Mike Kelley phantasmagoria at MoMA PS1

Mike Kelley. Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites. 1991/1999. Plush toys sewn over wood and wire frames with styrofoam packing material, nylon rope, pulleys, steel hardware and hanging plates, fiberglass, car paint, and disinfectant.

Mike Kelley. Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites. 1991/1999. Plush toys sewn over wood and wire frames with styrofoam packing material, nylon rope, pulleys, steel hardware and hanging plates, fiberglass, car paint, and disinfectant.

See this review on Metro.us published November 27, 2013

Mike Kelley puts the extraordinary into the ordinary at MoMA PS 1

MoMA PS1’s “Mike Kelley retrospective — the largest-ever exhibition of the eclectic and influential artist’s work — is like plunging down the rabbit hole to an uncanny world. It occupies the entire museum and brings together more than 200 works representing Kelley’s entire career from the 1970s through 2012, the year of his untimely death.

At once familiar and strange, Kelley pushes conventions to their breaking points. His dark humor speaks for the underbelly of society, exploring themes of class, pop culture, childhood, repressed memories and contradictions within power structures. 

The art on view is expansive, including drawing, printmaking, painting, assemblage, sculpture, photography, film, sound and performance. Kelley’s expertise comes when he combines multiple media into installations that immerse viewers into phantasmagoric worlds.

Visiting “Mike Kelley” is an immersive experience. At times humorous, perverse and bizarre —yet ultimately relatable — Kelley’s sardonically critical art always keeps you guessing. Here’s a guide to the exhibition’s highlights:

· “Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites” (1991/1999) is a must-see installation of plush toys sewn into motley, kaleidoscopic cloud formations descending from the museum’s ceiling.

· “Wayne, MI (US), 1954 – South Pasadena, CA (US), 2012 Switching Marys” (2004–2005) is the exhibit’s most immersive installation. Inspired by the New Age faith in repressed memory of traumatic abuse, Kelley filmed creepy, not-quite-right re-creations of dated high-school yearbook photos, which are projected amid sculptures assembled from props used in the videos and simulacrum photographs of the actors alongside the yearbook originals.

· “Kandor Project” (1999-2011) is a series of sculptures, illustrations and projections named for the fictional birthplace of Superman — which, in comic-book lore, was shrunken and preserved under glass. The pseudoscientific “Kandor” installation weaves together Kelley’s glowing sculptures — cast in colored resin and encased in containers or set on faux-rock pedestals —with oversized video projections of Kandors-in-action, in which encased minerals whirl about their glass vitrines like so many dreamlike snow globes.

This immense retrospective affirms Kelley’s status as an artist with a passionate project of social critique and self-criticism.

If you go:

“Mike Kelley”

Through Feb. 2, 2014

Thursdays–Mondays, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

MoMA PS1,

22-25 Jackson Avenue, Long Island City

General admission $10,

718-784-2084www.momaps1.org

Mike Kelley Gif

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3 comments

  1. Karyl · November 27, 2013

    Thanks for following. Love your little video!

    • dlkalamaras · November 27, 2013

      Thanks Karyl, its a fun GIF I made.

      • Karyl · November 28, 2013

        I love those. I want to make one some day!

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