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Contemporary Art Gallery

555 Nelson Street
Vancouver, Canada
Closed for installation
until June 7, 2024

Admission always free
11 Sep 93until16 Oct 93

Mary Kelly

Gloria Patri

555 Hamilton St

Several artworks on a white wall. At the top, there's a row of 4 metal circles with black crests. Below, there are 2 small trophy shapes . At the bottom center there is a shield shape with small text.

Mary Kelly explores the construction of gender and sexuality in her work. Two earlier projects, Post-partum Document and Interim, are large-scale bodies of work, each developed over a period of years which address maternal femininity and the arrival into "middle-age" respectively. These works are dominated by subjective texts that convey psychic and social structures of femininity within the framework of psychoanalysis.

With Gloria Patri, Kelly continues to explore ideas around gender, this time delving into the masculine ideal relative to heroism and war. The three registers in this installation—the discs, trophies and shields—represent visually the iconic display of war and victory. The hybrid insignia on the discs, montaged from the logos of U.S. military organizations, are parodic representations of the military spectacle. The short aggressive statements inscribed on the trophies are culled from newscast comments by American soldiers during the Gulf War. The stories on the shields, written by the artist, are about everyday situations of mastery set up to be undone. Together, these elements create what Kelly refers to as the "narrativization of space" and instill a thinking about the vulnerability of the masculine ideal as projected by the military machine.

Mary Kelly has had considerable influence on feminist art practices in both Europe and North America. Recent exhibitions have taken place at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York; the Vancouver Art Gallery; Postmasters Gallery, New York; the Institute for Contemporary Art, London, England; and the Royal Academy, London, England. Mary Kelly currently teaches in the Whitney Independent Study Program in New York.

Gloria Patri originated at Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University, and subsequently showed at Ezra and Cecile Zilkha Gallery at Wesleyan University, Postmasters Gallery in New York, and the Institute for Contemporary Art in London, England.