Screening of Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead

Screening of Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead
Video and Panel Discussion Saturday, July 12 at Art Center College of Design

The Mobile Homestead in front of the abandoned Detroit Central Station, 2010  Photo: Corine Vermuelen

The Mobile Homestead in front of the abandoned Detroit Central Station, 2010
Photo: Corine Vermuelen

(PASADENA, Calif.) July 1, 2014 — Art Center College of Design is thrilled to present a screening and panel discussion of Mobile Homestead, a video series documenting Mike Kelley’s large-scale public art project on Saturday, July 12, 2014 from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. in the College’s Hillside Campus Ahmanson Auditorium, 1700 Lida Street in Pasadena. This event is free and open to the public. Free parking is available in the campus student lot. For more information, please call 626.396.4222.

A permanent art work situated in Downtown Detroit, Mobile Homestead is a full-scale replica of the 1950s Westland suburban home where Kelley grew up. It is designed to operate as a community gallery with a removable façade on wheels that Kelley imagined would travel and dispense ‘public services.’ The videos document the remarkable journey through Detroit’s urban and suburban landscapes reflecting Kelley’s interest in its socio-economically diverse communities, as well as themes of biography, history and memory. In interviews and his own writing, Kelley noted his ambivalence towards public art, believing it was often foisted on a public audience that didn’t want it. With typical humor and insight, Kelley’s Mobile Homestead slyly puts this belief to the test.

“Mike was one of the most important professors in Art Center’s MFA program from its inception in 1986 until 2006,” said Diana Thater, chair of the Graduate Art department. “His 20 years of dedicated teaching had a lasting impact on his many students. We’re grateful to have this special opportunity to screen Mobile Homestead– to honor him as an artist and ensure his legacy at Art Center lives on.”

Bennett Simpson, curator of MOCA’s current “Mike Kelley” exhibition; Patti Podesta, Graduate Art department faculty member at Art Center and Mary Clare Stevens, executive director of Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts and Kelley’s studio manager from 2003 until 2012 will speak about the late artist throughout the July 12th be followed by a panel discussion moderated by Jason Smith, prolific contemporary art scholar and associate chair of the Graduate Art department at Art Center.

This event is presented by Art Center College of Design in association with Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, Los Angeles Filmforum and in conjunction with “Mike Kelley” at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA.

About the videos:
Kelley’s Mobile Homestead videos, Going West on Michigan Avenue from Downtown Detroit to Westland and Going East on Michigan Avenue from Westland to Downtown Detroit, document program. The screenings and remarks will Mobile Homestead’s route from its permanent location at the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (MOCAD) to Kelley’s former family home in Westland and back again. The voyage takes viewers along Michigan Avenue, the main route out of the city that passes through some of Detroit’s most historic neighborhoods. The vehicle’s journey is intercut with interviews with residents, workers and business owners encountered along the way, including members of a motorcycle club, sex workers, police officers and Ford Motor Company executives.

A third video, which is not being screened on July 12, documents the opening launch and celebration of Kelley’s public project. Site Gallery in Sheffield, England says of the footage, “Kelley interweaves a narrative between the fascinating and bizarre characters, drawing the viewer into the incredible, sometimes shocking and other times ordinariness of peoples’ lives. It is a street of strange encounters; from Albanian Mike at Mike’s Famous Ham Place,opposite the only Jewish deli in the city, and nestling behind it, a ‘life-style’ venue led by a local dominatrix.”

Mobile Homestead was commissioned by Artangel with support from the LUMA Foundation, Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts and the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit.

Read more about Mobile Homestead in Kelley’s own words here:

About the Graduate Art Department:
Art Center’s Graduate Art department stands out among its top-ranked peers for attracting internationally known artists and theorists who teach in a concentrated and intense environment which is responsive to the needs of the individual student. Among the many influential Graduate Art alumni are Lynn Aldrich, Lisa Auerbach, David Bailey, Olivia Booth, Mason Cooley, Aaron Curry, Kevin Hanley, Nate Hylden, Melissa Kretschmer, Sharon Lockhart, T. Kelly Mason, Rebecca Norton, Steve Roden, Sterling Ruby, Frances Stark, Jennifer Steinkamp, Alexis Teplin, Diana Thater, Pae White, Jennifer West and T.J. Wilcox.

About Art Center:
Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, Calif., Art Center College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. Art Center offers 11 undergraduate and six graduate degrees in a wide variety of art and design disciplines, as well as public programs for all ages and levels of experience. Renowned for its ties to industry, Art Center is the first design school to receive the United Nations’ Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) status, providing opportunities for students to create design-based solutions for humanitarian and nonprofit agencies around the world. During the College’s 84-year history, Art Center’s alumni have had a profound impact on popular culture, the way we live and important issues in our society.