Monday, 4 April 2011

Mike Kelley - Shall We Kill Daddy?

"...When we are forty, other younger and stronger men will probably throw us in the wastebasket like useless manuscripts - we want it to happen!

They will come against us, our successors, will come from far away, from every quarter, dancing to the winged cadence of their first songs, flexing the hooked claws of predators, sniffing doglike at the academy doors the strong odor of our decaying minds, which already will have been promised to the literary catacombs.
But we won't be there . . . At last they'll find us - one winter's night - in open country, beneath a sad roof drummed by a monotonous rain. They'll see us crouched beside our trembling airplanes in the act of warming our hands at the poor little blaze that our books of today will give out when they take fire from the flight of our images.
They'll storm around us, panting with scorn and anguish, and all of them, exasperated by our proud daring, will hurtle to kill us, driven by hatred: the more implacable it is, the more their hearts will be drunk with love and admiration for us."

Filippo Thomas Marinetti
From "The Founding and Manifesto of Futurism," 1909

Asked to write an article for a catalogue on the work of Douglas Huebler, Mike Kelley poses the question 'Shall We Kill Daddy?' and queries the trend of young artists to subvert their predecessors. It is well versed that art always seeks to expand the status quo and push at the limits of acceptability, but has this tradition of progression become as much of a predictive stereotype as the work it seeks to undermine?

The full essay can be found here.