MoMA PS1 — Soarin' Tumblin' Freewheelin'

"That’s what I realized I was going for, not some one-line joke like, “Here’s a birdhouse that’s minimalism.” Rather, here’s a structure that’s loaded with pathos, and you still don’t like it, you don’t feel sorry for it, you want to kick it. That’s what I wanted out of the thing—an artwork that you couldn’t raise, there was no way that you could make it better than it was. Its function as art actually makes it more uncomfortable."
~Mike Kelley, Excerpt from a 1991 BOMB Magazine Interview



Mike Kelley. Catholic Birdhouse. 1978. Painted wood and composite shingles, 55,9 x 47 x 47 cm. Private Collection, New York. Photo: Courtesy Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.

"That’s what I realized I was going for, not some one-line joke like, “Here’s a birdhouse that’s minimalism.” Rather, here’s a structure that’s loaded with pathos, and you still don’t like it, you don’t feel sorry for it, you want to kick it. That’s what I wanted out of the thing—an artwork that you couldn’t raise, there was no way that you could make it better than it was. Its function as art actually makes it more uncomfortable."


~Mike Kelley, Excerpt from a 1991 BOMB Magazine Interview

Mike Kelley. Catholic Birdhouse. 1978. Painted wood and composite shingles, 55,9 x 47 x 47 cm. Private Collection, New York. Photo: Courtesy Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.

“So the problem that I set for myself is to deal with something of our time that people can’t see as being of our time, they can only see it as of the past: a child’s worn toy. I wanted to say, no, this thing isn’t of the past, this thing’s here right now. It’s not some metaphor for childhood, this is something that an adult made. It was made maybe last week. If you’re seeing it of the past it’s because you’re meant to see it of the past. I’m interested in how that functions.”
~Mike Kelley, Excerpt from a 1991 BOMB Magazine Interview
Image: Mike Kelley. More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid and The Wages of Sin. 1987.

So the problem that I set for myself is to deal with something of our time that people can’t see as being of our time, they can only see it as of the past: a child’s worn toy. I wanted to say, no, this thing isn’t of the past, this thing’s here right now. It’s not some metaphor for childhood, this is something that an adult made. It was made maybe last week. If you’re seeing it of the past it’s because you’re meant to see it of the past. I’m interested in how that functions.

~Mike Kelley, Excerpt from a 1991 BOMB Magazine Interview

Image: Mike Kelley. More Love Hours Than Can Ever Be Repaid and The Wages of Sin. 1987.



"If you were to try to imagine a fitting place to see the breadth of Kelley’s work, you might come up with something like this: a defunct school; a cavernous, looming neo-Romanesque one whose walls breathe civic religiosity and generations of public education…Beginning on Sunday, his vast, very dark and very funny body of work will completely fill such a school building, the century-old one that houses MoMA PS1." 
~ Randy Kennedy (from “A Maverick as a Student and a Teacher: Mike Kelley at MoMA PS1" in New York Times)


Mike Kelley opens THIS Sunday at MoMA PS1, with special performances by Anita Pace (1:30pm, 2:30pm).


Image: Mike Kelley. Ahh…Youth!. 1991. Eight cibachrome photographs.Courtesy of Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.
"If you were to try to imagine a fitting place to see the breadth of Kelley’s work, you might come up with something like this: a defunct school; a cavernous, looming neo-Romanesque one whose walls breathe civic religiosity and generations of public education…Beginning on Sunday, his vast, very dark and very funny body of work will completely fill such a school building, the century-old one that houses MoMA PS1."
~ Randy Kennedy (from “A Maverick as a Student and a Teacher: Mike Kelley at MoMA PS1" in New York Times)

Mike Kelley opens THIS Sunday at MoMA PS1, with special performances by Anita Pace (1:30pm, 2:30pm).

Image: Mike Kelley. Ahh…Youth!. 1991. Eight cibachrome photographs.Courtesy of Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.

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