I felt vindicated in the last few weeks by hearing similar responses to the Mike Kelley enterprise in Chelsea which I expressed frustration over in a recent post. Then this week the Village Voice reviewed Kelley's Day is Done and I felt, echoed my sentiments too:
But even with its considerable drive and cleverness, "Day Is Done" feels strangely empty. Instead of deepening, everything keeps coming back to the fact that all this has been generated by the pictures. By now, Kelley's investigation into stereotypes, however heartfelt, is essentially only generating stereotypical Mike Kelleys. "Day Is Done" is an indisputable tour de force; it is the clearest Kelley has ever been. But it is rooted so deeply in corporate festivalism that Kelley's ideas aren't flowering but only accumulating and repeating.A tour de force? That is disputable. Unless "tour de force" means explosion of testosterone. But love that line about "corporate festivalism", and yes, isn't that the problem? The accumulation of nothing means nothing. However much one might hope, it doesn't turn into something. Not without some thought, some shaping, some heart, some sweat, some effort, something, as in tangible.
On the other hand, ArtNet gives Kelley a great review. Citing layers, ah yes, layers in the installation:
But the pieces in "Day Is Done" gain an added level of complexity through the use of the yearbook pics as seed material. The rhetoric around Kelley’s previous work suggested that he was directly exposing his viewers to the unspeakable desires that percolate below the surface of everyday life.Really? "Ironic intellectualism", "lascivious desires"? I must be missing something because I really couldn't tell whether this review of Kelley's work was supposed to be ironic or serious? The review ends with a line about how kelley has finally made work as good as MTV--tell me this is satire!
In a strange turn I realized that I had not only seen Mike Kelley's work before, but had posted on it. Here, from one of my first Chelsea Round Ups. It's nice to know that I'm consistant, if unschooled in the world of art...