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Personal profile

Academic Biography

Dr Jared Pappas-Kelley is Senior Lecturer in Fine Art in the MIMA School of Art. He teaches on the BA(Hons) and MA courses for Fine Art and is the first year tutor. He also facilitates Practicum for Fine Art projects and supervises PhD students doing practice-based research in Fine Art.


I am an artist, researcher, and sometimes curator. Much of my current work focuses on ideas of an instability in the art object and the intersection between practice and theory—examining art as a method for understanding an object’s coming together through its undoing. My forthcoming book Solvent Form surveys art in relation to destruction and looks at the warehouse fire at Momart in 2004 and works indirectly destroyed by art thief Stéphane Breitwieser.

Often my work takes the form of video or installation, but lately I have been working on a suite of sound/video-based pieces developed entirely from material culled from bonsai tutorials on YouTube. The working title for this project is Sandai-Shogun-No Matsu: the bonsai modes and will also be released as a series of audio recordings. In addition my work has exhibited internationally at places such as San Francisco MoMA (U.S.), Mass MoCA (U.S), Five Years (London), Islington Mill (Manchester), and Glasgow International as part of the National Review of Live Art.


  • PhD in Philosophy, Art, and Critical Thought (PACT), European Graduate School, Saas-Fee, Switzerland, 2015
  • MFA in Writing and Critical Discourse, Goddard College, Plainfield, VT, USA, 2009
  • BA in Art and Critical Theory, The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA, USA, 2000
  • Academic Residency, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 1998

Selected Recent Exhibitions

  • Liberate yourself from my vice like grip, Islington Mill, Manchester, 2016
  • Beamers, The Auxiliary, Teesside, 2016
  • The National Review of Live Art,The Silver River, Atelier Public 2, Gallery of Modern Art, Glasgow, 2014,p rogrammed as part of Glasgow International
  • The Making of, SFMOMA, San Francisco, California, USA, 2013
  • Virion, Brisbane, Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Australia and Auckland, New Zealand, 2012
  • The Weaklings, Five Years Gallery, London, UK, 2011, curated by Dennis Cooper
  • An Exchange with Sol LeWitt, MASS MoCA, North Adams, Massachusetts, USA, 2011
  • Virion, H Block Gallery, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia, 2010
  • The Surrealist Impulse: New Acquisition from the Collection, Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA, USA, 2009
  • Central Gallery, SUNY Empire State, Syracuse, NY, USA, 2008
  • Painting the Spectrum: SASOD Film Festival, Georgetown, Guyana, 2008
  • Evolutionary Girls, Squeaky Wheel, Buffalo, NY, USA, 2008


My approach to teaching in Fine Art is to engage with theory as it informs studio practice in order to allow for cross pollination and artistic growth. I encourage students to learn through collaboration and take an active role in their informed learning which helps them to navigate the changing landscape of the contemporary art world. I have taught skills in sculpture, painting, and new-genres including installation, site-specific work, sound art, video, collaborations, etc. My aim is to support students in an evolving professional practice as artists—dependent not only on formalised collaborative partnerships and individual work, but as artists who organise themselves into collaborative groups for exhibition, studio groups, etc. in settings within and outside of the university.

Summary of Research Interests

Dr Jared Pappas-Kelley’s forthcoming book Solvent Form examines the destruction of art—as art objects that have been destroyed (lost in fires, floods, vandalism, or similarly those that actively court or represent this destruction such as Christian Marclay’s Guitar Drag or Chris Burden’s Samson), but also in a more general concept of art operating through object and form. In this manner, Solvent Form looks to events such as the Momart warehouse fire in 2004 (in which large holdings of YBA and high profile art collections were destroyed en masse through arson) or the events surrounding art thief Stéphane Breitwieser (whose mother destroyed the art he had stolen upon his arrest—putting it down a garbage disposal or dumping it in a nearby canal). From this vantage, the book proposes an idea of solvent form (hinging on the dual meaning in the words solvent and solvency) whereby art, while attempting to make secure or fixed, likewise undoes and destroys through its inception.

Pappas-Kelley is also interested in artist writings as a form and is currently working on a collection of new manifestos by artists, writers, and philosophers working across disciplines in order to better understand our contemporary moment and beyond. He has written extensively about artists such as Agnes Martin, Robert Irwin, Urs Fischer, Thomas Hirschhorn, Jeremy Blake (Winchester Trilogy), Louise Bourgeois, Jean Tinguely, Rachel Whiteread, Pavel Büchler, Uta Barth, Sol LeWitt, Claire Denis, Barbara Hammer, Fluxus, and similarly draws from literary sources (such as Georges Perec, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Thomas Mann’s The Magic Mountain, and Tom McCarthy’s Remainder). He is influenced by thinkers such as Jean Baudrillard, Georges Bataille, Jean-Luc Nancy, Paul Virilio, and Giorgio Agamben. He was the director of Critical Line, Tollbooth Gallery, and editor of the journal Toby Room.

Pappas-Kelley welcomes PhD proposals in fine art practice that may include a focus on artist writings, undoing, destruction in art, video, installation, new-genres, alternative modes of distribution and exhibition, solvency, disappearance, the accident, or manifestos.


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  • Invert/Extant: Transmissions

    Pappas-Kelley, J., Shipley, G., Kelso, C., Allen, A., Martin, D., McAdams, M., Dietz, B., Crisp, S., Finbow, S., Hetherington, A., Bartram, A., Booker, P., Brüggemann, S., Deigaard, L., Edwards, M., Gillick, L., O'Donnell, N., Rothacker, J., Spicero, J., Ettinger, B. & Shaowanasai, M.

    1/05/20 → …

    Project: Research