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Kyla Mallett

Kyla Mallett is a Vancouver artist. Her practice focuses on the transgressive possibilities of language and communication and manifests in interview/statistical research, installation, photography, and video works. Recent projects have used the library as an archive for research based works. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Canadian Cultural Centre (Paris), Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton), Presentation House Gallery (North Vancouver), Artspeak (Vancouver), ThreeWalls (Chicago), and Mount St. Vincent University Gallery (Halifax), among others.

Exhibitions

  • Marginalia

    KYLA MALLETT
    December 2–January 20, 2007

    Kyla Mallett’s practice consistently examines the intersection of language and culture. Often bringing together the concerns of teens, feminism, and art history, Mallett borrows from the formal aesthetics of 1960s conceptual art and applies pseudo-sociological methods of sampling and archiving to reveal alternative networks of communication within various social milieus.

    Past projects have included a combined photographic and text series that revealed the desires and perceptions of suburban youth; an audio piece that embedded anonymous gossip in the gallery walls; and a video project that documented adult women telling personal stories of bullying.

    In keeping with her interest in alternative, often unsanctioned, forms of dialogue, Mallett’s current project for Artspeak moves these considerations into a wider social context. Marginalia is photographic project that centres on the margin notes and graffiti found in a selection of books from the Vancouver Public Library collection. Positioning the library as an alternative archive, the artist worked with the library staff to accumulate “damaged” materials in order to reveal a transgressive system of communication that coexists with the official institutional system of the library. If the library itself is emblematic of a sanctioned literary practice, the marginalia found within the “damaged” books then becomes an unsanctioned literary practice: unruly, anti-institutional, personal, and at times offensive. At once public and private, marginalia is an attempt to make one’s mark, to pass on thoughts and opinions. In representing the marginalia in situ, alongside the official text, Mallett’s work offers a conversation between the official structure and the voices that appear in the cracks, and posits yet another cross-over dialogue between the subjects of the books that range from teen suicide to Milton’s Paradise Lost.

  • Up and Down: Downtown Eastside Architecture

    ARNI HARALDSSON
    March 15–April 19, 2003

    Arni Haraldsson’s photographs of buildings in the Downtown Eastside show us that to understand this neighbourhood and its politics and its fate, you must understand architecture. Shot from public and private spaces with the aid of local residents, these photographs show us a neighbourhood we didn’t know existed: a beautiful and stately procession of century-old hotels. Landmarks like the Carnegie, the Empress, and the Regal are given their due, and that staple of film noir, the alley, is provided for our edification. But this exhibition does not shy away from the seamier side of the DES, and grimy gated condos are shown in all their tired gentrification chic. Accompanying the exhibition will be a set of postcards, with Haraldsson’s photographs on one side and texts ­ imaginary messages ­by Burnham, on the other side. Taking on the voices of various DESers ­from tourists and the police to activists and residents, artists and workers—­these messages explicitly connect Haraldsson’s imagery with the social context of the neighbourhood: the language of architecture and the architecture of language.

    Born in Iceland and based in Vancouver since 1979, Arni Haraldsson has been exhibiting his work nationally and internationally since the the mid-1980s. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of British Columbia in 1990, and currently teaches at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design. Since the late-1980s, ths scope of Haraldsson’s photographic work has expanded from an exploration of the lost aspirations of the utopian principle of modernism to an emphasis on the design and social life of the city. His interest in the city as subject centres on the the notion of urban space as a type of monad which encapsulates the characteristic features of the social and economic structure of our present age.

    Clint Burnham was born in Comox in 1962 and has lived in Vancouver since 1995. He teaches at UBC and Emily Carr. His work includes a collection of short stories, Airborne Photo, a work of theory, The Jamesonian Unconscious, a book of poetry, Buddyland, and the performance installation (with Mark Laba) Cop Puppet, which was at Artspeak gallery in 1999. For three years Clint was academic coordinator of the Humanities 101 program, a liberal arts introduction at UBC for low-income students; he has also taught poetry classes with the Carnegie street program, a humanities program with the Elizabeth Fry society in New Westminster, and a creative writing class for seniors on Commercial Drive. He is currently at work on a book about Vancouver photo-conceptual art, in which he locates the critical aesthetics of the Vancouver school in terms of local social, geographic, and historical conditions, rather than international art & theory.

    All works courtesy of the artist and Catriona Jeffries Gallery, Vancouver.

    anarchive 22

    anarchive presents a selection of intriguing objects, catalogues, publications and artists’ books from our archive collection, investigating the relationship between visual art and writing.

