Archive for Mike Kelley

John Hogan’s Thoughts on Mike Kelley and Anita Pace’s Pansy Metal / Clovered Hoof

Posted in guest blog posts, reviews and commentary with tags , , on April 7, 2014 by thejohnhogan
Mike Kelley, Switching Marys (2004-05). Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen, courtesy Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.

Mike Kelley, Switching Marys (2004-05).
Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen, courtesy Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, via moca.org.

Attending the Member’s Day Celebration of MOCA’s Mike Kelley retrospective with a brutal hangover was my way of opting into total immersion in the Irish Catholic shame Kelley is so famed for deconstructing. Or so my own robust Irish Catholic rationalization process would have me believe.

Mike Kelley with a hangover is like Lawrence Weiner stoned. Not only does it still make sense, it kind of makes more sense. Woozy videos of unwell vampires slumping around CalArts whining about how they’ve been on medical leave, or the slumped and dazed proles of Kandor milling around their pathetic cramped quarters within a swirling bell jar biosphere are all the more existentially poignant when one is prone to actual nausea.

As much as the sadistic barbers, spaced-out toddlers, and wine-soaked harem members of the exhibition felt consistent with my psychic space, my body needed regular doses of fresh air. So I spent a fair amount of time in the impromptu outdoor cocktail lounge set up for the event. At one point I decided to attempt to resuscitate myself with a hair-of-the-dog cocktail of vodka and “blood orange” mixer. It was a bad idea, as the afternoon sun began to bear down and I felt a little worse with each sip. Luckily, it was just at this time that Pansy Metal / Clovered Hoof began, and served as a shot in the arm.

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MOCA Members’ Day Celebration: Mike Kelley, with presentations by Anita Pace, Kim Gordon and Jutta Koether, The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, March 30, 2014

Posted in reviews and commentary with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 31, 2014 by Carol Cheh

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What an emotional weekend for the long-beleaguered MOCA. The museum simultaneously debuted their new director, Philippe Vergne, and brought home the biggest survey exhibition to date of Los Angeles’ most beloved prodigal art son, Mike Kelley. At Friday’s media preview, it seemed like the last five years (dear God, has it really been that long?) were just a really bad acid trip out of which we suddenly, collectively awoke.

Check it: MOCA has a director who acts like an art museum director and seems like a really cool guy to boot. The Geffen is beautifully installed with important work by an internationally regarded artist with deep ties to the local community. Artists are back on the MOCA board. It was a spectacularly sunny spring day in LA and everything seemed to make sense again, at last.

The sunshine and festivities continued throughout the weekend, concluding on Sunday with the Members’ Day celebration, which featured two special performances: a restaging of Pansy Metal / Clovered Hoof, a 1989 dance piece choreographed by Kelley and Anita Pace (and danced in the present day by Erica Carpenter, Beau Dobson, Lindsey Lollie and Jos McKain), and a spoken word/noise tribute from longtime Kelley pals Kim Gordon and Jutta Koether.

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