The Mobile Homestead Project: A Conversation with Mary Clare Stevens, Jim Shaw, and Cary Loren

Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013  7:30pm–9:30pm iCal

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The Mobile Homestead Project: A Conversation with Mary Clare Stevens, Jim Shaw, and Cary Loren
Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013





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Mobile Homestead parked in front of the original Kelley home on Palmer Road, Westland, Michigan, 2010, Photograph by Corine Vermuelen, Courtesy of MOCAD
Mobile Homestead in front of the abandoned Detroit Central Train Station, 2010, Photograph by Corine Vermuelen, Courtesy of MOCAD
Mobile Homestead in front of the Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn, Michigan, 2010, Courtesy of Kelley Studio/MOCAD

A discussion about the alchemy of public engagement in contemporary art

Mary Clare Stevens, executive director of the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts, joins artists and Destroy All Monsters band mates Jim Shaw and Cary Loren to discuss their roles in Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead project and its collision of public art, subcultural activity, and independent art practice. This conversation is part of SMMoA’s groundbreaking series A Collection of Ideas.

Mobile Homestead is a full-scale replica of Kelley’s suburban childhood home built on a lot behind the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. The structure features a detachable mobile façade designed to provide social services on the fly, a ground floor that functions as a community gallery, and a labyrinthine basement that is not open to the public and reserved for what Kelley described as “private rites of an aesthetic nature.” The mobile façade’s voyage from downtown Detroit to the artist’s original home in the suburbs was recorded in Kelley’s final video works; Stevens shares excerpts from the videos and additional documentation of Mobile Homestead to contextualize the project and deepen the conversation.

Mike Kelley wrote of the Homestead: “This project blatantly makes a distinction between public art and private art, between the notions that art functions for the social good, and that art addresses personal desires and pleasure. Mobile Homestead does both; it is simultaneously geared toward community service and anti-social private sub-cultural activities. It has a public side, and a secret side.” 

Mobile Homestead was commissioned by Artangel in association with the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, LUMA Foundation and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.