Mike Kelley
Bladder, 1983
Mike Kelley (1954 - 2012)
Bladder, 1983
Synthetic polymer paint on latex and cloth, with cord
110 (height) x 50 (diameter) cm
Mike Kelley introduced multiple visual and literary elements in his practice, which he explored through drawing, sculpture, performance, music, video, photography and painting. He gained recognition in the 1980s for his work with children’s soft toys and other found materials, but during this same period, he also experimented with installation and performance. An example of these explorations can be found in Monkey Island (1982-1983), where the artist combined elements of mythology and anatomy to devise an installation. Described by attendees as a chaotic event, the work was a quest for knowledge, an attempt to build a system that could create a meaning and a place for everything, a view that would make the world, and the place of human organisms in it, something more coherent. In this scenario, Bladder was assigned a metaphorical role within this eclectic and unconventional reading of the body, as an organ that was constantly filled and emptied, which bloats or floats or hangs distended, not unlike a corpse.