new-york

Mary Kelly

New Museum

Remarkable both in its ambition and in its radicalness, Mary Kelly’s gallery-size installation Interim is divided into four parts: Corpus, Pecunia, Historia and Potestas. The first section, Corpus (Body, 1984-85), consists of a series of coupled panels. One half of each pair features white handwritten text on a black background with occasional red highlighting. Phrases like “a presence much like hers” or “Look at my body” highlight an individual woman’s physical transformation over the years. The other half of each diptych consists of a silk-screened photograph of articles of clothing arranged in positions of stylized and fashionable disarray. The pieces look slick but the words themselves, much like the corresponding images, belie the presumed authority suggested by the high-tech finish. There are many different stories, many different points of view. Instead of assimilating themselves

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