Mike Kelley: bathos, abjection, quotidian

Haynes, Douglas (2013) Mike Kelley: bathos, abjection, quotidian. In: Fagg, John and Rawlinson, Mark (eds.) The everyday in twentieth century American visual culture. Liverpool University Press, Liverpool. (Submitted)

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Mike Kelley's varied art is very much on the abject side of avant-garde. My essay reads some of his works, especially those associated with kitsch soft toys and craft economy alongside Hegel's account of the unhappy consciousness. Kelley's intention, I suggest, is to invoke Freud's uncanny maintaining that any representation of human form, no matter how debased, invites projection and empathy. It is thus capable of overcoming the mastering view that one ordinarily has of cultural production - the self figured as the expert reader, the critic, etc. Hence, through a kind of affect, it reminds consciousness of its contingent, object side, a process mediating a relation to culture more generally. Ultimately Kelley suggests an unhappy consciousness for art itself, unable to transcend nor change life.

Item Type: Book Section
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BD Speculative Philosophy > BD010 General philosophical works
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0173 Psychoanalysis
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
N Fine Arts > NB Sculpture
Depositing User: Douglas Haynes
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2013 12:05
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2015 10:36
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/40966
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