Blurred Lines?
Mary Kelly, Nightcleaners
April 6 @ 6:30 - 8:30 pm











Mary Kelly, Post-Partum Document, 1973 - 1979

  • Deals with the mother's relationship with her son from birth until he enters school / the public realm
  • Visual images of the mother and child emphatically avoided
  • Subjective elements like diary entries are juxtaposed with distant, quasi-scientific elements like diagrams
  • Articulates the mother's feelings of possession and loss
  • Importantly, focuses on the invisible work of motherhood
The objects stand for the mother's "memorabilia" and how she makes sense of the gradual separation from her child
Mary Kelly with Son, Kelly Barrie











Introduction to Post-Partum Document, 1973.
Documentation I, Analyzed fecal stain, 1974.
Documentation II, Analyzed utterances, 1975.











Transitional Objects

Documentation III, Analyzed markings, 1975.
Mary Kelly. Documentation IV, Transitional objects, 1976.











Diagram and Research

Prewriting Alphabet

Mary Kelly. Documentation V, Mounted specimen 9 from Post-Partum Document, 1977.
Mary Kelly. Documentation VI, Prewriting alphabet from Post-Partum Document, 1978.











Parts of Linguistic Structure
the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language
the meaning of a word, phrase, sentence, or text
the ways in which context contributes to meaning, both individual and social





















T.I., Whatever You Like, 2008.











Meaning can be generated by different aspects of text
Form of the text
shapes of the letters, font, style (bold, italic), color of letters, where the words are placed on the page, kerning
Content of the text
meaning of the words, punctuation, context in which the text appears





















Meaning can be generated through relationships / interactions with images and objects
Form of the image
how composition, pictorial devices, and formal elements organize the image
Content of the image
concrete things that we identify in the image, and abstract metaphoric meaning
Form of the object
how various compostional structures, formal elements, and mimicry the object takes
Content of the object
what the object is (literal), and what it might be taken to represent (connotative)











































Meaning of words and sentences depend on the function they play in a language
reveal something about the emotions of the speaker / writer
the feeling brought about in the listerner / reader / receiver
command or act of persuasion
text that makes allusion, reference, citation or quotation
creative or aesthic quality of language
small talk / something said to keep the conversation going
check to see whether linguistic code is shared or that communication is working properly































Meaning is also built upon the relationship of texts to one another, and within a single work
the relationship between texts, especially literary ones; reference to other works through allusions, plagiarism, parody, pastiche, etc.
Internal relations within a single text











Marvin Gaye Got To Give It Up, 1977.
Robin Thicke, Pharrell Williams, T.I., Blurred Lines, 2013.