May 29 – July 28, 2014
The Geffen Contemporary, MOCA, Los Angeles, CA
“Mobile Homestead covertly makes a distinction between public art and private art, between the notions that art functions for the social good, and that art addresses personal desires and concerns... It has a public side, and a secret side.” – Mike Kelley, 2011
Mobile Homestead is a permanent artwork by late artist Mike Kelley located on the grounds of the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit. It is a full-scale mobile replica of the house in which Kelley grew up, located in Westland, Michigan. The “homestead” was conceived by Kelley as a place to house a variety of community activities in Detroit, including a community gallery. It was Mike Kelley’s wish that Mobile Homestead not simply be an outpost of the museum, but that it represent the cultural interests of the community that exists in proximity to it. In that spirit, the structure has been designed with a removable facade mounted on a chassis; it is close in size to a traditional mobile home so that it may be driven around to provide various sorts of useful social services.
The work made its first appearance in Los Angeles in conjunction with the retrospective exhibition, Mike Kelley, at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, which opened in April and was on view through July 28. It was the largest exhibition of Mike Kelley’s work to date, bringing together over 250 works, from 1974 through early 2012.
In May 2014, for the first time since its conception, the facade of Mobile Homestead made a cross-country journey from Detroit to Los Angeles. On May 24, 2014 Mobile Homestead participated in “Walk the Talk”, a parade and performance event by Los Angeles Poverty Department that brings the history of the Skid Row community and activists to life. Mobile Homestead then relocated to the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA as a part of the retrospective exhibition, Mike Kelley.
Over the following nine weeks, Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts partnered with neighboring social service and community organizations who elected to activate Mobile Homestead as a place to carry out public service, whether on site at The Geffen or as part of a journey in the nearby Downtown Los Angeles community. Mobile Homestead remained parked at The Geffen Contemporary from May 29 through July 28, at which point the Kelley exhibition closed. Mobile Homestead remained accessible during regular museum hours, and Saturday evenings in July.
Widely regarded as one of the most influential artists of our time, Mike Kelley (1954–2012) produced a body of deeply innovative work mining American popular culture and both modernist and alternative traditions—which he set in relation to relentless self and social examinations, both dark and delirious. The Mobile Homestead was brought to LA by the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts in collaboration with MOCA LA, and MOCA Detroit.
Mobile Homestead Activations:
Los Angeles Poverty Department welcomed the Mobile Homestead’s arrival in L.A. by inviting us to join Walk the Talk 2014, the biennial Skid Row parade presented by the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) that celebrates the vibrant Skid Row community and the visionary initiatives of the residents. LAPD also installed art works within Mobile Homestead representing the Skid Row community and hosted performances written and enacted by people who live and work in Skid Row.
L.A. Human Right to Housing Project/ Community Action Network hosted a rent control meeting open to all housed and un-housed LA tenants interested in developing solutions to the City's housing affordability crisis through pursuing reforms to the City's Rent Stabilization Ordinance.
Critical Resistance Los Angeles installed a group exhibition including CRLA archives and several artworks addressing basic human rights and the social injustices within the Prison Industrial Complex. Workshops included a Homeless Bill of Rights presentation in conjunction with Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN), a presentation by LA No More Jails Coalition, and a Theater of the Oppressed workshop.
Community Health Project Los Angeles temporarily relocated their office, activating the Mobile Homestead with an installation on CHPLA’s history, artist led workshops, on site client counseling services and informational talks relating to experiences of drug use, homelessness, and to remember those we have lost to overdose.
L.U.N.C.H. (Local United Network in Combatting Hunger) hosted two lunch making events, where L.U.N.C.H. volunteers and MOCA visitors and staff helped make over 1,000 lunches to feed the homeless. The lunches were donated to Union Rescue Mission in nearby downtown L.A.
American Red Cross Blood Drive staged a life-saving blood drive at the Mobile Homestead, where they collected 16 pints of blood. They considered this a huge success for a 1st time blood drive host.
AIDS Healthcare Foundation Mobile STD Testing Unit provided a Mobile STD Testing Unit that offerring free HIV and STD testing, handed out educational materials, and distributed condoms.
Echo Park Film Center presented films by underserved youth living in Echo Park for one day inside the Mobile Homestead.
LAMP Arts Program installed art works by Skid Row community members and hosted a community art making workshop and musical performances by people that live and work in Skid Row.
Our Skid Row hosted interactive design workshops to generate visions for a sustainable, beautiful, and thriving future for the Skid Row community.
Schools on Wheels collected 10 grocery bags full of school supplies for homeless children.
Union Rescue Mission collected 8 grocery bags full of hygiene supplies, shoes, socks, and clothing for the downtown homeless community.
LA Mission collected 5 16x12x12 boxes and 5 grocery bags full of hygiene supplies, shoes, socks, and clothing for the downtown homeless community.
Photo by Ruben Diaz. Mike Kelley’s Mobile Homestead arrived in Los Angeles on Saturday, May 24, 2014 to participate in Walk the Talk 2014, the biennial Skid Row parade presented by the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) that celebrates the vibrant Skid Row community and the visionary initiatives of the residents.
