The Mike Kelley show at MOCA Geffen has a whole lot of everything going on: child nightmare videos, weird banners, scary stuffed animal sculptures, night-light installations of the fictional Kandor, and architectural models of every school Kelly ever went to. There’s also his “Chinatown Wishing Well,” above, his tribute, to a similarly garish fountain located in L.A.’s Chinatown.
It’s a lot to absorb. But while you’re at it, don’t forget to take a peek under and inside many of his pieces, since they often seem to contain little surprises. Under the architectural models, you’ll find a mattress; a pink dresser hides books about sex and a packet of birth control pills; and inside the “Wishing Well” is a mattress, a box of Kleenex, some candles and tub of Vaseline. (This latter space he once described as a “crawl space/fuck room.”)
All of it certainly gets at aspects of the forbidden he often explored in his work. But they also serve as a reminder that if you’re just looking at the literal surface of his pieces, you’re missing a good chunk of the story.
Deodorized Central Mass with Satellites, 1991/1999, by Mike Kelley. Part of the exhibit Mike Kelley, at MoMA PS1. Opens Sunday, in Long Island City. (Courtesy of Perry Rubenstein Gallery. Photograph by Joshua White/ JWPictures.com.)
- NYC: Rebirth: Recent Work by Mariko Mori, at the Japan Society. Opens Friday, in Midtown.
- NYC: The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution, at the New-York Historical Society. Opens Friday, on the Upper West Side.
- NYC: The Nelson A. Rockefeller Vision: In Pursuit of the Best, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- NYC: Llyn Foulkes, and Counter Forms: Tetsumi Kudo, Alina Szapocznikow, Paul Thek, Hannah Wilke, at Andrea Rosen Gallery. Opens Saturday, in Midtown.
- NYC: Thomas Eggerer, Gesture and Territory, at Friedrich Petzel. Opens Thursday, in Chelsea.
- NYC: No Longer Empty Presents: Jan Tichy, at 196 Stanton Street at Attorney Street. Opens Thursday at 6pm, on the Lower East Side.
- NYC: Rollin Leonard, Trunks, Stems and Heads, at Transfer Gallery. Opens Saturday, in East Williamsburg.
- NYC: Between the Door and the Street, a performance initiated by Suzanne Lacy, at Park Place and the Brooklyn Museum. Opens Thursday, in Brooklyn. The performance will take place on the afternoon of Saturday, October 19.
- NYC: Vernacular Criticism, a talk by Brian Droitcour, at the New Museum. This Saturday at 3pm, on the Lower East Side.
- L.A.: Joe Sola, Portraits: An Exhibition in TIF Sigfrids’ Ear, at Tif Sigfrids. Opens Saturday, in Hollywood.
- L.A.: Creative Collaboration in Music and Architecture: Frank Gehry, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Nicolai Ourossoff, in conversation at the Hammer Museum. Next Tuesday at 7:30pm, in Westwood.
- Nottingham: Asco, No Movies, at Nottingham Contemporary. Opens Saturday.
- Luxembourg: Brent Birnbaum, Ride (w/) The Wind, at Casino Luxembourg. Opens Saturday.