Time No Line is a solo performance based on Kelly’s 40 years of journal writing. The work theatrically combines his deeply personal texts with movement, video, music, song, and live drawing into a ‘live memoir’. His experiences within the East Village art scene of the 1980’s, gender performance, and the AIDS epidemic, have defined his status as a survivor whose presence challenges the ruptures in our cultural and generational dialogue.
Cover Photo by Paula Court
Praise for John Kelly Performance
Turning in Time: An Interview with John Kelly
John Kelly’s “live memoir” entertains while enlightening audience to LGBT history
“This excursion into dreamland is a lovely condensation of what Mr. Kelly has achieved again and again in his three decades as a boundary-defying performance artist. It is also a moment that manages to suggest an elaborate interior labyrinth with a few fluid physical gestures, steeped in the kind of artful simplicity that poets are always striving for.” - Ben Brantley, The New York Times
“His artistic versatility is legendary in the downtown arts scene, and deservedly so. It's hard to think of another performer who has so successfully maneuvered through so many different artistic disciplines. He is, for me, among the most interesting artists alive.” - David Roman, Theatre Journal
“John Kelly is one of my favorite performers in the whole world. It's not just that he is brilliant in so many mediums but every time I come away from seeing his work, or indeed even just speaking with him, I'm inspired to be a better artist.” - Alan Cumming
"As a performance and visual artist, John blazes a new path with each project. He crosses into so many worlds with quiet authority and excellence." - James Franco
Text, Movement, Video Design (center channel) and Performance by John Kelly Video Design by CultureHub Movement Dramaturgy by Jon Kinzel Archival Film Sequences: ‘Me O Ye Gods’ (1992) and ‘Painting on Glass’ (1984) by Anthony Chase in collaboration with John Kelly Performance Video Performance by Hucklefaery Still Photography on Video by Peter Hujar, Steven Menendez, Dona Ann McAdams, Arthur Lambert, David Armstrong and John Dugdale
About the Artists
JOHN KELLY is a performance and visual artist whose multifaceted career spans more than three decades. His innovative performance works stem from autobiographical, cultural, gender, and identity issues, realized through the theatrical, visual, movement-based, and vocal delineation of character. Subjects have included the AIDS epidemic, the Berlin Wall, the Troubadours, and Expressionistic Film, and character studies based on Egon Schiele, Caravaggio, Antonin Artaud, Joni Mitchell, and Jean Cocteau.
Kelly’s performance career began in the early 1980’s with performances in New York’s East Village clubs including the Limbo Lounge, Pyramid Club, and Club 57. Subsequently, his works have been presented at a diverse range of venues including The Kitchen, La MaMa, PS 122, New York Live Arts, the Joyce Theater, Dance Theater Workshop, Danspace Project, On the Boards, The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College, Museum of Modern Art, Tate Modern, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Andy Warhol Museum, PS 1, Walker Art Center, ICA Philadelphia, the Drawing Center, Participant Inc., and Joe’s Pub at the Public. Major commissions include BAM’s Next Wave Festival, Lincoln Center Serious Fun! Festival, MASS MoCA, and Creative Time.
Kelly has received two “Bessie” Awards (New York Dance and Performance Awards), two Obie Awards, two NEA American Masterpiece Awards, an American Choreographer Award, a Herb Alpert Award in the Arts (CalArts), a Visual AIDS Vanguard Award, and an Ethyl Eichelberger Award.Fellowships include the American Academy in Rome, Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, Guggenheim Fellowship, Sundance Institute Theatre Program, New York Foundation for the Arts, Art Matters, Inc., and USA Artists Fellowship. Recent residencies include MASS MoCA, Abrons Arts Center, Gibney Dance, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, and the Park Avenue Armory.
His visual art has been exhibited at Alexander Gray Associates, Museum of Modern Art, MIT List Visual Arts Center, ICA Philadelphia, New Museum of Contemporary Art, PS 1, and Art in General. As a singer, he has collaborated and recorded with composers David Del Tredici, Richard Einhorn, Laurie Anderson, and the Jazz Passengers. His numerous acting credits include the Broadway production of ‘James Joyce’s The Dead,’ and ‘Dido, Queen of Carthage,’ at American Repertory Theater.
‘JOHN KELLY,’ an award-winning visual autobiography, was published by 2wice Arts Foundation in association with Aperture. His first solo recording, ‘Beauty Kills Me,’ was released by Strange Troubadour Records in 2016.