May 24, 2014
Los Angeles Poverty Department welcomed the Mobile Homestead’s arrival in L.A. by inviting us to join Walk the Talk 2014, the biennial Skid Row parade presented by the Los Angeles Poverty Department (LAPD) that celebrates the vibrant Skid Row community and the visionary initiatives of the residents. Inside, the Mobile Homestead featured an installation of Skid Row history curated by LAPD from LAPD’s Skid Row history timeline: portraits of 36 previous Walk the Talk honorees and other historical materials, which were installed at New York’s Queens Museum retrospective exhibition on the work of Los Angeles Poverty Department, “Do You Want the Cosmetic Version or the Real Deal?: Los Angeles Poverty Department 1985 – 2014”
Mobile Homestead on site at The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA in Little Tokyo, Los Angeles.
June 5, 2014
L.A. Human Right to Housing Project/ Community Action Network hosted a rent control meeting open to all housed and un-housed LA tenants interested in developing solutions to the City's housing affordability crisis through pursuing reforms to the City's Rent Stabilization Ordinance (a.k.a. Rent Control or RSO) that would preserve and protect the affordability and structural integrity of the City's aging RSO housing stock.
The L.A. Human Right to Housing Collective is a city-wide tenant movement anchored by Los Angeles Community Action Network and Union de Vecinos (in Boyle Heights). The Collective's structure is comprised of issue-based committees and geographically based committees.
June 26–30, 2014
Critical Resistance Los Angeles installed a group exhibition in the Mobile Homestead including CRLA archives and several artworks addressing basic human rights and the social injustices within the Prison Industrial Complex.
Workshops included a Homeless Bill of Rights presentation in conjunction with Los Angeles Community Action Network (LACAN), a presentation by California United for a Responsible Budget & LA No More Jails Coalition, and a Theater of the Oppressed workshop with CRLA and Los Angeles Poverty Department members.
Critical Resistance seeks to build an international movement to end the prison industrial complex (PIC) by challenging the belief that caging and controlling people makes us safe. We believe that basic necessities such as food, shelter, and freedom are what really make our communities secure. As such, our work is part of global struggles against inequality and powerlessness. The success of the movement requires that it reflect communities most affected by the PIC. Because we seek to abolish the PIC, we cannot support any work that extends its life or scope.
Posters courtesy of Center for the Study of Political Graphics, Kristal Graphics, and Critical Resistance.
Installation view: Ashley Hunt, 955 Men and 55 Women, Metropolitan Detention Center, Los Angeles, 2014. Acetate on glass framing a view of the nearby Metropolitan Detention Center.
Detail: Ashley Hunt, 955 Men and 55 Women, Metropolitan Detention Center, Los Angeles, 2014. Acetate on glass framing a view of the nearby Metropolitan Detention Center.
Installation view: Ashley Hunt, Degrees of Visibility.
Video: An action against a new jail for women in LA County.
By Critical Resistance Los Angeles
Video edited by Ashley Hunt & Kean O'Brien; made in collaboration between members of CRLA and the LA-based TVTVTV collective.
Linette Park, Three Poems
These poems concerned a new $2 billion proposal, recently approved by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, to rebuild Men's Central Jail and to create a new women's jail, that has been offensively called a "women's village" in Mira Loma County, CA. It also addresses the draconian "Three Strikes Sentencing Law" in California. Park is interested in dreams and practices of decolonizing the prison industrial complex.
July 3–28, 2014
LAMP Arts Program created an installation of artwork by Skid Row community members, and a participatory station to assemble a community artwork. They also hosted a performance by the LAMP Arts Program’s band, born out of a weekly jam session; and a discussion on housing as a human right and the meaning of a home.
LAMP Arts Program is an arts resource center for the Skid Row neighborhood. Founded in 1999, the LAMP Arts Program offers people who are homeless, living in extreme poverty or with mental illness a safe and nurturing place for creative self-expression. The program encourages long-term participation as artists develop their voices, display their artwork, and make creativity a continuous, restorative part of their lives. For more information visit www.lampcommunity.org.
July 4–21, 2014
Los Angeles Community Health Project’s activation of Mobile Homestead focused on creating a space for community engagement on issues affecting people who use drugs, their loved ones and our communities. L.A. County has the highest number of overdose deaths of any county in California, so their work at Mobile Homestead seeks to raise public awareness while continuing to provide information and outreach services. CHPLA residency includes: an installation on CHPLA’s history inside Mobile Homestead, artist led workshops, on site client counseling services and informational talks relating to experiences of drug use, homelessness, and to remember those we have lost to overdose.
CHPLA’s mission is to improve the health and well being of people affected by drug use in Los Angeles. CHPLA increases access to quality healthcare, provides relevant accurate health education for service providers and participants, and empowers people to protect themselves and educate each other to reduce harm in our communities. CHPLA combines direct services, advocacy, outreach, education, and research collaborations to fulfill this mission.