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© Mike Kelley/Bildupphovsrätt 2020
Mike Kelley
1954 - 2012
United States Written in the Wind, 1991
Skrivet i vinden
Cardboard box, textile figures, clothing rack, hangers, jacket, t-shirt, wall text
Yttermått (Utställning 2009): 320 × 400 × 400 cm (126 × 157 1/2 × 157 1/2 in.)
Donation 2009 from Helena and Per Skarstedt by The American Friends of the Moderna Museet Inc.
MOM/2012/131 This artwork is not on display
- About the work

In a small room stands a cardboard box full of abandoned cuddly toys and a clothes rack where a jacket and a t-shirt with scribbled greetings are dangling on their hangers. A toy dog sits facing a corner, and appears to be gazing at the walls, where ornate vinyl letters form the words “I don’t want to be alone anymore”. The walls, too, are covered with a graffiti of names and greetings from people who could be school friends: “I love Jefferey Langdon”, “Sarah”. Kelley’s art often conveys references to the worries and traumas of youth. The sickly sweet, sentimental and ostensibly innocent world of American popular culture is charged with dark allusions to assault and shame. The cuddly toys intended for comfort, and a kind of substitute for love, will soon be thrown away. Children and teenagers are vulnerable and exposed, but they can also be cruel.


In his works, Kelly repeatedly reverts to his childhood. Child-rearing and the road to adulthood are portrayed as a form of violence. Kelly also worked with punk-influenced noise bands and performances, and made several videos, occasionally in collaboration with other Los Angeles-based artists, most notably Paul McCarthy.


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