Monday, July 26, 2010

Mike Kelley

[Received this interesting announcement in my email:]



Major new public art commission launches in Detroit on September 25, 2010

An Artangel Commission
with LUMA Foundation and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD)

Where you grew up - that’s your inner world. Mike Kelley

Mobile Homestead is the first instalment of a major new work by Mike Kelley - both a public sculpture and a private, personal architecture - based on the artist’s childhood home on Palmer Road in Westland, a neighbourhood which primarily housed workers for the Big Three auto makers: Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.

On Saturday 25 September 2010, Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead makes its maiden voyage from its new home in Midtown Detroit (on the grounds of MOCAD) to return to the "mother ship", the original Kelley home in the suburbs.

On its way down Michigan Avenue, one of Detroit’s main arteries and passageway to the western suburbs, the mobile home passes through some of the city’s most historic neighborhoods such as the old Irish area of Cork Town; Dearborn, the home of the Ford motor company, the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village (Ford’s personal collection of homes and structures associated with great Americans such as Thomas Edison, the Wright Brothers and Rosa Parks); Inkster; Wayne (where Kelley attended Catholic school); and finally Westland where the former Kelley family home still stands.

In a largely disinvested city with many abandoned houses and dilapidated buildings, Mobile Homestead enacts a reversal of the ‘white flight’ that took place in Detroit following the inner city race riots of the 1960s. It does so at a time when the city is exploring new options of renewal by assessing its singular post industrial conditions in an attempt to articulate a new model for American cities.

The sculpture, which almost exactly replicates the vernacular architecture of working class neighbourhoods in the American Midwest, brings the suburbs back into the city, and as it travels - on specific missions - the mobile home performs various kinds of community services, establishing a permanent dialogue with the community that houses it.

Over the past few months, Mike Kelley has been shooting material for a video documentary that focuses on the people and communities who live and work along Michigan Avenue. A ‘trailer’ for the film will be shown at MOCAD as part of the opening events on 25 September 2010.

The project will be fully completed in 2011, when the mobile home will be attached to an altered reconstruction of the Kelley home, to function as a community space.

Mobile Homestead is artist Mike Kelley’s first public art project anywhere and the first major permanent installation of his work in his hometown. This project is also the first commission by Artangel in the United States and has been produced with support from the LUMA Foundation and in collaboration with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. The work is also the first contemporary artwork especially commissioned for the Midtown Neighborhood of Detroit.

Mike Kelley: "Mobile Homestead covertly makes a distinction between public art and private art, between the notions that art functions for the social good, and that art addresses personal desires and concerns. Mobile Homestead does both: it is simultaneously geared toward community service and anti-social private sub-cultural activities. It has a public side and a secret side..."

James Lingwood, Co-Director of Artangel: "Mobile Homestead exemplifies the long-term projects Artangel on occasion commits to making happen. It’s an ambitious project that needs a specific place, in this case the city of Detroit. As the project evolves, it’s our hope that the place will need the project too."

Luis Croquer, Director and Chief Curator, MOCAD: "We are thrilled to be collaborating with Mike Kelley, one of Detroit’s greatest artists and Artangel, on this ground breaking project for the city of Detroit. Mobile Homestead is a complex multi-layered work that questions notions of history, site, architecture and most of all expanded notions of sculpture."

For further information, interviews and images please contact Janette Scott on or Sarah Davies on or call +44 (0)20 7713 1400.


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