Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley: Rand/Goop
Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley’s Rand/Goop, a large–scale installation at Studio Voltaire, was the artists’ first institutional exhibition in London.
In Rand/Goop, the artists created a circular narrative for six totemic video sculptures. The protagonists, all performed by Reid Kelley, speak in pithy and often capricious four–line cento poems. The contents are drawn entirely from two sources. Appraisals of Russian–American writer and philosopher Ayn Rand’s ‘Objectivism’ philosophies – limited only to evangelist scholars of her work – are spliced with titles of articles listed on the website of Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle, beauty and wellness brand Goop.
Whilst these subjects are seemingly unconnected, Rand’s espousals of individualism or the virtues of ‘selfishness’ soon begin to resonate with the purchasable wellness offered by Goop. ‘Self–care’ becomes the relentless pursuit of personal betterment, sold as ‘10 ways’ to do better, to perform harder. Correspondingly, the artists’ characters speak in anxious, blustery palimpsests that swerve between implied emancipation and fear: ‘Let’s talk about a girls–only/ Libertarian alternative/ Where no innocence exists/ Without material property’.
The artists’ expansive practice collaboratively combines painting, performance and poetry. Their elaborate monochrome sets are highly stylized, making use of disorienting trompe l’oeil backdrops and models. Their works subvert and burlesque specific historical and mythological narratives. Often set during moments of political or social turbulence, the artists give voice to characters who have slipped through canonical accounts, to meditate on mortality, gender and sex.
Rand/Goop is commissioned and produced by Studio Voltaire. Commissioned in association with Forma Arts & Media Limited.
Exhibition Supporters: Pilar Corrias Gallery, Forma Arts & Media Limited, and Henry Moore Foundation.
With kind support from: Harvey Sawkin, Miyoung E Lee, Herb Levitt, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects, Bruce Menin and Fredericks & Freiser.
- About Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley
Mary Reid Kelley (b. USA, 1979) received her BFA from St. Olaf College, Minnesota, and an MFA in Painting from Yale University in 2009. She is the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Grant, has received awards from the American Academy in Rome, the Rema Hort Mann Foundation, and the Guggenheim Fellowship.
Patrick Kelley (b. USA, 1969) earned a BFA from St. Olaf College, Minnesota, and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan. His works have been exhibited at the Bibliothèque Publique d’Information–Centre Pompidou, Paris, France, the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, Germany, and the Minnesota Museum of American Art.
Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley have collaborated since 2008. Recent solo exhibitions include: Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley – We Are Ghosts, Tate Liverpool, Liverpool (2017); Mary Reid Kelley, MUDAM Luxembourg (2017); We’re Wallowing Here In Your Disco Tent, The High Line, New York (2016); Mary Reid Kelley, M – Museum Leuven, Leuven (2016); A Marquee Piece of Sod – The WWI Films of Mary Reid Kelley, Kunsthalle Bremen, Bremen (2016); Hammer Projects: Mary Reid Kelley, The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2015); Swinburne’s Pasiphae, Pilar Corrias, London (2014); Mary Reid Kelley, Neuer Kunstverein Wien, Vienna (2014); and Mary Reid Kelley, The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA), Boston (2013).
- Public Programme
Catherine Wood, Tate Senior Curator of International Art (Performance) in conversation with artists Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley, 3 October 2019.
(Un)Learning Habits of Care Led by curator Helena Reckitt and artist Grace Ndiritu, 22 September 2019. This two–day workshop considered the contexts of curatorial and artistic practice, the museum, and alternative communities to explore practices of care and productive refusal. Participants generated proposals and frameworks that promote care, mutual aid, and collective political practices while rejecting extractivist attitudes that treat care and nature as free and inexhaustible resources.
Mary Reid Kelley & Patrick Kelley in conversation with Harry Thorne, 6 July 2019. Artists Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley were joined in conversation by writer, editor and critic Harry Thorne to discuss their new commission Rand/Goop at Studio Voltaire.
- Image credits
Mary Reid Kelley & Patrick Kelley, Rand/Goop, 2019. A Studio Voltaire Commission. Courtesy of the artists, Pilar Corrias, London, Fredericks & Freiser, New York, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.
Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley, Ayn Rand, 2019. Courtesy of the artists, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London, Fredericks & Freiser, New York, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.
Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley, Gwyneth Paltrow, 2019. Courtesy of the artists, Pilar Corrias Gallery, London, Fredericks & Freiser, New York, and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects.