Kelly Mark, Public Disturbance

Gabrielle Moser
Diaz Contemporary, Toronto,
February 17 – March 19, 2011
Photo : Toni Hafkenscheid
Diaz Contemporary, Toronto,
February 17 – March 19, 2011
[En anglais]

In a larger-than-life-sized video projection, a well-dressed couple, stationed at the edge of a party, begins to discuss where they should go for a meal. Though it begins as a banal, unremarkable conversation, it quickly escalates into a shouting quarrel, drawing the attention of concerned waiters, confused guests and unprepared passers-by. The topic of the disagreement is unimportant; the argument frustratingly circular. The conflict ends only when the male figure, responding to a call on his cell phone, announces that Eddie, an unseen character, has died. The couple leaves the scene, the video ends, only to have another “take” of the same scenario begin again, this time on another wall of the gallery, in a different festive environment, where the dispute recommences.

If the viewing experience of Kelly Mark’s three-part video, Public Disturbance HB Series: Take 1 / Take 2 / Take 3 (2010), sounds remarkably similar to that of Bill Murray’s 1993 comedy Groundhog Day, it is perhaps a fitting parallel. Mark has long been interested in mining the intersections between film and television culture and our experience of everyday life, often producing labour-intensive and parodic appropriations of popular culture that are nonetheless surprisingly earnest in their approach to their source material. In her 2007 installation REM, Mark created a two-hour mashup of over 170 television clips, edited together according to formal similarities and plotline convergences, which the viewer could watch in one of four “living room” sets. A later installation commissioned for Nuit Blanche, Horroridor (2008), likewise culled scenes from horror and sci-fi movies depicting protagonists screaming, shrieking and recoiling from unseen enemies. 

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Cet article parait également dans le numéro 72 - Commissaires

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