Lot’s Wife. Salted Soap on a Rope (2007)
Since the late seventies, Mike Kelley has been one of the most well known representatives of postconceptual art on the American West Coast. His artwork includes sculpture, drawing, film, installation, noise music, performance and stage pieces. Elements of punk, folk art and post war ‘teenage culture’ coalesce with questions of aesthetic desublimation and individual dysfunctionality. Through his comprehensive works he has established himself as one of the shrewdest analysts of North American everyday and counter culture, as well as the history of modern art between the poles of Avantgarde, Pop, mythology and psychoanalysis. Kelley was also successful as a ‘sunday curator’ with programmatic exhibition projects, such as the encyclopedic show “The Uncanny” from 1993/2004, in which he traces the fascination with the abject and the uncanny through the motive of the doppelganger. For his much-noticed contribution to the exhibition “Skulptur Projekte Münster 07” Kelley erected a ‘petting zoo’ near the station, at the centre of which stood the solidified biblical figure of Lot’s wife, whose ‘forbidden’ glance back to the burning cities of Sodom and Gomorrha turned her into a pillar of salt. Throughout the exhibition the statue was used as a salt lick for the cows, goats, donkeys and pigs in the petting zoo, so that gradually, its form began to change. It is with direct reference to this work that Kelley conceived his special edition for TEXTE ZUR KUNST. Provided with a cord to hang it up, the figure of Lot’s wife now takes the form of a coconut oil and sea salt soap. Kelley reproduces the famous biblical figure in solidified form, that is however prone to dissolve.
For his “Special Edition” for “Texte zur Kunst“ Mike Kelley has developed an object entitled “Lot’s Wife. Salted Soap on a Rope“, 2007. It consists of soap, salt and a rope. The figure measures 28 cm in height, the rope is 28 cm long. It comes with a signed and numbered tag. The work has an edition of 100 + 20 APs and costs 850,– Euro plus shipping.