Look back and reflect on MOCA’s history, past exhibitions, initiatives, programs, and permanent collection, and see how all of these efforts relate to our present offerings and future initiatives. This series is led by MOCA's team of curators.
This week, MOCA Senior Curator Bennett Simpson is thinking a lot about Mike Kelley (1954-2012), one of the artists dearest to and most intertwined with MOCA's own past. The museum counts dozens of Kelley's works in its collection and was host to a critically acclaimed retrospective of his career in 2014.
“If I had to summarize the spirit of Kelley's output (a dangerous notion), I would call it restlessly disillusioning: a rebuke of artistic idealism, an explosion of high and low, experimental to its core. If this spirit is now somewhat synonymous with Los Angeles art history in the 1980s and 1990s, what could it mean today? As you watch this video of musician and artist Kim Gordon discussing Kelley's work, ask yourself: should art bite back, or provide safe harbor? What is our tolerance for provocation in a world turned upside down?” –MOCA Senior Curator Bennett Simpson
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