‘Artist as Curator’ Symposium: ‘“Something I’ve wanted to do but nobody would let me”: Mike Kelley’s “The Uncanny” (1993)’

Valerie Smith

Videos / 28.01.2013
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Video documentation of the Afterall ‘Artist as Curator' symposium. Introduction by Louise O'Hare, Associate Editor, Afterall, followed by ‘“Something I’ve wanted to do but nobody would let me”: Mike Kelley’s “The Uncanny” (1993)’ by Valerie Smith.

Valerie Smith explores the curatorial premise of Mike Kelley’s ‘exhibition within an exhibition’ ‘The Uncanny’, commissioned by Smith for Sonsbeek ’93 in Arnhem, the Netherlands. She examines Kelley’s intentions and reservations, as well as the variable criteria used when Kelley embarked on this curatorial endeavour and its afterlife. In conclusion: a short discussion on the implications of repeating an idea, its effect on the artist, and on public opinion.

– Valerie Smith, abstract, ‘“Something I’ve wanted to do but nobody would let me”: Mike Kelley’s “The Uncanny” (1993)’

Valerie Smith is the Head of Visual Arts, Film and Digital Media at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, where she restored its original 1957 interior in order to frame the exhibition ‘Between Walls and Windows: Architektur und Ideologie’, which involved ten newly commissioned works by artists and architects. At HKW she has curated exhibitions of artists such as Klara Lidén, Michael Rakowitz, Jimmie Durham, Javier Téllez, Pawel Althamer and Ângela Ferreira. She first met Mike Kelley when she was the curator at Artists Space in New York City in the early 1980s.