Gospel Rocket, 2005

Basel 2017
Blondeau & Cie
mixed media with video projections
228.6 x 508.0 x 564.9 (cm)
90.0 x 200.0 x 222.4 (inch)
The Gospel Rocket installation is part of Mike Kelley’s Day is Done project. The 32 videos of the project, called Extracurricular Activity Projective Reconstructions, are live-action recreations of photographs found in a high school yearbook. That is, these photographs serve as triggers for Kelley’s complex videos. The videos together with various objects and sculptures constitute a specific installation. Most of the imagery is immediately recognizable as depicting standard forms of folk entertainment: school plays, holiday festivities, religious spectacles, etc. These activities can be seen as carnivalesque disruptions of the normal school schedule and mirror the function of such events in the broader cultural arena. Kelley has distorted the construction of human history and rituals to engage the viewer in a reflection on social shared conventions. On the two screens of Gospel Rocket, one sees the performance of gospel choirs. The golden robes worn by the performers are used to sheathe the rocket in the center of the installation.