Mike Kelley

Related EAI Public Programs

EAI at 50 at Metrograph: October
Metrograph 7 Ludlow Street

October 22 to October 30, 2021

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is pleased to partner with Metrograph to present a series of programs highlighting our catalogue and its essential role in the history of artists’ moving image work. This program coincides with our ongoing celebration of EAI's 50th anniversary.

Beginning this month with a series of works complimenting Metrograph's Lives of Performers, a program probing titles that move between "the clarifying spectacle of the stage and the complexities of life outside of the spotlight," EAI presents a slate of works for both Metrograph's theater as well as its At Home online platform. Screening at Metrograph, catch theatrical engagements of Ellen Cantor's sprawling Pinochet Porn (2008-16); Charles Atlas's fictionalized profile of dancer Michael Clark, Hail the New Puritan (1987); and Mike Kelley's Mobile Homestead (2012), a documentary of his reconstructed childhood home's journey, as it travels down Michigan Avenue to be installed at Museum of Contemporary Art, Detroit (MOCAD). On their streaming platform, watch supplemental programs showcasing Ellen Cantor's diaristic appropriations of classic cinema and a collection of ebullient artists' videos by Atlas, Cheryl Donegan, Kalup Linzy, and Jacolby Satterwhite.

In-person theatrical screenings will take place at Metrograph at 7 Ludlow Street. Proof of a COVID-19 vaccine is required for entry, and a face mask or covering is required for all guests at all times. Online screenings are viewable through Metrograph's membership-based At Home streaming platform, with access beginning at $5/month. 

In theaters:

Pinochet Porn
Ellen Cantor, 2008-16, 123 min
Saturday, October 23rd, 7:30 pm
With introduction by John Brattin, the director of photography of the film

Hail the New Puritan
Charles Atlas, 1985-86, 85 min
Friday, October 29th, 8 pm 

Mobile Homestead
Mike Kelley, 2012, 157 min
Saturday, October 30th, 4:30 pm 

At home:

Selected Works by Ellen Cantor
Ellen Cantor, 1996-2002, 46 min
Available October 22 to 27

It's a Jackie Thing Shorts Program
Various artists, 1994-2007, 77 min
Available October 29 to November 3
At Home with Mike Kelley
Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts www.eai.org

July 14 through September 13

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts were pleased to co-present At Home with Mike Kelley, a series of online screenings and conversations about the moving-image work of Mike Kelley. Featuring videos that span from the 1980s to 2012, this series underscores the varied and inventive art practice of Kelley, praised widely for his use of lowbrow pop cultural material and everyday arcana to interrogate the basic structures of American life. These semi-weekly online events will pair Kelley’s video work with conversations between artistic collaborators, writers, curators, admirers, and other interlocutors to parse the artist’s work and legacy.

The post-screening conversations are viewable below. Additionally, the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts has partnered with EAI to provide no-fee access to the full series, plus additional videos by Mike Kelley, for educational use. Learn more here or email info@eai.org for further information.

This screening series was streamed live at eai.org at selected times through July and August 2020, accompanied by live conversations and audience Q&A. Additionally, the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts made available Kelley’s reflections on the videos at their website mikekelleyfoundation.org, bringing forth further perspectives on and approaches to Kelley’s prolific output.

Beginning in the late 1970s with solo performances, image/text paintings, and gallery and site-specific installations, Kelley came to prominence in the following decades with a series of sculptures composed of common craft materials. Featuring repurposed thrift store toys, blankets, and worn stuffed animals, the Half a Man series focused Kelley’s career-long investigation of memory, trauma, and repression, predicated on what the artist described as a “shared culture of abuse.” Kelley’s solo and collaborative videos often tread similar territory, taking as their subject relics from the artist’s childhood, postwar Americana, and themes of social conditioning and alienation, the family, and public life.

