Mike Kelley and Surrealism: monkeys, frogs, dogs and Mauss

Haynes, Doug (2013) Mike Kelley and Surrealism: monkeys, frogs, dogs and Mauss. Papers of Surrealism, 10. pp. 1-20. ISSN 1750-1954

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This paper reads the 1980s and 1990s soft toy and sock-monkey installations of multimedia artist
Mike Kelley in relation to surrealism. Using Hal Foster’s comments on abject art - of which Kelley is
often considered an exponent - I consider the extent to which Kelley’s work desublimates and makes
available as ‘affect’ some of the structures of feeling, and structuring feelings, of the capitalist lifeworld.
I compare Kelley’s work to its surrealist antecedents and judge the political efficacy of that
avant-garde against his postmodern practice. While this essay uses writers like Freud and Marx,
alongside Breton, Bataille and Kelley himself, it is Marcel Mauss’s well-known theory of the gift that
takes centre stage in reckoning the social and political significance of Kelley and his use of surrealist

Item Type: Article
Keywords: visual art. modern art. theory. marx. mauss. mike kelley. abject art.
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PS American literature
Depositing User: Laura Vellacott
Date Deposited: 02 Oct 2013 10:39
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2017 04:47
URI: http://srodev.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/46499

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