new-york

Mary Kelly

Postmasters

Mary Kelly’s recent installation, Gloria Patri, 1992, demands that one make a distinction between masculinity and machismo. These categories circulate in her meditations on the pathological male—the thematic of her new, polished-aluminum hardware series. On the one hand, she critiques military society in the form of 6 trophies and 20 discs, the bases of the former etched with macho sound bites from the Persian Gulf War, the latter inscribed with nonsensical montages of mismatched military insignia. On the other hand, the narratives in the five shields address crises of masculinity as the characters (four males, one female) struggle with their inability to conform to stereotypes of aggression, exacerbating their own sense of fragmentation and dislocation. As a whole, the installation is intended to map manifestations of male hysteria, in relation to Lacan’s description of the progressive

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