death in the fortress of solitude

destroy all monsters  –  you’re gonna die

we take a break from our scheduled programming this morning to mourn the loss of artist mike kelley who was found at home yesterday having apparently taken his own life. his own site has not been updated but you can go read all about it and look at his work elsewhere on the internets. kelley put sylvia plath’s words in superman’s mouth and in recent years made many models of the shrunken krypton city of kandor in bell jars. now a lazy reading of his work might say that you could have seen this coming as he often dealt with trauma, degradation and failure. on the contrary I would say that he addressed these things as human realities in the face of a fake consumer culture that sought to erase/ignore them.  still, who can say why someone chooses that final step. looking to clues in their work is probably mistaken and his death is  more shocking than anything he ever dreamt up. this here is a hastily organised pastiche of some of his most famous work using stuffed animals. he also helped start up proto-punk noise band destroy all monsters although he and jim shaw had left to go do art by the time this was recorded. and, I think, ron asheton was yet to join them. I know it doesn’t look good on the surface, in poor taste even ‘you’re gonna die’, but somehow a tribute that features a second rate copy of his work and a piece of music by his band that he isn’t even on makes perfect sense to me, and I hope it would to him.

“this is the presumption, that all motivation is based on some kind of repressed trauma”

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