• 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.

  • Melanie O’Brian

    Director/Curator of Artspeak 2004–2010.

  • Denise Oleksijczuk

    Denise Oleksijczuk is an assistant professor of Art and Culture Studies at the School for the Contemporary Arts at Simon Fraser University. Her book on panoramas in Britain in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries is forthcoming from the University of Minnesota Press. Since 2004, her work has been exhibited at the Or Gallery, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Contemporary Art Gallery, and at Solo Exhibition in Toronto.

  • Rachelle Sawatsky

    Rachelle Sawatsky lives and works in Los Angeles, where she recently received a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California. Her work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Western Front, Vancouver and Or Gallery, Berlin; in the 2012 Wight Biennial, Los Angeles; and in group exhibitions at 2nd Cannons, Los Angeles, Equinox Gallery, Vancouver and Galerie Mezzanin, Vienna. Sawatsky’s writing has appeared in The Happy HypocriteArt Papers and C Magazine.


  • Marginalia

    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.

Talks & Events

  • Artist Talk/Book Launch

    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.


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

Choose Shipping Option