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March issue of Texte zur Kunst dedicated to artist Mike Kelley

The March issue of Texte zur Kunst (No. 89) is dedicated to Los Angeles artist Mike Kelley, who died one year ago. During the three and a half decades in which he was active as an artist, the vast majority of criticism written about Kelley—both positive and negative—was produced by members of his own generation.

For them, his oeuvre constitutes an intervention into what had been the status quo. His examination of culture’s objects, practices, and narratives revealed the contradictions between hegemonic culture and socially marginal cultural forms. In doing so, the work constructed a politics embracing difference and thus suggested the potential of living and working on the fringes of, but in relation to, given norms. In contrast to its initial impact, however, for growing numbers of younger artists and writers, Kelley’s work sets the standard by which others are measured. The authors of this issue know him first and foremost as a representative of the status quo—cultural analyst, subversive, and artist-critic par excellence. Their texts engage themes that were central to Kelley’s artistic practice, thus arguing by extension that room still exists for new and contradictory evaluations of the artist’s work in relation to the frameworks of culture and its history. A tacit assumption pervades all the texts: That it is possible to recognize complex inner workings of a division of culture through the mobilization and analysis of specific examples of its products. However, given the tendency of forms and practices to be assimilated by institutions as well as to fade out of use over time, it is Kelley’s analytic methodology, rather than his individual works, which holds critical potential both now and moving forward.

Plus a picture spread by Jim Shaw and reviews from Amsterdam, Berlin, Bordeaux, Chicago, Hamburg, Munich, New York, Tokyo, and Vienna.

Exclusive new artists’ editions by Jana Euler and Tony Oursler.

Texte zur Kunst
Strausberger Platz 19
10243 Berlin
T +49 (0)30 – 30 10 453 45
F +49 (0)30 – 30 10 453 44
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