Kyla Mallett works from a diverse archive of second-hand, self-help materials, delving into the history, context, and status of the genre as a popular, academically ‘unsanctioned’ discourse. The artworks in this project highlight promises of enlightenment and well-being, focusing on the cultural interest in the genre as a gesture of hope, tempered by a skepticism about its transformative power. Mallett’s work conflates, rearranges, and reconsiders the sphere of self-improvement, and its role as a social convention. As in much of her earlier work, Helping Yourself focuses on marginal and devalued forms of language and communication utilizing pseudo-anthropological and sociological strategies of collecting and archiving.
Kyla Mallett completed her BFA at Emily Carr in 2000 and her MFA at UBC in 2004. She has received critical attention for both national and international exhibits over the past decade, having exhibited at such institutions as the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver Art Gallery, the Art Gallery of Alberta, Presentation House Gallery, Artspeak, ThreeWalls in Chicago, and the Mount St. Vincent University Gallery in Halifax. Mallett is an Assistant Professor in Visual Art and Graduate Studies at Emily Carr University.
An exhibition of Mallett’s work can be seen at SAAG, opening reception at 8:00pm on Nov 19/11.
image: How to See and Read the Aura, 2010, 1 lightjet print and 44 UV-sensitive screen prints, Courtesy the artist, photo credit: Scott Massey, courtesy of Contemporary Art gallery, Vancouver