First Provisional President of Africa
The work explores issues with nationalism, museums and history to evoke a spectator’s gaze on the past and look forward to the future. An imperial military regalia uniform identified to Marcus Garvey of Jamaica is shown on display against a magnolia/coconut background, with the clothing’s hat on a mannequin plinth. In this respect, the past is presented despairingly, and the legacy of leadership and duty behind the once respectable garments become disillusioned nostalgia. Although it was never official, Garvey’s oath of office as President of Africa was a statement against colonialist affliction on the continent in the past and then-present.
Enthused to explore the potential of self-identity, Adam Kelly’s work develops notions of history and ideologies. Kelly produces work ranging across various mediums including sculpture and painting. His characteristically Eurocentric work reveals his successes and failures to represent nostalgic memories that are both devastating and promising to communities and individuals.Kelly’s compositions have an autonomous determination and often exorcising approach that links his oeuvre to modernism. The re-appraisal of avant-garde techniques for found and discarded items, and abstract thought construct new situations to comment on the farcical ideas of diaspora and nationalism.