Current Exhibition

Mike Kelley: Singles’ Mixer

New York May 17th to June 29th, 2024

Singles’ Mixer is one of 31 “reconstructions” that constitute Kelley’s ambitious and carnivalesque Day Is Done (2005/6), an operatic installation of American proportions. Day Is Done consists of vignettes, videos, and sculptures that depict narratives Kelley abstracted from a collection of high school yearbook photographs, gleaning action from after-school activities and characters from adolescent outcasts. Kelley’s live-action interpretations imbue the source material—imagery of extracurricular clubs, sports, dances, and more—with a psychological unease stemming from socially accepted rituals. The constellation of these farcical reenactments juxtaposes a lingering anxiety against activities ripe with youth and banality; Day Is Done in its entirety speaks to the cult of cultural and institutional rituals and their haunting effects from adolescence through adulthood.

Born in 1954 in Detroit, Michigan, Mike Kelley received his BA in 1976 from the University of Michigan and his MFA in 1978 from the California Institute of the Arts. Prior to his passing in 2012, Kelley had solo exhibitions at numerous institutions worldwide, including the Musée du Louvre, Paris; the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London; Tate Liverpool; the Museum Moderner Kunst, Vienna; the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, among many others. A retrospective of his work was held at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 2012 and subsequently traveled to MoMA PS1, Long Island City (2013); the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2013); and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2014).

 

[1] Mike Kelley, interview by Art21, Art in the Twenty-First Century, season 3, episode 2, “Memory,” September 23, 2005, https://art21.org/watch/art-in-the-twenty-first-century/s3/mike-kelley-in-memory-segment/.

 

Image: © 2024 Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. All Rights Reserved / Licensed by VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY. Photo: Fredrik Nilsen