The Syphilis of Sisyphus

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Film still from Syphilis of Sisyphus © Courtesy of the artist & Fredericks and Freiser
The Syphilis of Sisyphus

536 W 24th St.
New York, NY
November 11th, 2011 - January 7th, 2012
Opening: November 11th, 2011 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Regular hours Tue-Sat 10-6; Summer hours Tue-Fri 10-5
film, costumes drawing


Fredericks & Freiser is pleased to announce “The Syphilis of Sisyphus,” a new short film by Mary Reid Kelley with artist Patrick Kelley. The exhibition will include a wall-sized projection with costumes and drawings used in the film’s creation. Reid Kelley’s second solo exhibition at Fredericks & Freiser encompasses a heightened level of visual complexity as it continues her exploration of language, history, anomie and sexual politics.

Set in 1852, “The Syphilis of Sisyphus” records the monologue of a young, pregnant Parisian as she traverses the garrets, alleys, and hospitals of her city. Her pun-filled polemics burlesque the Romantic-era contest between ‘Nature’ and ‘Artifice’ that dominated both politics and aesthetics at the time. In imagining the characters and spaces of Paris on the verge of Haussmann’s modernizations, the film collages three centuries of urban visuals, including the Turgot Map, photographer Charles Marville, Honoré Daumier, and Fernand Léger.


About the Artist

Mary Reid Kelley graduated with a MFA from Yale in 2009.  Since then she has had solo exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, and London. She was been included in numerous group shows including “Fast Forward 2: Media Art from Sammlung Goetz” at the ZKM, Karlsruhe; “The Dissolve”, Site Santa Fe Biennial; and “Ludicrous” at the ICA, Philadelphia. In 2011, she was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy, and the making of “The Syphilis of Sisyphus” will be featured in an upcoming episode of the PBS documentary series Art21.