Author: Rainald Schumacher --- Date: 11/6/95--- Copyright: ThingReviews NYC

Mike Kelley
Metro Pictures
150 Greene St., NYC
Oct. 21 - Nov. 25

How much education do they have to give someone until this person has lost all their unique creativity, the edges of their self? But also how much miseducation do they have to give someone until this persons starts to react in a unique way of expressing themselves? The possibilities of expressing yourself in behavior, fashion and sexuality have never before been so relieved from rules, traditions and moral values. And at the same time they have never been as much framed and limited by the millions of models offered in the facets of the media industry.

So, what is Mike Kelly creating--the perfectly disordered personality of this strange unit of body and soul, which society accepts as an artist? Being abused by what? Father, uncle, brother, sister, teacher and priest or by the highly developed American capitalism, or is this exactly the price we have to pay for this capitalism? Fidel Castro, the bad boy, wasn't invited to any of the official diners and parties during the UN-anniversary. Being such a bad boy in the art world, you will not survive. You don't appear with a knife on the scene to kill your mother. As an artist you do a drawing, you make a sketch, you do a strangely shaped painting. You've learned your lessons well. At some point you have to shake hands, please people with the stuff that always attracted them, colors and forms, narratives and abstractions, silly ideas and brilliant concepts.

But you can do everything together at the same time - keeping the possibilities of expressing and meaning as far open as the fragility of the psychic structures are demanding. Don't depress yourself. That's the optimistic mood I was in after having seen this exhibition.

-Rainald Schumacher

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Manuel Abril --

So, you are not depressed. You seem intoxicated by the positive spell of expression.I assume your opening questions are rhetorical ones.How much education?Not enough ,obviuosly."Unique creativity", " edges of the self"; yuk. Here's another question for you:Which "unit of body and soul" does society accept as an "artist"? introduction to REGENERATION Regeneration operates under the slippery notion of what has been referred to as "not committing" to a single ideology and is interpreted-- as an attempt to remain ambivalent on issues that are significant to the dominant ideology (this recalls the many interpretations of what was called post modernism which to most scholars amounted to the "bliss of ignorance".) However, it may be argued that the very labeling of the post modern period was an attempt by academia to bring critical discourse back to the form which it had mastered-in other words to keep the whole thing from unraveling. In many ways it succeeded by asserting that the period was a lull-a mere sign of discontentment and laziness... For regeneration, the motives and theories of adherents to structuralism are systematically removed and replaced and rearranged. It is hardly through lack of understanding. These foundations are simply of no use to regeneration beyond being another tool. It may be that regeneration uses the preponderance of signs-not to illustrate the end of meaning but, through the arrangement and order of these signs, in varying proximity and combinations to the Real (of consent) to arrive at a destination manifested as a representation. This is the "cusp". However, it appears as a harmless vacillation in terms of positioning within the spectrum of opinion and expression. Through mimicry, regeneration places itself in close proximity to the Actual....these representations are thrown into the realm of the Consensual Real. In regeneration's form, these representations are black holes (...*...) that refract or absorb the light of the Actual- and they call into question the significance of the glow as it dims. Regeneration is hard to recognize not because it has a resemblance but, (no matter how imprecise that resemblance, it cannot be totally discounted by the hegemonic culture as an impostor) perhaps because the critical methodology used to scrutinize oppositional forms of discourse and epistemology is in disrepair. Modernism , perhaps, mistakenly regarded all of the "other" as organic. It has succeeded in fetishizing the other as something that was "pure" - something to reference against itself.....we are to be sad because it was declared sometime ago that we cannot distinguish reality from its simulation and something has been lost. What is that something? The "Primitive"-the uninformed -the test subjects whose only recourse is to be exactly what social science expects-"natural". It is the conceit of structural thought that the monster it created (,that killed the Real) is so great that so-called primitive cultures are indeed under its terrible reign. This is how the dominant culture inhales all forms of subversion-- by juxtaposing the "novelty" to itself. Regeneration's manifestation appears as one of "reverence "to the prevailing hierarchy. It reveals nothing about itself because it represents what it is not. Although, it is acknowledged on both sides that it cannot ,surely, be what it is not. It must be denied entrance. Since its origins are from outside the hierarchy, it, then, must be greeted as a primitive curiosity. Regeneration is not a cynical reaction to modernism or its redressing :post modernism. However, it recognizes that structural discourse is, at this point, beginning to reveal a softness-perhaps due to its exclusivity and/or perhaps due to its anal trajectory (i.e., its own increasingly lofty definition of itself and the seemingly obvious addiction to progression ). In the past few decades, modern thought has demonstrated that the direction taken may not have been the only option...for example ,the appearance of Western society is as one of rampant subjectivity . Everything nature does, we do with signs. It is necessary to be represented by our "portrayals" outside our physical selves to participates in society (and they are by no means objective).Is this dynamic celebrated by scientific reductionism? Academia's rather late response to it was to create to create a hybrid of itself (PM). Individual representation is not a question in regeneration. There is documentation of everyone in American society.( Since we are represented, all, from outside our selves [ if you are fortunate to be without such representation, then it is likely that society, in general, has very little use for you]).This is the representation that keeps going. Regeneration attempts to contend with the placement and meaning (which may amount to the presence of the question of meaning) of how these representations reflect back in the general and specific sense. In this case meaning is the effect. Regeneration interjects naught. Or introduces the lie and the assumption that it* must be accepted as truth (at some level) for lies contain information .Regeneration, then, becomes the "genuine artiface" in the dispute: The possession of information vs. the effect of that truth being worn tightly around the neck. If it is true that meaning exists in instantaneous lapses or is of no concern to regeneration- for it takes the form of compromise. It is structured to shed its meaning contingent to it being seen/experienced. In other words, its contribution to the pool of information/signs is neglegible. It appears elaborate but offers no transcendence (which affords regeneration a unique position within the realm of atuality[ or world of Real signs]). Regeneration attempts to objectify the subjective, in a sense, by presenting it without the mandatory referents-- the origin of the narrative is missing-- it arrives out of the desire to copy the object of authority. It is merely the pin point that is the result of compliance to codes mapped out by the prevailing hierarchy. Of course, true exact portrayal (Simulation) is impossible -it is never complete. Regeneration falls short but it does falls at a location someplace next to the authoritative product. At this point regeneration contends that by placing itself in the same sphere (no matter that the motivations are tainted) as the authoritative product, it succeeds- to some degree- in dismantling that authority by introducing-and negotiating the terms of its own exclusion. Surrender. It is the ultimate in mediumness-Super Regular . This form of representation assumes a remoteness dictated by the expectations of the general ideology. It is the culmination of bell curves and focus groups and viewer polls. Regeneration operates at the point where the ideological investment of the general arrives. It conforms to what is desired by posing as that location. It is not an interpretation of it but an iteration. And it is a very empty place that you could drive a truck through, sideways. Regeneration withholds everything and reveals one: the product of its submission. . Copyright .1995 . manuel abril

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