Ron Terada, TL;DR, 2020-2022. Acrylic on canvas. Courtesy the artist and Catriona Jeffries, Vancouver. Installation view: WE DID THIS TO OURSELVES, The Power Plant, Toronto, 2023. Photo Toni Hafkenscheid
Ron Terada: We Did This To Ourselves
Jun 23 – Sep 4, 2023
The Power Plant
Toronto, Canada

Vancouver-based artist Ron Terada presents his first major solo exhibition in Toronto since 2018, including his monumental painting series TL; DR, 2017–22, and a newly commissioned sign sculpture in the Fleck Clerestory that also lends its title to the exhibition.

The provocative title declaring our current predicament is borrowed from Ron Terada’s sign work occupying the clerestory gallery. For over two decades, the Vancouver-based artist has been making primarily sculptures and paintings that originate in found texts.

In the English language, the word “headlinese” refers to a highly compressed, telegraphic form of writing that guides the way we receive our news stories, which today tend to arrive via the digital-screen format. At a time when our attention to screens is a highly sought-after commodity – measured by the amount of time spent on a website and the number of clicks made – headlines are of prime importance to news agencies.

TL; DR is a series of paintings featuring headlines generated from The Verge, an online tech-news source, and recasting them in the distinct font used by The New York Times. TL; DR is internet slang for “too long; didn’t read,” and Terada’s works speak to our shared sense of frustration when faced with the overwhelming experience of today’s often catastrophic news. The exhibition features the latest body of work in the TL; DR series: an epic cycle of 325 paintings that tells a story of 2020, the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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