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Caroline E. Kelley

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University of Oxford, 2002, M.St.
New York Academy of Art, 2000, MFA Program

conceptual, digital, photography, video-art, installation, research-based mixed-media


My practice attempts to demystify constructions of authenticity and make space for ambiguities. Ambiguities – in the form of hybridity, métissage, hopeful monsters and border zones – provide us with the possibility to negotiate a space among the world’s dominant paradigms in which secretive and multiple manifestations of diversity are not anticipated, accommodated or neutralized (see Hayles 2008; Braidotti 1994; Lionnet 1989; Glissant 1969, 1981, 1990). To this end, I blur boundaries that separate practice, theory and criticism – and then creatively engage with the uncertainties that ensue.

There is something purposefully self-reflective about this process. Although fictionalized or obscured to some extent I use personal experience as a starting point for most of my projects.

Books, photographs, films/videos, maps, objects and archival materials that reference (and/or deconstruct) certain discourses are my material. There is an element of appropriation to this - using these discourses - these stories - to create something new - to tell a different story. As a result of the conceptual and material linkages between projects, there tends to be a time-based quality to the work as themes are repeated or reexamined in different contexts, using different formats.

My work has been shown in international exhibitions in Montreal, Canada; New York, Urbana-Champaign, Los Angeles, USA; Umeå and Stockholm, Sweden; and Oxford, England.  I've presented papers at conferences in the United States, Europe and North Africa while my writing has appeared in journals like CELAAN Review, 452°F and Drain magazine.  I received a D.Phil. and M.St. from the University of Oxford and studied art in New York at the Art Students League, the School of Visual Arts and the New York Academy of Art (MFA Program).  I've been awarded grants, scholarships and fellowships from the Banff Centre for the Arts; National Endowment for the Humanities; the Joan Mitchell Foundation; the California Rare Book School; the American Institute for Maghrib Studies; and the Taylorian Institute and Somerville College, University of Oxford.

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