Mary Reid Kelley and Patrick Kelley: We Are Ghosts


In collaboration with the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Advanced Media Studies, the BMA presents an exhibition of works by MacArthur Award-winner Mary Reid Kelley and her collaborator Patrick Kelley. The exhibition includes two films featuring their signature black-and-white sets and costumes. This is Offal (2016) is inspired by Thomas Hood’s 1844 poem, The Bridge of Sighs, in which the narrator, a forensic pathologist, laments the suicide of a young woman whose body is pulled from the Thames. The Kelleys’ new film, In the Body of the Sturgeon, brings a feminist perspective to an exploration of life on a submarine stationed in the Pacific at the end of World War II, with the USS Torsk docked in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor inspiring the mise-en-scène. The exhibition also includes six light boxes featuring characters from both films and elements from the Kelleys’ sculptural sets.

This exhibition is co-curated by Senior Curator of Contemporary Art Kristen Hileman in collaboration with the JHU Center for Advanced Media Studies and by Lauren Barnes, formerly an Assistant Curator at the Tate Liverpool and now Curator at The Hepworth Wakefield. We Are Ghosts was presented at the Tate Liverpool from November 17, 2017 to March 18, 2018.

The BMA and Tate Liverpool have co-published a catalogue including the films’ scripts and essays by both curators to accompany the exhibition. It is available in the BMA Shop.