Astral Fields/Antepartum

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Astralfields and Other Manifestations, 2008 Video, Endless Loop, Colour 1:30 Minutes © courtesy of the Artist and Queen's Nails Projects
Antepartum, 1973 Video Loop Transferred From Super 8 Film, Black And White 1:30 Minutes © courtesy of the Artist and Queen's Nails Projects
Astral Fields/Antepartum

3191 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
November 20th, 2008 - December 31st, 2008



Queen’s Nails Projects is pleased to present, as part of LA><ART’s Offsite Projects with ForYourArt for the 2008 California Biennial (CB08), Kelly Barrie’s Astral Fields (2008) and Mary Kelly’s Antepartum (1973), brought together by the artists to form a new collaborative installation.  Mapping the two distinct video projects within the same visual field, Astral Fields/Antepartum pairs Barrie and Kelly’s separate practices, while referring back to their relationships with one another as mother and son.  The history of this relationship is presented by Kelly’s Antepartum, a precursor to her now canonized Post-Partum Document, which sought to retain the traces of Barrie’s own acquisition of language through modes of systematic documentation.  Filmed in Super 8, Antepartum reflects back onto this originary exchange, providing a cinematic record of Kelly’s pregnancy at full-term.  Intervening within this history is Barrie’s own project entitled Astral Fields, in which the artist reanimates a photographic still based on a series of performative gestures using flour and high-intensity flash bulbs.  This accumulation of Barrie’s photographic practice is edited together to form a new video, animating variations in light and space that adjust and respond to the movements registered thirty-five years prior in Kelly’s Antepartum.  Presented together as a collaborative installation, Astral Fields/Antepartum extends the artists’ respective inquiries into subject formation and historical memory.  For this incarnation at Queen’s Nails Projects, a new sound component has been added to enfold the viewer in a space apart from the image, furthering the introspective ties between generations.

Kelly Barrie was born in London in 1973 and has lived in New York City and Los
Angeles since 1987. He received an MFA in Photography from California Institute of the Arts and continued post-graduate work in the Independent Study Program, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Using multiple exposures performed in complete darkness over many hours, he has explored the uncanny relationship between landscape and self portraiture in a series of large-scale photographs that form the basis of his solo project, Between the Blinds, exhibited at the Room Gallery, University of Irvine, and included in the California Biennial, 2008. He also participated in the Sydney Biennale, 2008, with a projected image installation, Astral Fields, at the Museum of Contemporary Art. As well as solo shows at Miler Durazo Fine Arts and Angstrom Gallery in Los Angeles, his work has been represented in numerous group exhibitions including Artists Space, New York, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago and the Museo Alejandro Otero, Caracas.

Mary Kelly studied in Florence, Italy, and at St. Martin’s School of Art in London, where she lived until 1989. Since then, she has lived and worked in New York and Los Angeles. Challenging the trajectory of conceptualism in the 70s, she addressed the issues of identity, history and memory in large-scale narrative installations such as Post-Partum Document, 1973-79, Interim, 1984-89, and more recently, Love Songs, 2005-07. Major surveys of her work have been organized by the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, 1990, Helsinki City Art Museum, 1994, Generali Foundation, Vienna, 1998 and the Centre for Contemporary Art, Warsaw, 2008. Recent group exhibitions include Documenta XII, Kassel, WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 2007, the 2004 Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, and the Biennale of Sydney, 2008. She also has written extensively on the subject of feminism and postmodernism, notably, Post-Partum Document, Generali Foundation, Vienna/ University of California Press, 1998 and Imaging Desire, MIT Press, Boston, 1996. Phaidon Press, London, published a survey of her work in 1997.

Queen’s Nails Projects (formally Queens Nails Annex), located in the Mission district of  San Francisco, has built a strong reputation for dedicating its project space to presenting collaborative, site-specific, and experimental artworks.

This project is affiliated with the 2008 California Biennial, organized by the Orange County Museum of Art, and is curated by Lauri Firstenberg.

Special thanks to Michael Bianco, Waymond Darnell, Conrad Meyers, Julio Cesar Morales, Aram Moshayedi, Daniel Pelt, and Sarah Willis.