Mary Kelly



    Parable #5

    WHEN AN ELDERLY religious leader—who would later become a key figure in his country’s independence movement—heard that the general of the foreign army, which had just entered his city, was going to give a speech addressing the local inhabitants, he immediately headed to the designated square. The elder stood at the front of the crowd, attentive to the general’s friendly words recited in the city’s local dialect. He appeared to be recording everything he heard in his notebook. His companions watched as his eyes widened and his face contorted while he listened carefully

  • video February 15, 2011

    Berwick Street Collective, Nightcleaners Part 1, 1972-75. (Excerpt)

    Nightcleaners Part 1 is a documentary made by members of the Berwick Street Collective (Marc Karlin, Mary Kelly, James Scott and Humphry Trevelyan) about the campaign to unionize the women who cleaned office blocks at night and who were being victimized and underpaid. Intending at the outset to make a campaign film, the Collective was forced to turn to new forms in order to represent the forces at work between the cleaners, the Cleaner's Action Group, the unions, and the complex nature of the campaign itself. The result was an intensely self-reflexive film, which implicated both the filmmakers and the audience in the processes of precarious, invisible labor. It is increasingly recognized as a key work of the 1970s and as an important precursor, in both subject matter and form, to current political art practice.

    Nightcleaners was shown in April 2010 as part of CCA Glasgow's Beta Movement program.


    RECENT EXCAVATIONS of the Hudson River have yielded more than 150,000 artifacts from the late 20th century, primarily the period immediately preceding the Great Earthquake of 2001. Connoisseurs and scholars of Le Postmoderne have often wondered why the production of art was so prolific on this small island in the North Atlantic. Considering its precarious geography, as well as the political turmoil that prevailed there at the time, the propensity for such activity would seem improbable. After all, the larger territory of which it was a part (then known as the United Estates) had been at war