toronto

Kelly Mark

Art Gallery of Ontario

At the entrance to the gallery where Kelly Mark’s recent works were on display, a video monitor showed the artist keeping watch, her gaze fixed approximately at eye level. She stares blankly for the most part, almost as if mimicking you staring at her. Her eyes sometimes become glassy with the strain of focusing for a sustained period. Despite her equanimity, you imagine a cinematic flickering of thoughts and memories passing over the empty screen of her gaze; then her eyes begin to flutter and roll up in her head as she fights off sleep. She regains her composure and the staring continues as before. Although it is the only video on offer, 33 Minute Stare, 1996, shares the subtlety, simplicity, and wit of Mark’s drawings and sculptures, and provides a neat analogy for the exhibit: the impulse to project emotion onto Mark’s visage is like the impulse to project interpretations onto her

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