CLINT BURNHAM, MARK LABA
October 23–November 20, 1999
‘Clint Burnham and Mark Laba are Vancouver artists whose practice includes cutting open, stuffing, and sewing up toy animals in the context of political allegory.’
As part of the city-wide performance festival Live at the End of the Century Artspeak is pleased to present a performance and installation by Clint Burnham and Mark Laba. Cop Puppet will begin with an opening night performance in the gallery, in which puppets stand in for local political figures and ‘spokespersons’. The performance props—surgically altered stuffed animal toys, freezers, obselete televisions and other ‘millennial signs’ found in thrift shops—will remain installed throughout the exhibition period along with pulp fiction paperbacks, and production stills from their video. The tape features Laba, the ‘Top Jewish Cop’ taking down Burnham in a basement suite drug bust using only accelerated invective and a set of hair clippers.
Their Collaborative Crime Puppet Shows have included ‘Casey and Finnegan’s Drug Deal Goes Bad’ at LaQuena in 1997 and the ‘Molson Indy Princess Di Memorial Landmine & Syringe Race’ for Kootenay School of Writing in 1998. Real crime shows, kids’ programming, the local news and CNN overlap and merge in a hyped delivery of text and image.
In addition to their performance work, Burnham and Laba are well known for their diverse range of writing practices. Laba’s Mack Bolen Poems was awarded the bpNichol chapbook award in 1996 and his food writing, such as ‘Who’s Who at Hooters’ have been published in CityFood Magazine. Burnham has been a frequent contributor to Boo Magazine and his most recent book is Airborne Photo, a collection of short stories.
Copies of the screenplay will be available in the gallery.
Lynn Coady, Mark Laba, Trajectory Magazine Launch
December 17, 1999
Artspeak Gallery will host the launching event for Trajectory Magazine Issue #00: Benefit, featuring readings by Lynn Coady and Mark Laba, and music by Presley 9.
Trajectory is an interdisciplinary publication of art, culture and ideas. Crossing academic artistic and related practices, Trajectory provides a forum for critical dicussion between contemporary arts communities, exploring common areas of interest.
Title: Cop Puppet
Category: Artist Book
Artist: Clint Burnham, Mark Laba
Writers: Clint Burnham, Mark Laba
Year published: 1999
Binding: Staple Bound
Dimensions: 28 x 22 x 0.5 cm
Weight: 114 g
Price: $2 CDN
Burnham and Laba presented a performance work that used puppets to mimic the structure of corporate seminars and pulp fiction drug narratives featuring contemporary political figures. Cop Puppet is the screenplay of the performance text produced for the opening night performance and also functions as a document of the event.