October 2, 2016 - M Leuven - Mary Reid Kelley: Two solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Bremen and M - Museum Leuven
October 2, 2016

M Leuven / Kunsthalle Bremen

Left: Mary Reid Kelley with Patrick Kelley, Swinburne’s Pasiphae (detail, still), 2014. Video. Right: Mary Reid Kelley, You Make Me Iliad (detail, still), 2010. Video. Courtesy of the artist and Fredericks & Freiser, New York; Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; Pilar Corrias Gallery, London; and Arratia Beer, Berlin. © Mary Reid Kelley.

Mary Reid Kelley: Two solo exhibitions at Kunsthalle Bremen and M - Museum Leuven


A Marquee Piece of Sod. The WWI films of Mary Reid Kelley
September 10, 2016–February 19, 2017

Kunsthalle Bremen
Am Wall 207
28195 Bremen

info [​at​] kunsthalle-bremen.de

Twitter / Facebook / YouTube / Blog


Mary Reid Kelley
September 30, 2016–January 8, 2017

Performance This is Offal: November 17–20, 2016 during Playground festival

M - Museum Leuven
Leopold Vanderkelenstraat 28
3000 Leuven

m [​at​] leuven.be

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A prostitute, a First World War soldier, a minotaur, a 19th century French grisette. These are just a few of the characters in the work of Mary Reid Kelley (*1979, Greenville, South Carolina). She plays these historical figures in her films, and uses costumes, masks and poetic wordplay to create black and white films that are strongly reminiscent of graphic novels. Her films, based on extensive research, oscillate between drawings that are brought to life and stop-motion animation. The artist combines her concise aesthetic, which ironically synthesizes art-historical styles such as Cubism, Expressionism and Surrealism, with sophisticated wordplay in rhyming verse. By emphasizing inflated artificiality in both the language and the visual images, Reid Kelley explores the radical effect that dramatic historical events have had on changes in identity, gender roles, behaviour, sexuality and speech, and connects classical tragedies with pop culture and contemporary literature. Although her works are historically anchored, the impetus can clearly be found in contemporary conflicts as in the reflection on female identity today, and her own understanding as an artist.

In recognition of her exceptional creativity and potential, Mary Reid Kelley has just recently been announced as an awardee of the 2016 MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship.

In Mary Reid Kelley’s first solo exhibitions in European museums, the Kunsthalle Bremen and the M - Museum Leuven present the artist’s complete video oeuvre: her four-part film cycle on the First World War (Camel Toe (2008), The Queen’s English (2008), Sadie, the Saddest Sadist (2009) and You Make Me Iliad (2010) is presented at Kunsthalle Bremen, her trilogy about the myth of the minotaur (Priapus Agonistes (2013), Swinburne’s Pasiphae (2014) and The Thong of Dionysus (2015) is shown at M - Museum Leuven alongside The Syphilis of Sisyphus (2011). Both presentations of the films are supplemented by the artist’s drawings, working objects and research material. For the Kunsthalle Bremen Reid Kelley has furthermore curated an accompanying exhibition with works on paper by artists including Ernst Barlach, Otto Dix and Käthe Kollwitz on the subject of WWI. Selected from the rich holdings of the Kunsthalle Bremen, the exhibition creates a productive dialogue between these historic documents and her own work.

On the occasion of the exhibition, Kunsthalle Bremen has acquired Reid Kelley’s new and award-winning film This is Offal from 2016, which will be shown as a new addition to the collection. In Leuven Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley will perform This Is Offal as a live performance—commissioned as part of Corpus, network for performance practice, and produced by Playground (STUK Kunstencentrum & M-Museum, Leuven) and co-produced by KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berliner Festspiele / Foreign Affairs.

A Marquee Piece of Sod at the Kunsthalle Bremen is curated by Eva Fischer-Hausdorf and Anne Buschhoff and supported by the Supporters’ Circle for Contemporary Art with an additional funding by Bremer Landesbank. The exhibition at M – Museum Leuven is curated by Valerie Verhack.

M Leuven
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