By Mike Kelley
What John C. Welchman calls the "blazing community of targeted conflations" from which Mike Kelley's types are generated is on show in all its range in this moment quantity of the artist's writings. the 1st quantity, Foul Perfection, contained thematic essays and writings approximately different artists; this assortment concentrates on Kelley's personal paintings, starting from texts in "voices" that grew out of scripts for functionality items to expository serious and autobiographical writings.Minor Histories organizes Kelley's writings into 5 sections. "Statements" includes twenty items produced among 1984 and 2002 (most of which have been written to accompany exhibitions), together with "Ajax," which attracts on Homer, Colgate- Palmolive, and Longinus to offer its eponymous hero; "Some Aesthetic excessive Points," an workout in autobiography that counters the normal artist bio integrated in catalogs and press releases; and a chain of "creative writings" that use mass cultural tropes in live performance with excessive paintings mannerisms--approximating in prose the visible types that represent Kelley's art. "Video Statements and suggestions" are introductions to video clips made through Kelley and different artists, together with Paul McCarthy and Bob Flanagan and Sheree Rose. "Image-Texts" deals writings that accompany or are a part of artistic endeavors and installations. This part comprises "A Stopgap Measure," Kelley's zestful millennial essay in social satire, and "Meet John Doe," a university of appropriated texts. "Architecture" good points an dialogue of Kelley's academic advanced (1995) and an interview within which he displays at the function of structure in his paintings. ultimately, "Ufology" considers the aesthetics and sexuality of house as manifested by means of flying saucers sightings and abduction situations.
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Additional info for Minor Histories: Statements, Conversations, Proposals (Writing Art)
Here, Ajax could be construed as a drummer, a pariah—part of the lowest caste in Indian society. 5 Evoking sublime grandiosity, Ajax’s drum is large—so large that we lose our ability to comprehend, or even sense, its limits. Just as with the proximity of the lower to the upper classes, confrontation with such immensity generates a feeling of low self-worth, which is transformed into artistic drive. The energy of a supposed “higher” force is siphoned off and used to produce drumming, speaking in tongues, and other “creative” acts.
A good product doesn’t advertise because it knows that commercials are annoying; it must suffer, because its merits are only communicated by word of mouth, which is in opposition to its silent stance. Loose lips sink ships, but make business grow. The silence of Ajax. Dead silence. The body may be puffed-up, but at least the tongue is still—thick, rising like dough. These loaves bake in the sun. What if Ajax’s suicide was simply motivated by an aversion to speech, rather than by shame? As a response to shame, suicide is at least respectable, but using suicide as an easy way to attain silence is deﬁnitely a sign of weakness.
These are questions one is compelled to ask; yet might questions be better put to the images themselves? We might ask, instead, why these pictures provoke addition. What has been subtracted from them? Heroic images thrive on subtraction. Idealization occurs as things move away from the physical concerns of mankind. Only then, after the body and desire are no longer in proximity to them, are things worthy of adoration. Gods are gods simply because they are not human. The photographs you see here are not truthful representations of the historical events they picture, nor are they meant to be.