenging hegemonic knowledge and power structures. He is particularly interested in how artists and architects interrogate collective agency in the public realm and level institutional critique, while envisioning novel visual and spatial responses to the experiences of alienation and belonging. Alsaden's research explores the history and theory of modern and contemporary art and architecture globally, with specific expertise in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Having taught at several institutions at both the graduate and undergraduate levels, Alsaden regularly serves as an invited lecturer and critic at art, curatorial, and design programs. He teaches at several institutions, and has published and lectured widely. More information and samples of his work can be found here.

The exhibition is available by appointment from January 14 to April 3, 2022. Appointments are available during gallery hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 12 - 6 pm; Thursday 12 - 8 pm; and Saturday 12 - 5 pm.

Visitors must wear masks in our space, maintain physical distancing and show proof of vaccination to attend the exhibition. Appointments can be made at

"This exhibition is organized and circulated by The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, Toronto, sponsored by the TD Ready Commitment and supported by Lead Donors Steven & Lynda Latner; and Major Donors Fonds Hamelys, Pamela J. Joyner, and Jay Smith & Laura Rapp. Read more about World Discovered Under Other Skies at The Power Plant here."