I Do Mind Dying: On Mike Kelley’s ‘Mobile Homestead’ Videos

Mike Kelley in his studio in Los Angeles, September 1993. (Photo: Ann Summa/Getty Images)

Last fall, a few months before he killed himself at the age of 57, the Los Angeles-based artist Mike Kelley signed off on the final plans for a project called Mobile Homestead, a full-size replica of his childhood home in the Westland area of metro Detroit. He intended to place the replica in downtown Detroit, where it would be used as a community center, providing services ranging from haircuts to block parties. The house would have a two-level basement, closed to the public, conceived as an underground studio where he would make his art—a secret lair and such a natural extension of his overall artistic project that it seems like some kind of joke (it is tempting to think of it as a real-life “Fortress of Solitude,” Superman’s hideout, which Kelley constructed in three-dimensional form and used as the central image in his final solo exhibition last September at the Gagosian Gallery in London). Read More

Whitney Biennial 2012

2012 Whitney Biennial Dedicated to Mike Kelley

Mike Kelley.

In this week’s New York magazine, Carl Swanson writes about Los Angeles artist Mike Kelley, who died on Jan. 31, at the age of 57, and reveals that the 2012 Whitney Biennial, which opens March 1 and includes Kelley’s work, has been dedicated to him.

Mr. Swanson reports that three videos produced by Kelley and the English public-art group Artangel will be on view in the exhibition. They document the travels of the artist’s Mobile Homestead, a replica of his childhood home, on the back of a flatbed truck through Detroit in 2010, a project realized with with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD). Read More