Ydessa Hendeles is a Canadian artist, curator and philanthropist who is showing her works from the past decade in a large retrospective at The Power Plant. The show ends on September 4th, and is well worth a trip to Toronto’s Harbourfront.
As a curator, Hendeles arranges and displays things. As an artist, she does the same thing. Her medium is the tableau vivant … and money … because the things she arranges are costly … large collections of unusual antiques. Unlike most artists, Ydessa Hendeles has money.
Danica and I are familiar with her work, due to past visits to her unusual Art Foundation, prior to its closure in 2012. This retrospective is similarly dark, theatrical, quirky and eery. The curator of her show in London said he wouldn’t use the word creepy, but I would.
To “read” the intentions of Hendeles’ tableaux, you need written words as well as observation. Feeling their expression is more direct and, for me, better. Hendeles makes me feel sad … not sad like the nightly news … a quieter, deeper sad. Hers is a grim vision, both touching and disturbing.
Here is a short video, showing the way the toy car enlargement works. A propellor emerges from the front and wings come out on the sides. An airplane tail is part of the body. A flying car in a glass cage.
I also show you the Gustave Doré print enlargements framed on the wall. They illustrate Coleridge’s poem, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. You remember … the guy who shot the albatross and was forced to wear it around his neck.