18th June 2009

Proposal No. 18

Mike Kelley

Mike Kelley’s work ranges from highly symbolic and ritualistic performance pieces, to arrangements of stuffed-animal sculptures, to wall-sized drawings, to multi-room installations that restage institutional environments (schools, offices, zoos). He has organized numerous exhibitions incorporating his own work, work by fellow artists, and non-art objects that exemplify aspects of nostalgia, the grotesque, and the uncanny.

His work aims to question values and systems of authority, and the sanctity of family, religion, sexuality, art history, and education. He also comments on and undermines the legitimacy of the concept of victim or trauma culture, which posits that almost all behaviour results from some form of repressed abuse.

Taking these aspects of Kelley’s work I propose Kelley works on a year long residency at Ulster Museum, Belfast alongside the Belfast people and the Romanian community based in Belfast to explore the collection of the Ulster Museum. By presenting aspects of the collection alongside work created by the two communities they will explore the history of Belfast and the conflicts and structures in place.

Mike Kelley, Blackout, Installation, 2001

Mike Kelley, Blackout, Installation, 2001

Mike Kelley, Frankenstein

Mike Kelley, Frankenstein


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