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Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley in Berlin Art Link

Mary Reid Kelley is an artist concerned with myths, both sacred and profane. The ‘Minotaur Trilogy’—consisting of the component films ‘Priapus Agonistes’ (2013), ‘Swinburne’s Pasiphae’ (2014) and ‘The Thong of Dionysus’ (2015) and realised in collaboration with her partner, Patrick Kelley—is their most sustained exploration of mythological themes; profoundly intertextual, the work draws on a range of artistic and poetic imaginings of the myth of the minotaur. The videos are rendered in stark black-and-white with imagery drawn from a range of visual sources, including Minoan pottery. The complex theatrical, cinematic and sonic landscapes they create involve elaborate linguistic narrations, as characters retell the myth of the doomed half-human, half-bull from a contemporary perspective. The density of references and registers are leavened with an anarchic flair for wordplay, and a sensibility that is more at home in a cabaret than in the pseudo-sacral spaces where the classical imaginary is encountered most commonly today. This demotic impulse enlivens these timeless stories, while also opening them up to critique and reinvention.