Mary Kelly

Antepartum
1973

Not on view

Date
1973

Classification
Film

Medium
Super-8 film, black-and-white, silent, 1:30 min. looped, transferred to video

Dimensions
Aspect Ratio: 4:3

Accession number
2002.335

Edition
3/5

Credit line
Gift of the artist

Rights and reproductions
© Mary Kelly / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York


Audio

  • Human Interest

    Mary Kelly, Antepartum, 1973

    Mary Kelly, Antepartum, 1973

    0:00

    Narrator: Antepartum is one of a group of works the artist Mary Kelly made that documents the experience of pregnancy and motherhood.

    Mary Kelly: I was concerned with something that a lot of artists were at that time, which is the body as a site. I wanted this to be an extreme close-up, so it’s just the shot of the abdomen at a full term pregnancy, and you can see the movements, of the unborn child very subtly. And I just run my hand slowly over the surface, and there’s a kind of, I suppose, pre-linguistic, form of interaction between the mother and the child.

    Narrator: Kelly looks back to 1973, the year she made Antepartum.

    Mary Kelly: At that time, strangely enough, there was no work that focused on the woman, as mother. There’s plenty of painting in the past that would take that as their subject matter. But actually, very few women had approached this. And, it was, if you remember a period of, you know, the high modernist, masculine renunciation you could say, of anything that smacked of the feminine, so it seemed you know, an absolutely crucial thing to do at that time.



Mary Kelly
2 works

View artist

Images and Permissions

Sunrise

Sunset

A 30-second online art project:
Kristin Lucas, Speculative Habitat for Sponsored Seabirds

Learn more