Thursday, 23 May 2013

Mike Kelley: Mobile Homestead

Yesterday's UK premiere of Mike Kelley's Mobile Homestead in Tate Modern coincided with the opening in Detroit of Kelley's last major project. Before his death in 2012, the artist begun to work on a new public comission for his native city, based on the life-sized replica of the house in which he grew up. The film documents the journey of the Homestead's detachable facade from downtown Detroit to 'the mother ship', Kelley's former home in Westland, and back again. This expedition is presented alongside interviews with an array of local residents, including bikers, owners of burger diners, church officials, sex workers, and representatives of the automobile industry to which the Motor City owes its name. What sounds like a documentary attempt to portray a road trip in post-neoliberal American landscape has been turned into a witty and smart work in which its various characters develop many narratives. The editing of the interviews was at times cruel and ridiculing though. Did the characters see the video before its publishing? Anyway, don't miss the screening - in Tate Modern until the 26th of May. 

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