At Home with Mike Kelley: Day Is Done

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts
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 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.