Kelley was acutely aware of video’s attributes and possibilities, and treated his moving-image work with the same keen specificity as his performance and gallery art. Writing on his first solo videotape The Banana Man, he notes that “video and film tend to normalize fracture. The viewer is expected to jump from one image to the next and experience it as a seamless development.” For him, this quality of fracture unlocked a new dimension in his solo character-based performance, allowing for seemingly incoherent and illogical parts to settle into a contradictory yet unified whole. As a collaborator, Kelley worked in various capacities with a wide array of artists including Michael Smith, Paul McCarthy, Raymond Pettibon, Tony Oursler, Bruce and Norman Yonemoto, and Ericka Beckman. Included in this series are Beckman and Kelley’s H.G. Wells-inspired BLIND COUNTRY and his collaboration with the Yonemoto brothers, Kappa, two stunning psychodramas fusing Freudian symbology with pop imagery.

Later works by Kelley are singular in their scope and ambition. He would compare the experience of viewing his nearly three-hour opus Day Is Done, first exhibited as a sculptural installation at Gagosian Gallery in 2005, to “channel-surfing on television,” a barrage of “simultaneous and sequential scenes playing in architectural space” that recall both filmic montage and music video television. At the time of his death in 2012, Kelley had been working on an ambitious public art installation, Mobile Homestead, and had completed an accompanying feature-length travelogue documenting the journey of a full-scale replica of his childhood home across Detroit and back, in the process interviewing citizens of the artist’s hometown.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 8 pm EDT (5 pm PDT):
Mike Kelley, The Banana Man, 1983
Followed by a conversation with Michael Smith, Cauleen Smith, and Ying Liu, moderated by Mary Clare Stevens and Rebecca Cleman

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 8 pm EDT (5 pm PDT):
Mike Kelley and Ericka Beckman, BLIND COUNTRY, 1989
Followed by a conversation with Ericka Beckman and Jamillah James

Tuesday, August 11, 2020 at 8 pm EDT (5 pm PDT):
Mike Kelley and Bruce & Norman Yonemoto, Kappa, 1986
Followed by a conversation with Bruce Yonemoto and Andrea Lissoni

August 27 to September 9, 2020:
Mike Kelley, Day Is Done, 2005–2006
Featuring a conversation between John Miller and Aura Rosenberg

September 10th to September 23rd, 2020:
Mike Kelley, Mobile Homestead, 2011
Featuring a panel featuring Carla Acevedo-Yates, architectural historian Lee Azus, artists Cary Loren and Matthew Angelo Harrison, and Laura Sillars.
At Home with Mike Kelley: Day Is Done
Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts eai.org

August 27 through September 9

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts are pleased to co-present At Home with Mike Kelley, a series of online screenings and conversations about the artist's moving-image work. Beginning this Thursday, August 27th, we will present Mike Kelley's ambitious feature-length work Day Is Done (2005–2006), accompanied by a newly-recorded conversation between artists John Miller and Aura Rosenberg that contextualizes the work within Kelley's Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction project.  The video and introduction will be available on eai.org beginning 5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT on August 27th and accessible through September 9th. 

Day Is Done is a carnivalesque opus, a genre-smashing epic in which vampires, dancing Goths, hillbillies, mimes and demons come together in a kind of subversive musical theater/variety revue. Running over two-and-a-half hours, this riotous theatrical spectacle unfolds as a series of episodes that form a loose, fractured narrative. The video comprises parts 2 through 32 of Kelley's multi-faceted project Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstructions, in which trauma, abuse and repressed memory are refracted through personal and mass-cultural experience. The source material is a series of high school yearbook photographs of "extracurricular activities," specifically those that represent what Kelley has termed "socially accepted rituals of deviance." Kelley then stages video narratives around these found images.

In Day Is Done, these restagings take the form of "folk entertainments" that Kelley memorably subverts. Featuring characters such as Motivational Vampire, Morose Ghoul and Devil/Barber, much of the action—antic song-and-dance numbers and dramatic scenes, with Satan as emcee—takes place in a generic school gymnasium and a wooded landscape.