    Bibliography

    Bellerby, Greg, ed. Vertical Cities, Vancouver: Charles H. Scott Gallery, 1999.

    Burnham, Clint, “Postmodernism is the Theory, Gentrification is the Practice: Jameson, Haraldsson, Architecture, and Vancouver”, Jameson Reader. Homer, Sean and Kellner, Douglas, ed., London: Palgrave, 2003.

    Brydon, Anne, at first sight: Arni Haraldsson, London: London Regional Art and Historical Museums, 1997.

    Kleyn, Robert, Beneath the Paving Stones, Vancouver: Charles H. Scott Gallery, 1993.

    Lawlor, Michael Christopher, Social Complex, Fredericton: Gallery Connexion, 1988.

    Ritchie, Christina, Arni Haraldsson: Firminy, Vancouver: Contemporary Art Gallery, 2001.

    Simon, Cheryl, “Arni Runar Haraldsson”, The Zone of Conventional Practice and Other Real Stories / À Propos de Conventions et Autres Fictions, Montréal: Optica, 1989, p. 211-222.

    Postscript 07: Andrew Sharpe and Kyla Mallett on Up and Down: Downtown Eastside Architecture (PDF)

Talks & Events

  • Speakeasy: Writing and Contemporary Art

    KATE EICHHORN, KYLA MALLETT
    January 22, 2010

    How does writing, as a practice, inform contemporary art and vice versa? Speakeasy, a semi-annual series of talks and presentations, will interrogate Artspeak’s mandate to encourage dialogue between visual art and writing. From text based art, visual poetry, and parallel texts to activities of publication and research, how do writing practices and concerns intersect with contemporary art practices? This multipart series will take place at Artspeak from January to April 2010.

    JANUARY 22, 2010 8pm

    KATE EICHHORN AND KYLA MALLETT

    ART AND RESEARCH
    (Moderated by Jacqueline Turner)

    The third event in the series will examine issues of research and the archive with writer Kate Eichhorn and visual artist Kyla Mallett.

    Kate Eichhorn is the author of Fond and co-editor of Prismatic Publics: Innovative Canadian Women’s Poetry and Poetics. She has published widely on the subjects of archives, print cultures and feminist poetics. Her second collection of poetry is forthcoming in 2010, and she is currently completing a critical study on archival genres and the poetics of everyday life. She teaches Culture and Media Studies at The New School in New York City.

    Kyla Mallett is a Vancouver artist. Her practice focuses on the transgressive possibilities of language and communication and manifests in interview/statistical research, installation, photography, and video works. Recent projects have used the library as an archive for research based works. Her work has been included in exhibitions at the Canadian Cultural Centre (Paris), Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton), Presentation House Gallery (North Vancouver), Artspeak (Vancouver), ThreeWalls (Chicago), and Mount St. Vincent University Gallery (Halifax), among others.

    Podcast available here.

  • Artist Talk/Book Launch

    KYLA MALLETT
    January 20, 2007

    Artist talk and book launch of “An Art of the Weak: Marginalia, writers and readers” presented in conjunction with the exhibition, Marginalia.

  • Book Launch/Talk

    CLINT BURNHAM, ARNI HARALDSSON
    March 28, 2003

    Artspeak is pleased to host the book launch of Up & Down: Downtown Eastside Architecture, a publication produced in conjunction with Arni Haraldsson’s exhibition at Artspeak from March 15th to April 19th, 2003. In celebration of the publication launch, Clint Burnham is giving a talk regarding Haraldsson’s work and book.

Publications

  • An Art of the Weak: Marginalia, Writers, and Readers

    Weak front
    Weak spine
    Weak back

    Title: An Art of the Weak: Marginalia, Writers and Readers
    Category: Artist Book / Exhibition Catalogue
    Artist: Kyla Mallett
    Writers: Kyla Mallett, Denise Oleksijczuk, Rachelle Sawatsky
    Editor: Melanie O’Brian
    Design: Jen Eby
    Publisher: Artspeak
    Printer: Friesens
    Year published: 2007
    Pages: 143pp
    Cover: Paperback
    Binding: Perfect Bound
    Process: Offset
    Features: 52 b&w images
    Dimensions: 19.5 x 13.5 x 1.5 cm
    Weight: 226 g
    ISBN: 0-921394-55-1
    Price: $6 CDN