Shop > Artists' Books

Out of Stock

Mike Kelley: Educational Complex

John Miller
Afterall Books
Artists' Books

One of the most influential artists of our time, Mike Kelley (1954–2012) produced a body of innovative work mining American popular culture as well as modernist and postmodernist art—relentless examinations of subjectivity and of society that are both sinister and ecstatic. With a wide range of media, Kelley’s work explores themes as varied as post-punk politics, religious systems, social class, and repressed memory. Using architectural models to represent schools he attended, his 1995 work, Educational Complex, presents forgotten spaces as frames for private trauma, real or imagined. The work’s implications are at once miniature and massive. In this book, John Miller offers an illustrated examination of this milestone work that marked a significant change in Kelley’s practice.

A “complex” can mean an architectural configuration, a psychological syndrome, or a political apparatus, and Miller approaches Educational Complex through corresponding lines of inquiry, considering the making of the work, examining it in terms of education and trauma (sexual or otherwise), and investigating how it tests the ideological horizon of art as an institution. Miller shows that in Educational Complex, Kelley expands his political and aesthetic focus, including not only such artifacts as generic forms of architecture but (inspired by the infamous McMartin Preschool case) popular fantasies associated with ritual sex abuse and false memory syndrome. Through this archaeology of the contemporary, Miller argues, Kelley examines the mandate for education and the liberal democratic premises underpinning it.

John Miller, Professor of Professional Practice in the Department of Art History at Barnard College, is an artist and critic whose work has been exhibited internationally. He was Mike Kelley’s friend and colleague from 1978 until Kelley’s death in 2012.

  1. Mike Kelley

Related Items

  1. Peter Fischli and David Weiss: Mike Kelley
  2. Anne Rorimer: Michael Asher: Kunsthalle Bern
  3. NSK from Kapital to Capital
  4. Wade Guyton and Kelley Walker: Wade Guyton, Guyton\Walker, Kelley Walker
  5. Brian Kennon: Untitled #2 / KE
  6. Primitive Beast, Language
  7. Saul Anton and Lee Friedlander: Lee Friedlander: The Little Screens
  8. Jim Miller: Flippin’ Harris: A Brief History of Cuts
  9. Making Art Global, Part 1

The Third Havana Biennial 1989
  10. Ryan Gander: Culturefield
  11. Dorothy Iannone: Censorship and the Irrepressible Drive Toward Love and Divinity
  12. Cory Arcangel: All the Small Things
  13. Reto Pulfer: Der Themenkatalog
  14. Drunk Complexions
  15. Oscar Figueroa: Less than a First Draft (Testing)
  16. Ziggurat: General Idea 1968-1994
  17. Posters: November 1965-April 1986
  18. A Glass House Should Hold No Terrors
  19. Animal Spirits
  20. Al Bedell: I Would Do Anything For Love
  21. Ryan Foerster: Foerster 7
  22. Mike Nelson: AN INVOCATION - Five Hundred and Thirty Books from Southend Central Library
  23. Grace Lee Boggs: Living for Change
  24. Reuben Lorch-Miller: LAND AND SEA #16: THE HUMAN DAM
  25. Shane Rocheleau: The Reflection in the Pool
  26. The Global Contemporary and the Rise of New Art Worlds
  27. Bruce Hainley and Elaine Sturtevant: Under the Sign of [ sic]: Sturtevant’s Volte-Face
  28. Kodwo Eshun: Dan Graham: Rock My Religion
  29. Anna Dezeuze: Thomas Hirschhorn: Deleuze Monument
  30. Vito Acconci, lynda benglis, Louise Bourgeois, Gerard Byrne, George Chakravarthi, Judy Chicago, vaginal davis, Wim Delvoye, Elmgreen & Dragset, VALIE EXPORT, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, harmony hammond, claudette johnson, Mary Kelly, Yayoi Kusama, and Robert: Sexuality
  31. Eileen Myles: The Importance of Being Iceland
  32. Ragnar Kjartansson: Take Me Here by the Dishwasher
  33. I’m that angel
  34. Ragnar Kjartansson: The Visitors