The video reconstructions were originally seen within an ambitious, sprawling exhibition of video/sculpture installations, photographs, sets, props and drawings at the Gagosian Gallery in New York in 2005; the videos were incorporated into 25 sculptural viewing stations. Writes Kelley, "My intention was to create a kind of spatialized filmic montage: a feature-length film made up of multiple simultaneous and sequential scenes playing in architectural space."

View the introduction by John Miller and Aura Rosenberg here:

John Miller is an American artist and writer best known for his artistic investigation of the relationship between art and everyday life. He presents a bizarre vision of contemporary culture through a combination of found objects and traditional media. He has written on Kelley's work previously in the book-length Mike Kelley: Educational Complex (Afterall, 2015). Miller lives and works in both Berlin, Germany and New York, NY.

Aura Rosenberg's work probes sexuality, gender, childhood, artistic identity and historical construction. Her diverse practice draws on photography, video, painting, sculpture, installation and performance. Rosenberg lives in Berlin, German and New York, NY. She is represented by Meliksetian | Briggs in Los Angeles and Martos Gallery in New York City and teaches at Pratt Institute and The School of Visual Arts, New York.
At Home with Mike Kelley: Kappa
Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts eai.org

August 11, 5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts are pleased to co-present At Home with Mike Kelley, a series of online screenings and conversations about the artist's moving-image work. Next Tuesday, we present an online screening of Mike Kelley and Bruce & Norman Yonemoto's Kappa (1986) followed by a conversation with Bruce Yonemoto and curator Andrea Lissoni. The event will be accessible at eai.org at 5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT on Tuesday, July 28th. No RSVP or pre-registration is required. View the conversation here:

Deconstructing the myth of Oedipus within the framework of an ancient Japanese folk story, the Yonemotos craft a highly charged discourse of loss and desire. Quoting from Buñuel, Freud, pop media and art, they place the symbology of Western psychosexual analytical theory into a cross-cultural context, juxtaposing the Oedipal and Kappa myths in a delirious collusion of form and content. The Kappa, a malevolent Japanese water imp, is played with eerie intensity by Kelley; actress Mary Woronov plays Jocasta as a vamp from a Hollywood exploitation film. Steeped in perversions and violent longings, both the Kappa and Oedipus legends are presented in highly stylized, purposefully "degraded" forms, reflecting their media-exploitative cultural contexts. In this ironic yet oddly poignant essay of psychosexual compulsion and catharsis, the Yonemotos and Kelley demonstrate that even in debased forms, cultural archetypes hold the power to move and manipulate.

Bruce Yonemoto is a Japanese-American multimedia artist. His photographs, installations, sculptures, and films appropriate familiar narrative forms and then circumvent convention through direct, over-eager adoption of heavily clichéd dialogue, music, gestures, and scenes that click in the viewer’s memory without being identifiable. Working in collaboration with his brother, Norman Yonemoto, since 1975, Bruce Yonemoto has set out to divulge a body of work at the crossroads of television, art, commerce, and the museum/gallery world. His work has been recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Film Institute, The Rockefeller Foundation, the Maya Deren Award for Experimental Film and Video, and a mid-career survey show at the Japanese American National Museum.

Andrea Lissoni is the Artistic Director of Haus der Kunst, Munich. He was previously the Senior Curator of International Art (Film) at Tate Modern, London, where he he launched an annual Cinema Programme conceived as an exhibition unfolding throughout the year. In 2012, he co-founded Vdrome, an online cinema for artists and filmmakers. Previously, he was curator at HangarBicocca, Milan (2009-13) and co-director of the international festival Netmage, Bologna (both Italy).
At Home with Mike Kelley: BLIND COUNTRY
Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts eai.org

July 28, 5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts are pleased to co-present At Home with Mike Kelley, a series of online screenings and conversations about the artist's moving-image work. we present an online screening of Mike Kelley and Ericka Beckman's BLIND COUNTRY (1989) followed by a conversation between Beckman and curator Jamillah James. The event will be accessible at eai.org at 5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT on Tuesday, July 28th. No RSVP or pre-registration is required. 

