Mobile Homestead is a trilogy of films that is part of The Artangel Collection. Following their presentation at the Whitney Biennial in New York in 2012, the films had their UK premiere at Tate Modern in May 2013. Since then the trilogy has been presented at Site Gallery, Sheffield in 2013, g39, Cardiff in 2016 and Dundee Contemporary Arts in 2018. 'Going West on Michigan Avenue from Downtown Detroit to Westland, 2010-11 has since been screened on a floating cinema at the Olympic Park as part of the Art Moves festival. These works are presented in collaboration with the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts.
No other film in the Whitney Biennial had the complexity and gravity of Kelley’s Mobile Homestead movies ... They are a study of depression economics and of a nearly stereotypical midwestern resilience in the face of loss. They are also landscape, cityscape, and skyscape movies, amazing to behold. – Amy Taubin, Artforum, 2012
On 25 September 2010, Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead – a facsimile of his childhood home created out of a trailer – made its maiden voyage from the grounds of MOCAD in Detroit to the ‘mother ship’, his original home in the suburbs. These films chart the journey along Michigan Avenue, reversing the historic ‘white flight’ that occurred in the mid 1960s as the decline of the automobile industry and increasing racial tensions caused an exodus in middle-class communities from the city centre. The footage of this extraordinary road trip is interspersed with interviews that chronicle the varied lives of those who populate Detroit today, at a moment when the city is questioning its post-industrial prospects.
Video: Excerpt of Mike Kelley, Going West on Michigan Avenue from Downtown Detroit to Westland, 2010-11. You can watch this video on Vimeo, where you can also watch an excerpt of Going East on Michigan Avenue from Westland to Downtown Detroit and an excerpt of Mobile Homestead Christening Ceremony and Launch, September 25, 2010.
08 September - 25 November 2018
The Mobile Homestead film trilogy had its Scottish premiere at Dundee Contemporary Arts. The films which chart the changing demographics of Kelley's hometown of Detroit, over the artists lifetime were presented in Dundee at a time when the residents of the city were questioning its post-industrial prospects and future development.
Image: Mike Kelley, Mobile Homestead, 2010 presented at Dundee Contemporary Arts in 2018. Photo: Ruth Clark
Cardiff, 22 October - 17 December 2016
Mike Kelley’s trilogy of films Mobile Homestead was presented at g39 in Cardiff to coincide with Cardiff Contemporary and Artes Mundi. It was shown alongside an installation the artist S Mark Gubb made in response to Kelley's work. In 'Revelations: The Poison of Free Thought Part II' Gubb blends and re-appropriates vivid imagery from historical moments in politics, science and culture to pick away at the shiny veneer of ‘white picket fence’ American suburbia and expose a twisted, underbelly reality.
Image: S Mark Gubb, Revelations: The Poison of Free Thought Part II installed alongside Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead at g39, Cardiff in 2016. Photograph: Courtesy g39, Cardiff
Sheffield, 8 June - 20 July 2013
In 2010, Laura Sillars worked on the Mobile Homestead project in Detroit for four months as the Location Producer. Laura subsequently became the Artistic Director of Site Gallery in Sheffield and showed the film trilogy there, alongside documentation and audio recordings from the production process.
Image: Mike Kelley, Mobile Homestead, 2010-11 at Site Gallery, Sheffield. Photograph: Courtesy Site Gallery, Sheffield
Since its original presentation, the Mobile Homestead trilogy have been seen at:
'Going West on Michigan Avenue from Downtown Detroit to Westland' has been seen at: