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David Kelley primarily works with digital video installation and photography, with recent projects involving performance and sculpture. His practice consistently interrogates the apparatus of photography and film to encounter narrative in the process of becoming. His latest films, set in Newfoundland and the Brazilian Amazon, draw on the genre of ethnography as a narrative device to rehearse the real and imagined social relations of these sites. In Newfoundland, Kelley participated in a remote art residency founded as a socio-economic redevelopment project on Fogo island, an outport community with a failing fishing industry. In Manaus in the Amazon, he filmed rehearsals of an independent film about drug-fueled indigenous suicides in the colonial Teatro Amazonas. The theater was funded by the fortunes of rubber barons and also served as the location for Werner Herzog's Fitzcarraldo. Kelley will show selections of his recent projects and related narrative and ethnographic films, as well as rehearse a lecture/performance about architectural morphology and global tourism.
Kelley is an artist and Assistant Professor of Photography at Wellesley College. He received his MFA from University of California in Irvine and is a recent alumni of the Whitney Museum of American Art's Independent Study Program. Kelley's work has been shown at MassMoCA, The Kitchen, BAK in Utrecht, and Bangkok Experimental Film Festival. His project with Patty Chang Flotsam Jetsam (2007) exhibited in New York at Museum of Modern Art's 2008 New Directors New Films Festival and won the Golden Pyramid at the Cairo IMFAY Media Arts Festival.