The Power Plant, Toronto

ON-M5J 2G8 Toronto

plan route show map

artist / participant

press release

Opening Reception Friday 29 February 2008, 7pm

Play Pause (2006) differs in many ways from Benning's well known single-channel videos from the 1990s. Departing from her intensely personal coming-of-age teenage works, this two-screen projected video installation, directed in collaboration with Solveig Nelson, comprises hundreds of drawings that weave in and out of public and private urban spaces. In the post-9/11 world depicted here, wars rage in the headlines and malfunctioning Diebold ATMs fail to provide receipts.

The video spans a day in an anonymous city suggestive of Chicago. Commuters on the train, workers digging up the street and a game of soccer give way to drinking, dancing and sex. The video's cycle slows to an end at dawn in the airport: a figure, neither distinctly male nor female, approaches the washrooms and hesitates before the two doors; security guards scan bags and faces; and a couple has sex on the wing of a plane as it takes off. In this leaping between anonymous figures in the cityscape, the characters in Play Pause are not unlike those in Benning's earlier videos–isolated, lonely and wandering through the world as they explore and come to terms with their queer identities.

Sadie Benning (born in 1973 in Madison, Wisconsin) started making films at age fifteen with a Fisher-Price Pixelvision camera. In 1993 those works appeared in the Whitney Biennial. In addition to her film and video practice, she is a former member/co-founder of the band Le Tigre.

only in german

Sadie Benning
Play Pause