Read Mike Kelley on BLIND COUNTRY on the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts website.

Made in collaboration with fellow California Institute of the Arts alum Ericka Beckman, BLIND COUNTRY is loosely inspired by the H.G. Wells short story The Country of the Blind—an adolescent favorite of Kelley’s—in which a one-eyed man encounters a sightless society and must give up his vision to live among them. Kelley and Beckman’s take reframes the story as one of castration anxiety, emphasizing the “thinly veiled sexual and racial fears” embedded within Wells’ original. 

Ericka Beckman is an American artist and filmmaker based in New York. Beginning her career in the 1970s alongside peers at CalArts, she is considered a key figure in the Pictures Generation. Over her three-decade career, her playful yet formally demanding films challenge traditional aesthetic and cultural values, mixing games with fairytales to create hybrids with new rules. 

Jamillah James is Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (ICA LA). With Margot Norton, she is curating the 2021 edition of the New Museum Triennial. Prior to joining ICA LA in 2016, James was Assistant Curator at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, working in collaboration with the nonprofit Art + Practice. 
At Home with Mike Kelley: The Banana Man
Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts eai.org

July 14, 5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts are pleased to co-present At Home with Mike Kelley, a series of online screenings and conversations about the artist's moving-image work. The series launches with The Banana Man (1983), followed by a conversation with artists Michael Smith, Ying Liu, and Cauleen Smith. The event will be accessible from eai.org at 5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT on Tuesday, July 14th. No RSVP or pre-registration is required. 

View the conversation here:

Read Mike Kelley on The Banana Man on the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts website.

Shot in 1982 with the assistance of a performance/installation class he was instructing at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, The Banana Man (1983) was Kelley’s first completed solo video work. Drawing upon his memories of childhood friends regaling him with their synopses of the antics of The Banana Man, a vaudeville act that appeared on Captain Kangaroo, Kelley uses his scant recollections—the Banana Man’s habit of pulling out bananas from his pocket, and his accompanying high-pitched squeal—to build out an intricate psychology of the character.   

Ying Liu is a Brooklyn-based multimedia artist born and raised in a small island named Zhoushan in the East China Sea. Her evening-length, hybridized works often mix consumer technology such as VR, GoPro and GPS, and fuse mediums including theater, dance, video, and performance art with DIY props and an exuberant sense of play.

Cauleen Smith is an interdisciplinary artist, whose work reflects upon the everyday possibilities of the imagination. Operating in multiple materials and arenas, Smith roots her work firmly within the discourse of mid-twentieth-century experimental film. Drawing from structuralism, Third World Cinema, and science fiction, she makes things that deploy the tactics of these disciplines, while offering a phenomenological experience for spectators and participants.

Michael Smith is a performance, video, and installation artist who has exhibited widely at fine art and popular venues, including museums, galleries, theaters, festivals, nightclubs, children's parties, television, online, and in the street. He lives and works in Brooklyn, NY and Austin, TX.
EAI Invites: Martha Wilson
Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) 535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011

August 1st, 2019
7:00 pm

For the third installment of EAI Invites, Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is pleased to welcome Martha Wilson, the pathbreaking feminist artist and founding director of Franklin Furnace. Noting that “most people are interested in sex” and the subject’s subsequent broad appeal, Martha Wilson has selected sexually explicit and audacious work from the collections of both EAI and Franklin Furnace, exploring human relations from multiple perspectives. Works screened will include Post Porn Modernist, a 1990 performance by Annie Sprinkle, along with a selection of film and video by Ellen Cantor, Barbara Hammer, Mike Kelley, Cynthia Maughan, Bruce Nauman, Carolee Schneemann, and Julie Zando.

