Artist in person — Q&A following the screening
In person & online
Microscope is pleased to welcome artist Lauren Kelley to the gallery for a solo screening of video works. The event is taking place both in person and online.
Kelley’s short works on the program, made between 2006-2021, encapsulate stories — at times poetic, other essayistic, contemplative, or humorous — from everyday characters with often starkly divergent aspirations, problems, and lifestyles. Within these works, all of which are under seven minutes in length, Kelley distills what in other hands would require a feature-length movie plot into painstakingly crafted, stop-motion animations.
“My process is a solo initiative that involves writing the scripts, crafting sets, storyboards, and costumes. I record my own sound and control lighting. I shoot, edit, and develop these narratives one photographic frame at a time.” — LK
The use of dolls as the raw material of Kelley’s art and video making is partially inspired, among others, by the activist groups “The Yes Men” and the Barbie Liberation Organization (BLO), and by Kenneth and Mamie Phipps Clark’s 1940s “doll test” studies on children and their perceptions of race. With exacting attention to detail, Kelley believably transfers us from the human scale and immerses us into a doll-sized one.
These worlds — constructed and shot by Kelley — with their witty and deceptively simple narratives may tell us more about real life than even the most candid documentaries. And yet, her works are not about recounting a story of an actual event: her fake world feels real as she offers no simple morals or resolutions.
Kelley will be in attendance and participate in a Q&A following the screening.
General Admission $9
Member Admission $7
Online tickets will be available on this page starting from 7pm ET on the day of the show.
Lauren Kelley is an interdisciplinary artist who employs a wry wit when commenting on matters of innocence, race, and girlhood. At the core of her practice is a series of short, stop-motion animated videos that combine claymation with her brown, plastic dolls. Stylistically evocative of children’s television programs of her youth, Kelley stages absurd, jittery, and sometimes endearing narratives. These low-tech scenarios occur in her Technicolor dioramas; a plush backdrop in contrast to the flaccid tales of a discontented cast of ingénues. For Kelley, dolls are a vehicle for navigating the space between luxuries and necessities; sweet and unsavory sentiments; Black and non-black worlds. Currently she is developing a body of work inspired by mid-century American history and the grotesque charm of Todd Haynes’ 1987 cult classic, “Superstar:The Karen Carpenter Story.”