vancouver

Kelly Mark

Tracey Lawrence Gallery

As public sculptures step down from their pedestals, they struggle to establish a rapport with the person on the street. Most cities are inhabited by a few loitering bronzes, listlessly shaking hands, tipping hats, or sitting at metal boards awaiting chess partners. As visual gags, these ersatz comrades suggest activities for, while reiterating the intended function of, communal zones of rest and transit. “Private Conversations with Public Statuary,” 2003–2004, a series of videos by Kelly Mark (the first three of which were shown here), takes up this offer of sculptural amity and documents the proceedings as three of the artist’s friends sit down to bend the ear of a bronze. The trio of fifteen-minute works, projected in turn on the back wall of the gallery, is simply structured: Each is a silent, centrally framed, continuous shot of a person talking to a public sculpture as oblivious or

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