Ryan M. McKelvey

A Brief Biography

From 2010-2013, while in Korea, I created ensemble theatre, developed narrative solo performances, and worked as a drag queen. It was during this time that Zoya and I came together to form Home Soil. Upon moving to England in 2013, I began experimenting with durational & installed work, as well with work that intervenes in public spaces. I hold an MA in Performance & Visual Practices from the University of Brighton and a BA in English Writing from the University of Pittsburgh. My solo performance practice is focused on the one-to-one form and explorations of social intimacy. I also write poems and essays. Over the past eight years, I have shown work in Seoul, Brighton, Bath, New York City, and Pittsburgh. I’m currently based in Pittsburgh, where I work at the University of Pittsburgh while further developing my independent research.

Artist Statement

As a Live Artist, I contrive performances, rituals, and situations for observers or participants. Ordinary interactions coupled with critical theory feed my performance and writing practice. My work seeks to think through, what I’ve recently been referring to as, ‘blind communion’. Not blind as in unknown or unseen but as an expansion of possibility, serendipity, and chance encounter. Since 2014, I’ve been focusing on an elemental quartet of large-scale installation performances and a series of minimal one-to-one encounters. Through these projects I’m attempting to embody some of the ideas in my writing about affect, community, intimacy, and proximity. My work is ephemeral and lacks artifact. It’s live, process-driven, and product-resistant. I try to stretch these limits, i.e. the limitations of normative time and event, through performative photography and film work. With Home Soil I am encouraged to explore manifestations of art and performance within various sociocultural contexts and spaces, both public and private.