VO = voice over. SUPER = super-imposed copy on screen. all IMAGERY is ready for download.
MUSIC: We Put A Pearl In The Ground [marry me] (X:XX)
Mea Culpa, 1999
VO: Mea Culpa ("I am guilty") is an installation consisting of four 16 to 20 foot panels of curved, ocean wave shaped sections of lint with superimposed text. To make Mea Culpa, Kelly fitted a clothes dryer's filter screen with letters, which were gradually embossed onto the lint that filled the screen as Kelly washed her own black and white clothing.
VO: The artist based her texts on media accounts of documented military atrocities in Cambodia and Sarajevo, Palestine and South Africa. With an immediate sense of material and process, it suggested a central resonant metaphor; A woman repeatedly washing and rewashing mourning clothes without being able to cleanse them of histories woven indelibly into their fabric.
VO: Composer Michael Nymon composed a score for Gloria Patri that was performed live at the opening, and played as a soundtrack during the duration of the show
VO: The words sound like simple but brutal reportage, while the visual sound-wave like pattern invites a variety of associations - give and take, positive and negative, ebb and flow, kindness and cruelty, tragedy and miracle - that seem interchangeably appropriate. The text is based on the true story of an 18 month old Kosovar Albanian boy who is mistakenly left for dead, rescued and given a name by Serbs, later cared for and renamed by Albanians, and was finally reuinited with his parents after the NATO occupation in 1999.
VO: Mea Culpa is reminiscent of Kelly's past focus on everyday processes and on the experience of women, both of which characterized her groundbreaking work of the '70s Moreover, Kelly used lint as the medium of art, a material associated with laundry, the everyday domestic labor of women. Each cycle thins out the fabric ever so slightly until, like the victims and their stories, they have become so worn as to be discarded.
VO (the transcription of the piece above): A few bathroom tiles and the smell of burning. Nothing else left. Probing the ashes he retrieved a family photograph. The faces scratched out with a drill bit. She rocked back and forth on her heels. What will we do? Slit their throats said her 4 year old son.