Minor Histories: Statements, Conversations, Proposals

Overview

What John C. Welchman calls the "blazing network of focused conflations" from which
Mike Kelley's styles are generated is on display in all its diversity in this second volume of the artist's writings. The first volume, Foul Perfection, contained thematic essays and writings about other artists; this collection concentrates on Kelley's own work, ranging from texts in "voices"
that grew out of scripts for performance pieces to expository ...

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Overview

What John C. Welchman calls the "blazing network of focused conflations" from which
Mike Kelley's styles are generated is on display in all its diversity in this second volume of the artist's writings. The first volume, Foul Perfection, contained thematic essays and writings about other artists; this collection concentrates on Kelley's own work, ranging from texts in "voices"
that grew out of scripts for performance pieces to expository critical and autobiographical writings.Minor Histories organizes Kelley's writings into five sections. "Statements" consists of twenty pieces produced between 1984 and 2002 (most of which were written to accompany exhibitions),
including "Ajax," which draws on Homer, Colgate- Palmolive, and Longinus to present its eponymous hero; "Some Aesthetic High Points," an exercise in autobiography that counters the standard artist bio included in catalogs and press releases; and a sequence of "creative writings" that use mass cultural tropes in concert with high art mannerisms--approximating in prose the visual styles that characterize Kelley's artwork. "Video Statements and Proposals" are introductions to videos made by
Kelley and other artists, including Paul McCarthy and Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose. "Image-Texts"
offers writings that accompany or are part of artworks and installations. This section includes "A
Stopgap Measure," Kelley's zestful millennial essay in social satire, and "Meet John Doe," a collage of appropriated texts. "Architecture" features an discussion of Kelley's Educational Complex (1995)
and an interview in which he reflects on the role of architecture in his work. Finally, "Ufology"
considers the aesthetics and sexuality of space as manifested by UFO sightings and abduction scenarios.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262611985
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 3/1/2004
  • Series: Writing Art
  • Pages: 457
  • Sales rank: 861,306
  • Product dimensions: 8.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Mike Kelley is a Los Angeles-based artist, noise musician, and writer. He is a member of the graduate faculty in the M.F.A. program at Art Center College of Design, Pasadena.

John C. Welchman is Professor of Modern Art History in the Visual Arts Department at the
University of California, San Diego.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction
Ajax (1984) 2
Three Projects: Half a Man, From My Institution to Yours, Pay for Your Pleasure (1988) 12
Quotations on Art and Crime for Pay for Your Pleasure (1988) 22
Introduction to Reconstructed History (1990) 28
Alma Pater (Wolverine Den) (1991) 32
Some Aesthetic High Points (1991) 40
In the Image of Man (1991) 50
Radical Scavengers (Letter) (1993) 56
Missing Time: Works on Paper 1974-1976, Reconsidered (1995) 60
Goin' Home, Goin' Home (1995) 72
Land O'Lakes/Land O'Snakes (1996) 82
The Poetry of Form (1996) 94
Sublevel: Dim Recollection Illuminated by Multicolored Swamp Gas (1998) 102
Statement for the Visitor's Gallery: Out of Actions at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (1998) 112
The Meaning is Confused Spatiality, Framed (1999) 118
A Minor History Categorical Imperative and Morgue (1999) 138
On Folk Art (2001) 144
Memory Ware (2000-01) 150
Black Out (2001) 156
On Some Figurative Artists of the Late 1960s: Responses to Questions for Eye Infection (2001-02) 164
The Futurist Ballet (1973) 176
Beholden to Victory (1980-83) 180
The Banana (1983) 184
Evol (1984) 188
Kappa (1986) 190
Family Tyranny and Cultural Soup (1987) 194
Sir Drone (1988) 196
Blind Country (1989) 200
One Hundred Reasons (1991) 204
Heidi: Midlife Crisis Trauma Center and Negative Media-Engram Abreaction Release Zone (1992) 208
Heidi's Four Basket Dances (1992) 212
Three Proposals for Zoo TV (1996) 214
Fresh Acconci (1996) 220
The Pole Dance (1997) 224
Out O'Actions (1998) 226
Test Room Containing Multiple Stimuli Known to Elicit Curiosity and Manipulatory Responses (1999) and A Dance Incorporating Movements Derived from Experiments by Harry F. Harlow and Choreographed in the Manner of Martha Graham (1999) 230
Superman Recites Selections from The Bell Jar and Other Works by Sylvia Plath (with Reference to Kandor-Con 2000) (1999) 234
Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction #1 (A Domestic Scene) (2000) 238
Runway for Interactive DJ Event (2000) 244
Sod and Sodie Sock (1999-2002) 248
The Poltergeist (1979) 252
We Communicate Only through Our Shared Dismissal of the Pre-linguistic: Fourteen Analyses (1995) 258
Timeless/Authorless: Four Recovered Memories (1995) 274
A Stopgap Measure (1999) 292
Meet John Doe (1999) 296
Proposal for the Decoration of an Island of Conference Rooms (with Copy Room) for an Advertising Agency Designed by Frank Gehry (1990) 312
Architectural Non-Memory Replaced with Psychic Reality (1996) 316
Missing Space/Time: A Conversation between Mike Kelley, Kim Colin, and Mark Skiles (1996) 324
An Architecture Composed of the Paintings of Richard Powers and Francis Picabia (1997) 340
Light and Color, Mostly (1993) 348
Weaned on Conspiracy: A Dialogue between Chris Wilder and Mike Kelley (1998) 384
The Aesthetics of Ufology (1997/2002) 400
Index 414
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