Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Nuit Blanche Edmonton: Kelly Mark | 108 Leyton Ave

Between the years 1999 and 2002, Priscilla Monge (see previous post) made a work titled Pensum in which a series of schoolroom chalkboards are covered with endless lists of things the artist must not do ("I must not have sex with art critics”, "I must not be minimalist", "I must not buy any more shoes"). At the exact same time, Kelly Mark was producing a work that functions as the exact inverse. I Really Should... is an accumulation of procrastinations ("I really should stop smoking", "I really should lose some weight", "I really should become the voice of my generation"), that has been produced as a text piece, a neon sculpture and an audio work. 

The type of back and forth between the two works is not dissimilar to Mark's 108 Leyton Ave, which is presented as an outdoor projection as part of Nuit Blanche Edmonton on Saturday. The work will be shown at the south-west corner of Churchill Square, in the upper Pavilion. The above image is from an exhibition at The University of Waterloo, where Mark is exhibiting alongside Roula Partheniou. It continues until October 31st. 

108 Leyton Ave, produced almost twenty years after Mark first began exhibiting work, has been hailed as her masterpiece. 

"Kelly Mark sits across the table from herself, drinking, smoking and arguing. The split- screen video projection features the artist masterfully mimicking her own gestures, while debating with herself, using colloquial expressions relating to “nothing” and “everything”. The list of clichés are expertly woven into the script as contradictions, counter- arguments, counsel and complaint, building towards a poignant and surprisingly personal portrait of the artist.

Toronto-based Kelly Mark works in a variety of media including sculpture, video, installation, drawing, photography, sound, multiples, performance and public interventions. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in 1994 at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Mark has exhibited widely across Canada, and internationally at venues including the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, The Power Plant in Toronto, Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver, Muse d’Art Contemporain in Montreal, Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, Bass Museum in Miami, Ikon Gallery and Lisson Gallery in the UK, and the Physics Room in New Zealand. Mark represented Canada at the Liverpool Biennale in 2006 and the Sydney Biennale in 1998."

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