Mike Kelley at the Hauser and Wirth gallery

November 18, 2016

 

Framed and Frame:

 

This piece consist of two different parts, one being the "Framed" and the other being the "Frame", they are then separated by a wall. The piece is a replica of an actual place, a wishing well located in China Town in LA. The first part (the Framed) is the replica of the wishing well and the second part (the Frame) is a very industrial looking enclosure reminiscent of a zoo as if the fountain needs to be locked up. When viewing the piece this was not clear and I did not find this out until researching  the exhibition once home.

 

This piece was built in response to the small American Chinese community living in LA, in Kelleys opinion, this community was being socially and politically marginalised and not being represented. Making sure all cultures are fairly represented within art is something that I feel is important.

I really liked the scale of the frame installation and the way it neatly fitted into the space of the gallery (Fig.1). I found the aggressive shapes and colours of the fence against the clean white gallery walls very interesting, this has got me thinking about using the clean gallery space as a platform for contrast against my work. I also found the contrast of colour and shapes within the piece itself very interesting, the installation had a very inviting front decorated with Chinese lanterns (Fig.2) giving a fake front compared to the remaining three sides, this misleading front is something that is present in my own practice.

 

The framed section of the piece was very a large sculpture made out of concrete then roughly spray painted bright colours (Fig.3). Again this contrast of industrial materials against the clean gallery space appealed to me.

 

The number one thing in the exhibition that interested me were the kitsch models placed across the fountain (Fig.4). Kelley included a mixture of tacky Christian and Buddhist models to represent the mix of cultures living in the area of LA. Apart from finding the models sculpturally interesting, I like the low brow, cheap quality of these models and the way this can be translated as affordable and accessible due to their lack of prestige and sophistication.

 

(Fig.1)

 

(Fig.2)

 

(Fig.3)

 

(Fig.4)

 

 

 

 

 

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