Good by Good Acts, Acts I-V

Jean-Paul Kelly

2008, 30:00 minutes, colour


Good by Good Acts is a ‘reality fiction’ that roughly corresponds with Gustav Freytag’s widely recognized dramatic structure: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and dénouement.

The first act sees the artist’s parents covering two trees in front of their house to protect them from the cold of winter. Act two features his mother illustrating her process of eliminating aphids from household plants. In the third act, mom and dad care for the family dog after it has suffered a spinal aneurysm. The final two acts present daily interactions inside the family house as mother and father avoid the cold outdoors with their recovering dog. These selected fragments of reality culminate with a break from the domestic interior shots and end with an outdoor investigation of how the trees have survived the cold.

“Kelly’s five-part video series
Good by Good Acts [is] a quintet of six-minute home videos starring the aging bodies of Kelly’s much beloved parents, contained inside their Northern Ontario home over the changing seasons with their cat Tuffy, their dachshund Bean, and a menagerie of plants. Kelly is there too, always behind the camera but in conversation with his parents and the living things they take care of, as they once took care of him.” – Jon Davies

Good by Good Acts is available as five, single-channel videos for installation or as a single 30-minute video for installation or screening.

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