Mike Kelley: Ghost and Spirit

Mike Kelley (1954–2012) liked to play with how an artist appears, exists and inhabits a role and how an artwork ‘communes’ with a viewer. Central to his ambitious explorations of memory, history, and the future is his consideration of how one’s individual subjectivity is shaped by familial and institutional power structures within society.  Ghost and Spirit highlights the significant and prescient questions about the role of art, and of the artist, and about gender and class, in terms that stem from Kelley’s own position as a white, heterosexual man in post-modern, capitalist America. Featuring a diverse range of voices, it explores the major works and themes of Kelley’s career, while drawing attention to aspects of his practice associated with performance, activism and collaboration, to emphasise his continual deflation of his own authority, and his willingness to invent and inhabit several identities.  Covering over four decades of Kelley’s work spanning performance, sculpture, video and installation, and articulating challenges to power, gender, class and sexuality, this book is a pertinent presentation of the breadth, complexity and significance of Kelley’s influential practice.

Text: Wood Catherine. pp. 304; paperback. Publisher: Tate Gallery Publishing, London, 2024.

ISBN: 9781849768573 | 1849768579
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ID: 26741

Product Description

Mike Kelley (1954–2012) liked to play with how an artist appears, exists and inhabits a role and how an artwork ‘communes’ with a viewer. Central to his ambitious explorations of memory, history, and the future is his consideration of how one’s individual subjectivity is shaped by familial and institutional power structures within society.  Ghost and Spirit highlights the significant and prescient questions about the role of art, and of the artist, and about gender and class, in terms that stem from Kelley’s own position as a white, heterosexual man in post-modern, capitalist America. Featuring a diverse range of voices, it explores the major works and themes of Kelley’s career, while drawing attention to aspects of his practice associated with performance, activism and collaboration, to emphasise his continual deflation of his own authority, and his willingness to invent and inhabit several identities.  Covering over four decades of Kelley’s work spanning performance, sculpture, video and installation, and articulating challenges to power, gender, class and sexuality, this book is a pertinent presentation of the breadth, complexity and significance of Kelley’s influential practice.

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