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Mary Reid Kelley

Employing formative animation techniques, artist Mary Reid Kelley creates haunting videos that revisit the physical and psychological impact of civilians and non-civilians in early-twentieth-century times of war. Entrenched in scripts of euphemisms, clichés, riddles, and puns, her characters—often performed by the artist herself—embody men and women working as sailors, soldiers, nurses, prostitutes, and factory laborers in Europe. Influenced by German Expressionism, she paints herself with line and shadow to blend into the illusionistic space of constructed sets and props. In the end, her poetic performances blur fact and fiction, destabilizing reality and the possibility of meaning.

Born in Greenville, South Carolina, Mary Reid Kelley lives and works in Saratoga Springs, New York. Since receiving her MFA in painting from Yale University in 2009, she has participated in exhibitions at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art, Tampa; SITE Santa Fe, New Mexico; Susanne Vielmetter Projects, Los Angeles; and Fredericks & Freiser Gallery, New York. In 2011, Reid Kelley screened three videos at the Salina Art Center Cinema. She is a current recipient of the Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize at the American Academy in Rome.

Sat May 19, 2012 10am – 11am Central Time
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