Kelly Mark

Kelly Mark, Liverpool A-Z (installation view), 2006

Kelly Mark, Liverpool A-Z (installation view), 2006

Kelly Mark (b.1967, Canada) uses the city as a lab for interrupting and observing the rhythms of urban life.

Cities are made of countless nobodies, as well as architecture and moving objects. Asdie from rules, it is the nobodies whose actions in life create order and disorder. As we watch Marks actions and the responses they generate, nobodies become somebodies, and we gain a new form of knowledge of the city.

The A-Z street map as we know it today was the brainchild of Phyllis Pearsall (MBE) in 1936. It is a tool with thousands of equal working parts, yet activities such as house-hunting or relocating inevitably make a few pages dog-eared and marked while leaving the bulk of the A-Z as pristine sheets of streets, parts of the city that one need not, should not or cannot access.

Kelly Mark’s Liverpool A-Z project for International 06, developed with tenantspin (see, attempted to get to know Liverpool by chatting with 26 people whose first names begin with the letters A-Z. Filmed with tenantspin in a high-rise flat at Sefton Park, the 26 episodes were presented via webcasts, on the BBC Big Screen in central Liverpool and in the Media Lounge at FACT.

Kelly and tenantspin pieced together a city in which no areas are deemed inaccessible, unnecessary or undesirable. Arts, medicine, law, history, philosophy, entertainment, sport, activism and media were all represented – as were the gaps in between; people as citizens, observers, doers, participants in urban life and people as fine details of this great city were brought together to form more than the sum of the parts.

Kelly Mark at Liverpool Biennial 2006

Liverpool A-Z, 2006
26 Episodes, duration variable
Commissioned by Liverpool Biennial 2006
Exhibited at FACT and BBC Big Screen, Clayton Square 

Supported by

Arena Housing 
Northwest Regional Development Agency 
Canada House Arts Trust 
Canada Council for the Arts