The existential genius of dance-theater: performing desire, fear and hope as genuine as Lana Del Rey— and just as fashionably American.

If you google The Kuleshov Effect it reads: The Kuleshov Effect is a film editing (montage) effect demonstrated by Soviet filmmaker Lev Kuleshov in the 1910s and 1920s. It is a mental phenomenon by which viewers derive more meaning from the interaction of two sequential shots than from a single shot in isolation. And if you google Postmodern dance, it reads: Postmodern dance is a 20th century concert dance form. A reaction to the compositional and presentation constraints of modern dance, postmodern dance hailed the use of everyday movement as valid performance art and advocated novel methods of dance composition. 

In both of these forms, viewers interpret emotion on to the performers to be alternatively different depending on what scenes/movement precede. This is to say that the when we see compelling images, we are simultaneously conspiring meaning onto the succession of scenes/movement in order to construct a narrative. 

the feather theory | TF3T, continuing a series of Warhol inspired works, considers the cinematic quality of the montage as a device to link quotidian gesture and movement that create: Another 37 Reasons to Cry - A Warholian Production. In the early work of TF3T, kelly and collaborator Laura Snow, master the Kuleshov effect with actual video complimenting the performancestanding alone , between or behind movement sequences as projection- This follows the footsteps of one of Kelly’s biggest inspirations, Lana Del Rey who, in her music videos pair images of herself with vintage video footage; lost, searching, longing for meaning among american iconography. Thin lines between reality and metaphor. 

Like Del Rey, kelly is obsessed with ironic representations of American Nostalgia and enjoys putting forward what he believes will become American Nostalgia. In the world of Feather Kelly, America’s riches are headed back to American rags: “Say good bye to the American Dream.” is the tagline for his newest production. In the worlds of “DRELLA” and “COLOR ME, WAHROL” kelly’s most recent projects, he grappled with identity and desire, respectively, and has now come to the realization that American is filled with unstable, delusory dreams. Kelly plays with what’s hot and what is not- it all popular in it’s exclusivity. The work is extreme- It doesn’t play in the middle. The world of Kelly is strange, alluring, complicated and mad. It’s also so freshly creative—from the mash-up of ‘Vogue-Ballet’  in “DRELLA” to the entertaining ‘Pina Bausch on Broadway’ in “COLOR ME, WARHOL”, Now he wonders what is is like to perform The Kuleshov Effect- live, in front of an audience. 

America: fame, racism, money, guns, music and madness. What images conjure and distort who and what we are. Kelly enjoys perplexing human perversions and also the politics: being a black, queer, educated artist. 

In our world, Feather Kelly, may appear to be safe and even privileged. He lives in South Slope, he has a dog, probably a cute boyfriend, he’s been pictured again and again in the New York Times, he dances, he makes dance, he’s safe—but why does he feel ugly and sad? Why is he afraid and mad, and why oh why does he feel the coming of the end of the world? 

As someone for whom life is incredibly important, Kelly believes “to play with death is refreshing. Why do we insist on taking the stock answers in the bible, on television and form our most intellectual friends.”  

    Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one's body     
    and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles,
    spears, and swords. Being carried away by surging waves. Being thrown into the midst
    of a great fire. Being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake.
    Falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease, or committing seppuku at the death of
    one's master. And every day, without fail, one should consider himself as dead.                                             —ghost dog 

“This is that we should be tasking ourselves of each day.” Kelly states. 

“In the movie The Hours, based on the novel, Mrs. Dalloway by Michael Cunningham, there is this line ‘why does someone have to die?’ the answer was ‘so that other may appreciate life more’ This has always stuck with me. I am still grappling with this.”

Kelly believes that if Lana Del Rey can seek meaning in sex, drugs, and nihilism, then is own reflections on mysogyny, grief, violence, and the tongue and cheek can also open up meaningful questions about great existential truths.  

Indeed, Kelly makes iconography out of the everyday, including image of his dance-theater company- TF3T, and attempts to to flatten and reduce the facade but to complicate and deconstruct one image after another. 

Isn't life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves?— Andy Warhol

Looking for the substance of our time, with each work, Kelly and the feath3r theory offer the nuanced and the extreme of understanding the human condition.