Mary Reid Kelley @ Arratia Beer

Mary Reid Kelley with Patrick Kelley, Swineburne’s Pasiphae, video still, 2014

Mary Reid Kelley – The Minotaur Trilogy

Eröffnung: Samstag 12. März 2016, 18 – 21 Uhr

Working primarily in video, Mary Reid Kelley’s meticulously composed scripts contest conventions of written language and spoken word, fluctuating between comic and tragic interpretation. Often parodically borrowing the satyrical and nonsensical verse structures of Alexander Pope and Lewis Carroll, the videos’ fractured poetical narratives reflect their characters’ deluded, perilous states. In this most recent trilogy of films, the artist plays every character, transformed through her distinctive monochromatic palette, wigs and heavy make-up. Made in collaboration with Patrick Kelley, her videos are elaborate constructions which include live-action performance; props and set design; drawing, graphic animation and printed word.

Comprised of three films –Priapus Agonistes (2013), Swinburne’s Pasiphae (2014) and The Thong of Dionysus (2105) – The Minotaur Trilogy explores the mythological monster’s tragic family tree. The trilogy fuses ancient drama, modernist literature and contemporary pop culture, satirizing the promise of progress through razor-sharp observations on gender, desire, and vanity.

The video installation is accompanied by 8 photographic portraits of poets, rappers, thinkers and artists whose work contributed to the artist’s concept of a “Dionysian” writing, manifesting in the films as a dark, shape-shifting wordplay that collages the tragic and ludic. These portraits, part homage and part caricature, range in time and subject from Euripides to Lil’ Kim. While they share an emphasis on parody, masking, and costume with The Minotaur Trilogy, the portraits, photographs of meticulously modeled and painted heads, reveal a cast of specific personalities that contrast with the film’s symbolic, mythological personae.


Potsdamer Strasse 87
10785 Berlin

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