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Hito Steyerl blurs fact and fiction, the real and the virtual

June 3rd, 2019

A screenshot of a piece of warped metal siding, with the caption "Siri, who destroyed this city"
Hito Steyerl, Robots Today, 2016. Image CC 4.0 Hito Steyerl. Image courtesy of the Artist, Andrew Kreps Gallery, New York and Esther Schipper, Berlin

Mark your calendars! Internationally renowned German artist, filmmaker and writer Hito Steyerl returns to the AGO next October, for her first ever major solo exhibition in Canada. Celebrated for her boundary-pushing films and lectures, her work casts a critical eye on a wide range of subjects, from video games to artificial intelligence. Taking viewers on a series of journeys to places remote, fictional and deeply personal, her boundary-pushing films and lectures reveal the complexities and absurdities undermining the idea of a connected world.

If her name sounds familiar, it is for good reason. Not only is she the recipient of numerous international prizes and awards, including most recently the prestigious Käthe Kollwitz Prize, she is no stranger to the AGO. In 2015, Steyerl was a finalist for the AGO | AIMIA Photography Prize and her 2013 work How Not to Be Seen: A Fucking Didactic Educational .MOV File was exhibited in the Signy Eaton Gallery.

Also a prolific writer and celebrated cultural critic, her essays have appeared in leading publications around the world. “Truth will rarely be popular or profitable,” Steyerl wrote in the New York Times in 2018. “Before, technology was supposed to connect and mediate. The online world seemed like a Disney vision of multiculturalism, promoting sterile tolerance from above. Now technology divides and fragments; it identifies and ranks people.”

Opening on October 26 on Level 5 in the Vivian and David Campbell Centre for Contemporary Art, the exhibition surveys a selection of works from the past 15 years, blending video and built environments, the personal with the political, the serious with the ironic. Stay tuned for more exciting details.

Hito Steyerl is free for AGO Members and is included with General Admission. It is also free for visitors 25 and under and AGO Annual Pass holders. For more information about the AGO Annual Pass, visit the website.

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