The white ranch-style sculpture, which is now part of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit’s permanent collection, is based on Kelley’s childhood home on Palmer Road in Westland. Curators for the museum describe it as a “reversal of the ‘white flight’” from Detroit in the 1960s that followed the inner city uprisings.
In other words, Kelley’s work is bringing the suburbs back to the city.
During the exhibition’s opening on May 11, Mobile Homestead will be introduced to the city as not only a permanent addition to MOCAD, but as a community center. The ground floor of the exhibit houses MOCAD’s Department of Education and Public Engagement, functioning as a space for projects, events, gatherings, conventions, and diverse public displays. The structure itself stands apart from the main MOCAD gallery and its other exhibits, something that Kelley planned in conjunction with the museum before his death in early 2012.
“The project is both a homage and gift to the people of Detroit,” says Elysia Borowy, executive director of MOCAD. “Mobile Homestead is a multi-faceted art project, comprised of a moveable trailer, freestanding house, and video trilogy.” Documentary footage of the video project Goin’ Home: Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead Videos and Documentation will be released to coincide with the opening.
Opening ceremony remarks will be made by Marsha Miro, MOCAD board president and founding director, and Mary Clare Stevens, executive director of the Mike Kelley Foundation. The exhibit’s European collaborators James Lingwood, co-director of Artangel, and Maja Hoffman, founder/chair of the LUMA Foundation, will also speak. Activities for the public will follow.
The celebrations will continue inside MOCAD Café from 10 p.m. to midnight, with music performances by The Früt and D.J. The Blackman, with Master of Ceremonies John Sinclair.