Kelly Mark, "REM," video still, 2007.
Stupid Heaven, January 16 – April 9, 2010, Kenderdine Gallery, Saskatoon
BY: Patricia Dawn Robertson
“I respond to things,” says Toronto artist Kelly Mark of her forthcoming survey show at the Kenderdine Gallery. Curated by Barbara Fischer, the exhibition includes old and new works by this enfant terrible of neo-conceptualism. The artist’s subversive humour and playful subject matter could be mistaken for a post-feminist mash-up, but when asked if she’s a feminist, Mark replies, “F—k no! I mean as women, we are all inherently feminist but I don’t want to be ghettoized.” Much of the artist’s material is what she calls re-creation. She’s borrowing from old materials and giving them a new twist. “Sometimes I cross the line,” she confesses. She’s also not afraid to satirize her role as underpaid artist. Though she hasn’t punched a clock in seven years, she still likes to explore the concept of work. In one piece she’s dubbed “Minimum Wage”, Mark frames her gallery contract and hangs it on the wall. “I ask the gallery to pay me a minimum wage for the time my work is up on the wall,” she says. “It often comes out more than my artist fee and then we frame it and make it part of the show.”