Earlier this week, The New York Times broke the news about a new art installation coming to MOCAD. It is a replica of Mike Kelley's childhood home. Combined with the fact that MOCAD now has some seriously renown architects signed up to work on the renovation (Field Operations and Rice + Lipka) this institution seems really poised to take itself to the next level. Why? Mike Kelley was described in his Times obit as "one of the most influential American artists of the past quarter century." The fact that his lasting legacy gets to live here will be a big draw for the art community; he had a reach that was national and international but is certain to be remembered as a talent that was born in the burbs of Detroit. Kelley committed suicide in January but continues to be celebrated for work relating to Detroit and its complicated relationship between the city and the suburbs.
This week, Kelley's work appears at New York City's Whitney Museum of American Art in their Biennial for the eighth time in his career. Which means the next stop for fans might just be Detroit for the Mobile Homestead project. Now what is that about?
The installation will be a replica of Kelley's childhood home in the suburbs which will be used to provide social services to Detroit residents. Kelley himself oversaw the first stage of the project in 2010, when a mobile-home version of the suburban dwelling made a maiden voyage from downtown Detroit to visit the original Kelley home in the suburbs. The video of this, completed just before he died, is what premiered at the Whitney Biennial yesterday. Kelley's idea was to create a symbolic reversal of the white flight that occurred in Detroit in the 1960s.
· Mike Kelley, an Artist With Attitude, Dies at 57 [New York Times]
· MOCAD Picks Two NYC Firms For Renovation: Rice+Lipka Architects and James Corner Field Operations [Curbed Detroit]