Mike Kelley mobile-home art project to be built in Detroit


An art project by the late Mike Kelley will be completed later this year and is expected to open in 2013, the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit announced this week. Kelley, who died unexpectedly in January in the Los Angeles area at the age of 57, had been working on the project for a number of years with the intention of unveiling it in Detroit, his hometown.

“Mobile Homestead” will be a full-size replica of the artist’s childhood home from the suburban town of Westland, Mich. The structure will be relocated to the urban center of Detroit and serve as a multipurpose facility for community activities. Kelley intended the basement of the structure to be used for “private rites of an aesthetic nature,” as the artist cryptically put it.

The museum said that Kelley had signed off on plans and a site for the project in late 2011, just before his death. “Mobile Homestead” is a collaboration between the museum and two European organizations — Artangel and the Luma Foundation.


The museum said the project is being carried out in collaboration with the trustees of the Mike Kelley estate. The mobile replica will rise on a vacant lot near the museum.

Kelley intended the project to be a commentary of sorts on the “white-flight” movement out of cities to the suburbs, said the museum. The artist created three videos documenting the “Mobile Homestead” project. They are being shown as part of the Whitney Biennial in New York.

The artist was found dead in his South Pasadena home in late January.


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