Feb - March 2000 Selected Previews

Showing preview 6 of 8



Kyla Mallett: Legendary Teens

Access Gallery, Vancouver
2/19/00 - 3/18/00


Heather from "Legendary Teens" and detail of page from questionnaire(1999),
c-print

Tsawwassen-born artist Kyla Mallett embarked on an exercise in participant observation by returning to her small town on the edge of the Pacific Northwest Coast and to the social centre of the townís teenagers: The White Spot Restaurant. The teens, nicknamed "coffee trolls", revealed intimate details of their youth culture to Mallett through questionnaires she designed. From this ethnographic material, Mallett selected photographs and interview excerpts. These are installed as the art exhibition entitled Legendary Teens. A major theme in the work is the contrast of suburban and urban ingenuity. Through the lens of her informal study, the town of Tsawwassen is portrayed as extremely isolated geographically, economically and socially, even though it is situated on the outskirts of Vancouver. The interview excerpts provide glimpses of the ways in which her subjects test their rites of passage into adulthood. In an assault against their affluence and Caucasian insularity, they appear to thrive on fighting and drinking. They visit Vancouverís Granville Street for tattoos; crouch apparently "homeless" on Robson Street; and envy the sensibilities of the 60s and 70s. The transcripts emphasize these moments of bravado within their local safety net of prosperity and boredom.

© Mia Johnson