A Conversation with Ralph Rugoff and John C. Welchman on Mike Kelley’s Memory Ware

  • Tue 2 May 2017
  • 7 pm

Please join us for a discussion on Mike Kelley’s Memory Ware series with curator and Director of the Hayward Gallery, Ralph Rugoff, and Professor of art history at The University of California, San Diego and chair of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, John C. Welchman. On the occasion of Hauser & Wirth’s first publication in collaboration with Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts – ‘Mike Kelley. Memory Ware, A Survey’ – Rugoff and Welchman will discuss the artist’s appropriation of folk traditions and exploration of conventions of remembering, representing, and reconstructing the past. Comprised of some 100 Memory Ware and associated works made between 2000 and 2010, the Memory Ware series occupies a prominent place in Kelley’s materially and conceptually complex output. The complete body of work is reproduced in ‘Mike Kelley. Memory Ware, A Survey’, published on the occasion of the 2016 exhibition at Hauser & Wirth New York. Over the course of his four-decade career, Mike Kelley created a rich and challenging oeuvre that questioned aesthetic conventions and examined a wide range of cultural forms. Kelley worked in a startling array of genres and styles, including performance, installation, drawing, painting, video, photography, sound works, text, and sculpture. He also worked on curatorial projects; collaborated with many other artists and musicians; and left a formidable body of critical and creative writing. The publication includes a new scholarly essay by Ralph Rugoff that considers the place of personal and collective memory in the artist’s oeuvre as well as reading the Memory Ware series in its entirety from both visual and art historical standpoints. Kelley’s own essay on the project is reprinted and offers direct insight into the artist’s thinking and methodology. The publication thus offers the opportunity to re-examine Kelley’s series as a whole. The discussion is a precursor to Mike Kelley’s first exhibition with Hauser & Wirth in Los Angeles slated for Fall 2017. About Ralph Rugoff Ralph Rugoff is Director of the Hayward Gallery, London. Since his appointment as Director in May 2006, he has curated exhibitions featuring a wide range of artists including Ed Ruscha, Jeremy Deller; George Condo; Tracey Emin, and Carsten Holler. He has also curated numerous group exhibitions including ‘Invisible: Art about the Unseen, 1957 – 2012’, ‘Psycho Buildings: Artists Take On Architecture’, ‘The Painting of Modern Life’, and ‘The Infinite Mix’. In 2015 he curated the XIIILyon Biennale. Prior to his appointment, Ralph was the Director of the CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts in San Francisco for six years, where he commissioned a new installation by Mike Kelley as part of the Capp Street Project’s 20th anniversary exhibition. As a writer he has contributed essays for books and periodicals on a wide range of contemporary artists from David Hammons and Paul McCarthy to Cameron Jamie and Emmanuelle Laine. About John C. Welchman John C. Welchman is Professor of art history in the Visual Arts department at the University of California, San Diego, chair of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, and Advisor at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam. His books on art and visual culture include ‘Modernism Relocated: Towards a Cultural Studies of Visual Modernity’ (Allen & Unwin, 1995), ‘Invisible Colours: A Visual History of Titles’ (Yale, 1997), ‘Art After Appropriation: Essays on Art in the 1990s’ (Routledge, 2001), ‘Vasco Araújo’ (ADIAC, 2007), ‘Paul McCarthy: Caribbean Pirates’ (forthcoming, 2017), and ‘Past Realization: Essays on Contemporary European Art’ (Sternberg, 2016), the first of a six-volume series of his collected writings. He is also author, coauthor or editor of numerous scholarly anthologies, articles and essays; and has written for Artforum, Screen, New York Times, International Herald Tribune, and the Economist among other newspapers and journals. His essay on memory in the work of Mike Kelley, ‘Exacting the ‘Half Part of Oblivion’, was published in ‘Erasure: The Spectre of Cultural Memory’ (Libri, 2015). About The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts seeks to further Kelley’s philanthropic work through grants for innovative projects that reflect his multifaceted artistic practice. The Foundation also preserves the artist’s legacy more broadly and advances the understanding of his life and creative achievements. The nonprofit Foundation was established by the artist in 2007. The event is free, however, reservations are recommended.

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