Symposium on Mike Kelley's Kandors

Symposium on Mike Kelley's Kandors

Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts

The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts and REDCAT, CalArts' downtown center for contemporary arts, co-present the first-ever symposium focusing on the last major project of renowned artist Mike Kelley (1954-2012): Kandors. This event ties-in with the first comprehensive survey of the Kandors series and associated works on view at Hauser & Wirth, Los Angeles. Featuring noted scholars, curators, and artists; the symposium encourages dialogue and debate about this important body of work and its themes while connecting them to wider aspects of Kelley's complex and varied oeuvre.


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Huma Bhabha, The Opposite of Shrinking

Huma Bhabha (American, b. Karachi, Pakistan, 1962) lives and works in Poughkeepsie, New York. Her work has been the subject of numerous national and international exhibitions, including Unnatural Histories, MoMA P.S.1, New York; All the World’s Futures curated by Okwui Enwezor at the 56th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, Italy; Players, Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy; Huma Bhabha, Aspen Art Museum, Colorado, Stranger, Museum of Contemporary Art, Cleveland, Ohio; A Different Kind of Order: The ICP Triennial, International Center of Photography, New York; Land Marks, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Intense Proximity, La Triennale, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, France; 2010 Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum, New York; and the 7th Gwangju Biennale, Korea. She is the 2013 recipient of the Berlin Prize, Guna S. Mundheim Fellowship, The American Academy in Berlin and received The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum Emerging Artist Award in 2008.  

Thomas E. Crow, From Iggy Pop to Sun Ra: The Musical Poles of Mike Kelley’s Later Expression

Thomas Crow is Rosalie Solow Professor of Modern Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University.  His most recent books are The Long March of Pop: Art, Music, and Design 1930–1995 (Yale University Press, 2015) and No Idols: The Missing Theology of Art (University of Washington Press, 2017).  Restoration: The Fall of Napoleon in the Course of European Art (Princeton University Press), based on the 2015 Andrew Mellon Lectures at the National Gallery in Washington, will appear next year.  He just concluded the 2017 Paul Mellon Lectures at Yale and the London National Gallery: "Searching for the Young Soul Rebels: Style, Music, and Art in London 1956-1969."  His first teaching position was at CalArts, and he has taught at the University of Sussex, Yale, and USC.  He brought the study of California art to the Getty Research Institute as its director in the 2000s.  He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Trenton Doyle Hancock, The Opposite of Shrinking

For almost two and a half decades, Trenton Doyle Hancock has been constructing his own fantastical narrative that continues to develop and inform his artistic output. Part fictional, part autobiographical, Hancock’s work pulls from his personal experience, art historical canon, comics and superheroes, pulp fiction, and myriad pop culture references, resulting in a complex amalgamation of characters and plots possessing universal concepts of light and dark, good and evil, and all the grey in between.

Sylvia Lavin, Studio in the City - Mike Kelley and the Urbanism of Art 

Sylvia Lavin is an architectural historian, critic and curator who works across a wide spectrum of historical periods.  She is widely known for her simultaneous engagement with academic scholarship and contemporary architectural practice and for interest in the intersection of architecture and other art forms. Recent projects include Super Models, a large-scale installation at the 2017 Chicago Architecture Biennial and The Duck and the Document, an exhibition on the postmodernization of American architecture that will open at the Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal in 2018. Previous exhibitions include, Everything Loose Will Land, an examination of architecture and the arts in LA in the 1970s, part of the Getty sponsored Pacific Standard Time series. Lavin received a Ph.D. from Columbia University and published her first books, Quatremère de Quincy and the Invention of a Modern Language of Architecture and Form Follows Libido: Architecture and Richard Neutra in a Psychoanalytic Culture, in 1992 and 2005. Her most recent books include, Kissing Architecture, published by Princeton University Press and Flash in the Pan, an AA publication. She is Professor and Director of the Critical Studies Program in the Department of Architecture and Urban Design at UCLA. 

David Mather, Mike Kelley's Opulence

Since 2014, David Mather has been Assistant Professor of Early 20th-Century and Interwar European Art at Stony Brook University (SUNY Stony Brook). Prior to this position, Mather had been the inaugural Andrew W. Mellon postdoctoral fellow for Center for Art, Science, and Technology (CAST) at MIT, in conjunction with the Department of Architecture, and he also held a postdoc at the Getty Research Institute. He recently coedited (with Caroline Jones and Rebecca Uchill) a volume for the MIT Press titled Experience: Culture, Cognition, and the Common Sense (2016), on the intersection of art, science, and humanities research on the human senses. 

Dan Nadel, The Opposite of Shrinking 

Dan Nadel is the author of books including The Collected Hairy Who PublicationsArt Out of Time: Unknown Comic Visionaries, 1900-1969, and Gary Panter, as a curator, he has mounted exhibitions including: “What Nerve! Alternative Figures in American Art: 1960 to the Present” in Providence and New York,  “Return of the Repressed: Destroy All Monsters 1973-1977” in Los Angeles; and Jeremy Anderson: “Taking the World Apart is Easy, It is Getting it Back Together in an Acceptable Form That is Difficult” currently on view in Los Angeles. He is a director at Karma, New York.

Mary Clare Stevens, Welcome Remarks

Mary Clare Stevens is Executive Director of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. She served for many years as the artist’s studio manager and was a trustee of his estate. She holds an MFA from the University of California, Los Angeles and lives and works in Los Angeles.  

John C. Welchman, Introduction: Some Contexts for Kandor

John C. Welchman is Professor of art history at UCSD and author of Modernism Relocated (1995), Invisible Colours: A Visual History of Titles (1997), Art After Appropriation (2001), Guillaume Bijl (2016), and two volumes of collected writings: Past Realization: Essays on Contemporary European Art (2016) and After the Wagnerian Bouillabaisse (2018). He co-authored the Dada and Surrealist Word Image (1987), Mike Kelley (1999) and Kwang-Young Chung (2014); and edited Rethinking Borders (1996), Institutional Critique and After (2006), The Aesthetics of Risk (2008), Black Sphinx: On the Comedic in Modern Art (2010) and writings by Mike Kelley: Foul Perfection: Essays and Criticism (2003); Minor Histories (2004); Mike Kelley: Interviews, Conversations, and Chit-Chat, 1988-2004 (2005).

Associated Images: 

Session I : 10:30 am – 1 pm 

10:30 am

Welcome Remarks (Mary Clare Stevens)

10:35 am

Introduction: Some Contexts for Kandor (John Welchman)

11:00 am

Mike Kelley's Opulence (David Mather)

12:00 pm

Studio in the City - Mike Kelley and the Urbanism of Art (Sylvia Lavin)

1:00 pm – 2:00 pm LUNCH BREAK 

Session II : 2 pm – 4:00 pm

2:00 pm

Welcome Remarks (Mary Clare Stevens)

2:05 pm

The Opposite of Shrinking (Dan Nadel in conversation with Huma Bhabha and Trenton Doyle Hancock)

2:50 pm – 3:00 pm BREAK

3:00 pm

From Iggy Pop to Sun Ra: The Musical Poles of Mike Kelley’s Later Expression (Tom Crow)

4:00 pm


G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff