Organized by the JM Barnicke Gallery, University of Toronto
An interest in everyday moments and time-filling activity is mixed in Mark’s work with deadpan humour and self-deprecatory purpose. The artist studied at NSCAD and had her first curated exhibition at MSVU Gallery in 1995, before moving to Toronto. Since then she has become an internationally respected neo-conceptualist, particularly renowned for her task-oriented approach to artmaking and her use of vernacular practices such as sampling and mash-up.
Stupid Heaven presents key works from Mark’s past twelve years of production, including drawing, sculpture, video, performance, audio, multiples and television-based projects.
In Hiccup, a multi-channel video-recorded performance, the artist is seen spending an identical amount of time doing exactly the same thing in the same location over several days, thus highlighting the constancy of change–in weather, light, traffic, passersby–around her. Mark uses her work and her presence as a frame through which to witness the flux of time, events, and ritual endeavour.
Recent pieces focus on television, the medium that consumes time as no other. Rather than taking issue with televisual content, Mark draws attention to an oblique aspect of its presence by making installations that consist simply of the flickering glow characteristic of specific program genres, such porn and romance. The exhibition culminates with the new video mash-up REM, culled from 170 broadcast TV sources, and edited together in a tour-de-force, dream-like narrative. The story is shaped as though to wrest meaning out of the experience of channel-surfing, including attention-span disorder, which might be the temporal condition of television watching.
OPENING RECEPTION You and your friends are cordially invited to meet the artists and attend the opening reception on Saturday, April 5 at 7:30pm. The free chartered bus leaves 5163 Duke Street at 7:15pm and departs from MSVU at 8:30pm.
The exhibition catalogue is a co-publication of Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; and MSVU Art Gallery.