Pam Hall
Pam Hall > Work With Others > Marginalia

Marginalia: Pam Hall and Margaret Dragu- 2004-ongoing

grunt gallery, Vancouver-2005  RAG, Richmond,BC-2008   STRUTS, Sackville, NB-2008 STUDIO XX, Montreal, 2010


Marginalia is a collaboration, a correspondence, a conversation - between two artists on opposite coasts of Canada. It began through the "matchmaking" efforts of Glenn Alteen, the Director of grunt Gallery in Vancouver, and Richard Simas, the Director of Theatre LaChapelle in Montreal. They wondered what might happen if they enabled a collaboration between two senior women artists from radically different traditions of practice, and sponsored their meeting at joint residency in Montreal in 2004.

Since that time, Hall and Dragu have been exchanging emails, video clips and "memory cloths"- small fabric squares approximately 12" x 12", which they construct as "postcards/journal pages/poems/snapshots" of their daily lives and precoccupations. The squares/carres are exchanged digitally several times a week and have come to represent a "soft book of days" through which each artist maps, then shares their history. In a recent Artist Statement, Hall and Dragu "explained" the project this way-

MARGINALIA is about creating discourse: both between the two artists who have undertaken this committed correspondence, and between audiences who experience the work both virtually and in real-time. Our process engages new technologies and old manual practices to explore the ground between art and life, between one coast and another, between two strangers deciding to “make a relationship”. We are, like most Canadians, exploring how it might be possible to forge deep connection, mutual understanding, and complicity across great distance

Presented to the public for the first time, during the LIVE Bienalle of Performance Art, in Vancouver, 2005, video documentation of the performance/installation of Marginalia: Aktion 1 can be seen here.


Marginalia: Getting out of the House was presented at The Richmond Public Art Gallery (RAG) in Richmond, BC, in the fall of 2008, where Dragu and Hall built their "history" into "houses", printed their entire square-correspondence on 4"x6" recipe cards, and invited members of the local community to help them "make meaning" by putting the squares into new conversation with one another. When they stopped making daily squares in 2008, Hall and Dragu had created and shared over 2700 squares. The exhbition catalogue- MARGINALIA: Getting out of the House will be published by RAG in the Spring ,2009.

bottom 6 photos courtesy of RAG , otherwise, all photos by Pam Hall -dimensions variable- each square approx 12"X12"



Marginalia in Residence at STRUTS gallery in Sackville, NB, (2008) gave Hall and Dragu creative time to explore video, movement, gesture and real time dialogue - to experiment face to face- putting both their squares and their bodies into conversation.


Marginalia at Studio XX  brought another layer of collaboration and iteration to the project in Montreal in 2010. Staff and the Director of XX had visited the Struts residency, and when they identified the theme of  their HTMLLes Festival in 2010 as "home", they invited Dragu and Hall to participate. The artists created a multi-layered "archive"... lining the walls of the entrance corridor with a "soft library" of handmade memory cloths, and using recipe cards, random slides playing on multiple computer screens and a looped video installation to invite viewers into dialogue with material and electronic correspondences accross distance.





The "story" of Marginalia to date, is below- excerpted from an Artist's Talk Hall gave at Goddard College in Vermont, in January, 2006.




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