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Helen Major / A Documentary Account

Anna M. Szarflarski
AKV Berlin Publishing
Artists' Books
15.2 × 22.8 cm

“Helen Major” is a non-fictional narrative written in the voice of the artist and bridges between art, journalism, and private investigation. The documented adventure begins in August 2009 when A. M. Szaflarski placed ads in the classifieds of the Vancouver Sun and The Province newspapers. The ads placed varied from week to week but essentially were a call for information about ‘secret locations’ in Vancouver and were intended to function as a platform for a series of interviews. The ads were ambiguous and there were few responses. Only one person persistently expressed her interest; a woman that called herself Helen Major. The direction of the project takes an unexpected turn when Helen misses all of her scheduled appointments with Szarflarski, and forces the artist into a detective’s role. The narrative takes the reader along with the artist as her story surprisingly delves into issues dealing with the infamous Vancouver-Downtown-Eastside, including the crimes of serial killer Robert Pickton. Within the book, Szarflarski goes back and forth from taking on the role of detective and artist, exploring as well as exposing herself to the boundaries of private and public space, and issues of exploitation.

This publication was originally published for the opening of Szarflarski’s exhibition at Antisocial gallery in 2009.

  1. Helen Major / A Documentary Account

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