Re-viewing Feminist Influences in Transnational Art: A Multimodal, Fugal Analysis of Mary Kelly's Texts of 'Maternal Desire'

Common Ground Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The International Journal of the Arts in Society, 2010, 4 (5), pp. 15 - 28
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
The 1970s womens art movement is a foundational influence in transnational contemporary art. Developing an innovative, multimodal, fugal approach the paper discusses the formative influence of American feminist conceptual artist Mary Kellys representations of `the intricacies of maternal desire, in her work based on her own experience of parturition. The discussion focuses on an interview with Mary Kelly and artist son Kelly Barrie by Ruth Skilbeck at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 2008 Sydney Biennale, and includes her photographs of Kelly and Barrie within their collaborative video installation Antepartum 1973 and Astralfields and Other Manifestations 2008, exhibited at the Biennale. With reference to early pieces including Post-Partum Document 1972-78, the paper argues that not only are Kellys works highly significant in their own right, radically bringing together conceptual art and feminist self-based narrative art; as constitutive, canonical texts of the 1970s womens art movement, they initiated new multimodal forms of contemporary art and modes of dialogic textual expression that have formatively influenced the development of contemporary art and its intergenerational, social and cultural communication in transnational culture.
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