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Mary Reid Kelly

The Hague Contemporary Art Weekend


06/07/2019 –
– 07/07
The Hague Contemporary Art Weekend

During the second edition of The Hague Contemporary Art Weekend, which took place from the 5th until the 7th of July  2019, 1646 presented three video works of Mary Reid Kelley.

The Hague Contemporary Art Weekend consisted of an elaborate programme of exhibitions, openings, performances, artist talks, tours, club/performance nights, film screenings and more on19 locations in the city.

The festival kicked-off on Friday the 5th of July at 17:00 hrs, with the opening of the Graduation Festival of the Royal Academy of Art The Hague (KABK Den Haag).

1646 presented the following works:

Priapus Agonistes (2013) condenses elements of Greek drama and mythology with details of the church volleyball tournament that the artist remembers from her childhood. The Minotaur is re-imagined as a lost daughter in a labyrinth in a gymnasium basement, her sacrifices coming in the form of members of the losing volleyball team. Like Jorge Luis Borges’ portrait of the Minotaur as antihero in The House of Asterion, the Minotaur of Priapus Agonistes is hopelessly lost in an environment of repetitive space, using the murdered sacrifices as landmarks to help her navigate a path to the lavatory.

Swinburne’s Pasiphae (2014) follows Priapus Agonistes (2013) in an ongoing trilogy that explores the mythological Minotaur’s tragic family tree. For the first time Reid Kelley adapts an existing text, using Victorian poet Algernon Charles Swinburne’s dramatic fragment Pasiphae to tell the unlikely story of the Minotaur’s conception. Unpublished during Swinburne’s lifetime, probably due to its shocking sexual theme, the poem stages an interaction between master artisan Daedalus and the Minotaur’s mother, the bewitched Minoan Queen Pasiphae, who is cursed with an insatiable wish to mate with a beautiful bull. Symbolising, respectively, reckless creative power and the torment of unfulfilled desire, Daedalus and Pasiphae indelibly dramatise the complex collaboration of artist and audience.

The Thong of Dionysus (2015) ends Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley’s long-running exploration of self-deception, betrayal, and family. The delusions of love are central to this last film. Sent into the Labyrinth to destroy the monstrous Minotaur, the hero Priapus falls in love with her, and dies. The marriage of Ariadne to the wine god Dionysus, celebrated by Titian, takes a darker interpretation here. Dionysus and his supporting cast of Maenads advocate throughout the film for the dissolution of the self in wine and revelry. Voicing and acting every character herself in a feat of transformation and endurance, the culmination of the trilogy marks the end of Mary Reid Kelley’s significant update to these ancient themes.

Mary Reid Kelley (b.1979, lives and works in Olivebridge, upstate New York, USA) received her MFA in Painting from Yale University in 2009. She has had solo shows at Tate Liverpool; The High Line, New York, M – Museum Leuven, Leuven, Kunsthalle Bremen, Bremen (2016); The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015); Multimedia Art Museum, Moscow (2015); Pilar Corrias Gallery, London (2014); Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, New Paltz; University Art Museum, University at Albany, New York (2014); AMOA Arthouse, Austin (2013). Reid has participate in group exhibitions at Public Art Fund, New York (2017); The Jewish Museum, New York (2017); Centre for Contemporary Art Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (2016); MACBA Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona and Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart (2015); BREESE LITTLE, London (2015); H&R Block Artspace, Kansas City Art Institute (2015); Atlanta Contemporary Art Center (2015); Klemms Gallery, Berlin (2015); Knockdown Center, Queens, NY (2015); Rose Art Museum, Massachusetts (2014); MACRO, Rome (2012); Zabludowicz Collection, London (2012); and Space B, New York (2012).

Reid Kelley has been awarded the MacArthur Felloship (2016); the Baloise Art Prize (2016); Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship (2014); Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant (2013); The Shifting Foundation Grant (2012); Joseph H. Hazen Rome Prize, American Academy in Rome (2011); the Rema Hort Mann Foundation Grant (2009); and a CAA Visual Arts Fellowship (2008). Reid Kelley’s work is held in public collections including the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven; and Kadist Foundation.

Other participants of the The Hague Contemporary Art Weekend were:

Dürst Britt & Mayhew, Fotomuseum Den Haag / the Hague Museum of Photography, Galerie Helder/Projects Art & Living, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Galerie Ramakers, Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, GEM, Heden Kunst van Nu, Hoorn & Reniers, Livingstone gallery, museum Beelden aan Zee, Nest, Page Not Found, Parts Project, Stroom Den Haag, West, PIP Den Haag


About Mary Reid Kelley combines painting, performance, and a distinctive wordplay-rich poetry in her polemical, graphically stylized videos. Performing as a First World War soldier, a grisette in revolutionary Paris, or the Minotaur, she resurrects characters that embody particular facets of ideas in time. Her historically specific tableaux enclose dilemmas of mortality, sex, and estrangement, navigated by the characters in punning dialogue that traps them between tragic and comic meanings.
You can also find the full festival programme tucked inside the June – August agenda, found at any of the participating locations. TOURS (SATURDAY 6 JULY & SUNDAY 7 JULY) Bike Tours – The Hague Contemporary Art Weekend 2019 Walking Tours – The Hague Contemporary Art Weekend 2019 Mini-Tours – The Hague Contemporary Art Weekend 2019 Gallery Tour – The Hague Contemporary Art Weekend 2019 Internationals Tours – The Hague Contemporary Art Weekend 2019


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