london

Mary Kelly, Circa 1968, 2004, compressed lint, projected light, 100 × 105 × 1 1/4".

Mary Kelly

Pippy Houldsworth Gallery

Mary Kelly, Circa 1968, 2004, compressed lint, projected light, 100 × 105 × 1 1/4".

One line in the 1959 Situationist film from which Mary Kelly’s exhibition “On the Passage of a Few People through a Rather Brief Period of Time” took its name hovered over the show: “When freedom is practiced in a closed circle, it fades into a dream, becomes a mere representation of itself.” Take Circa 1968, 2004, around which the show revolved: a large-scale cast that took some six months to make from the lint of roughly ten thousand pounds of laundry collected from a tumble dryer (using a process Kelly devised in 1999). The piece depicts Jean-Pierre Rey’s iconic image for Life magazine taken on the day before the May 14, 1968, strikes in Paris, showing socialite Caroline de Bendern—like a twentieth-century update of Delacroix’s Liberty Leading the People—wielding a Vietnamese flag over a charged crowd while sitting on the shoulders of artist and student occupation

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