Purchase tickets here.
  541 West 22nd Street
New York, NY 10011

Saturday, April 14, 2012
10 am – 10 pm

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and Dia Art Foundation paid tribute to Mike Kelley with a daylong screening of his remarkable video works, many of which were created with collaborators such as Paul McCarthy and Michael Smith. The twelve-hour program, presented in coordination with the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, included the screening of such seminal work as The Banana Man (1983); Heidi (1992), made in collaboration with Paul McCarthy; Superman Recites Selections from 'The Bell Jar' and Other Works by Sylvia Plath (1999); Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstruction #1 (Domestic Scene) (2000); Day Is Done, Part 1 (2005-2006); as well as the recent work A Voyage of Growth And Discovery (2011), made in collaboration with Michael Smith.
The NY Art Book Fair 2010 MoMA PS1 22-25 Jackson Ave at the intersection of 46th Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101

Opening Reception:
Thursday, Nov. 4, 6-9 pm

Friday, Nov. 5, 11 am - 7 pm
Saturday, Nov. 6, 11 am - 7 pm
Sunday, Nov. 7, 11 am - 5 pm

EAI participated in The NY Art Book Fair at MoMA PS1, organized by Printed Matter. EAI's project space, installed in MoMA PS1's basement vault, featured STAGED DIRECTIONS, a special ongoing program of early and recent videos by artists, including rarely seen works drawn from EAI's extensive archive. STAGED DIRECTIONS featured conceptual videos that involve rules, instructions, or tasks, incorporating the script or the instruction manual into the action and placing the artist's directions on stage and in front of the camera. The screening program included works by Vito Acconci, Cory Arcangel, John Baldessari, Lynda Benglis, Dara Birnbaum, VALIE EXPORT, Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson, Joan Jonas, Mike Kelley, Kristin Lucas, Kalup Linzy, Shana Moulton, Bruce Nauman, Dennis Oppenheim, Seth Price, Anthony Ramos, Martha Rosler, Carolee Schneemann, Stuart Sherman and Lawrence Weiner, among others.
P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center 22-25 Jackson Ave at the intersection of 46th Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101

November 1, 2009 - April 26, 2010
Thursday - Monday, noon - 6 pm

EAI presented 45 Years of Performance Video from EAI, a survey of four decades of artists' engagement with video and performance. This project is presented in conjunction with 100 Years, an exhibition on the history of performance art organized by P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center and Performa 09.
EAI Viewing Room at EFA Gallery
EFA Gallery 323 West 39th Street, 2nd Floor, New York City

November 2 - November 17, 2007

During the PERFORMA07 performance biennial, EFA Gallery was transformed into a video lounge to host Electronic Arts Intermix's Viewing Room, a program that provides free public access to one of the foremost collections of video art in the world. Visitors to EFA Gallery were able to choose from a curated selection of major performance-based video works by over 30 artists from the EAI Collection. Viewers were able to watch these seminal performances and contemporary classics at their own pace in a comfortable viewing environment. During the opening reception on Friday, November 2nd, programs featuring selected works were installed throughout the gallery.
Dia:Chelsea bookshop 548 West 22nd Street, New York

January 11, 2004, 11 am - 6 pm

Dia and Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) presented a day-long screening of video works from EAI's collection. The videos screened featured works by artists who participated in collaborative programming presented by Dia and EAI at Dia:Chelsea from the mid-1990s until 2004. Artists included Marina Abramovic , Joan Jonas , Gordon Matta-Clark , Kristin Lucas , Mike Kelley , and Dan Graham , among others. Admission was free.
Dia bookshop 535 W 22nd Street, New York City

July 19, 2001

This event was the first in a series of three free summer events at the Dia bookshop, which EAI presented in collaboration with Dia. This screening launched a series of newly released video works by Mike Kelley.
Dia's rooftop Video Salon and Café 535 W 22nd Street, New York City

Winter 2001

The Winter 2001 edition of this ongoing screening series at Dia's rooftop Video Salon and Café featured works by Peggy Ahwesh, Tony Cokes, Cheryl Donegan, Gary Hill, Mike Kelley, and Rita Myers.