press release

Mike Kelley 1954 – 2012, a tribute exhibition in collaboration with LUMA Foundation includes works from the Kandor Project and will open at The Big Bang: The 19th Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit. The exhibition is curated by Harald Falckenberg and will be on view at The Watermill Center through September 16, 2012.

“Mike Kelley: 1954 – 2012” will fill the entire south wing of The Watermill Center. Falckenberg has selected soundtracks from “The Poetics,” Kelley’s art punk band in collaboration with Tony Oursler (1977–1983), and videos by Kelley (1978–1986). The various pieces, in different media, from the “Kandors” project (2000/2007–2011), include models and banners from the initial “Kandor-Con 2000” installation, seven large-scale projections (2007), one of the sculptures with video projection of “Kandors” (2007) and Kelley’s last performance video, “Vice Anglais” (2011).

The “Kandors” series, which Kelley initiated in 1999, are sculptural depictions of Superman’s birthplace Kandor. The popular Superman story recounts the adventures of an alien being sent to Earth as a baby to escape the total destruction of his home planet Krypton. However, it turns out that Kandor was not, in fact, destroyed. Shrunk and bottled by a villain, the futuristic city was later rescued by Superman and protected under a bell jar in his santurary. The installation “Kandor-Con 2000” was first presented in the millennium show at Kunstmuseum Bonn and later at the Technical University Berlin (2007), the Deichtorhallen Hamburg/Sammlung Falckenberg (2007), ZKM Karlsruhe (2008), the Shanghai Biennial (2008) and the Pompidou Center, Paris (2010). “Kandor-Con 2000” is conceived – and continued to develop – as a work in progress. Throughout the exhibitions, architecture students built cardboard models of Kandor inspired by the original comics. These models were sent to Los Angeles where Kelley made scaled down casts. The cardboard models that will be shown at The Watermill Center were produced during the show at the Pompidou Center, Paris.

About Harald Falckenberg Harald Falckenberg, born 1943, is a collector of contemporary art and author of numerous essays on art which are published in the anthologies “Ziviler Ungehorsam”/Civil Disobedience (2002) and “Aus dem Maschinenraum der Kunst”/From the Engine Room of Art (2007). Harald Falckenberg has a doctor degree in law and has been working since 1979 as CEO of a company in the petrol business. He is president of the Kunstverein in Hamburg and professor for art theory at the Hamburg Academy of Art. In 2011 he agreed to a long-term cooperation of his collection with the prestigious exhibition house Deichtorhallen Hamburg (

About the LUMA Foundation The non-profit LUMA Foundation is committed to supporting the activities of independent artists and pioneers, as well as international institutions working in the fields of art and photography, publishing, documentary, and multimedia. Established by Maja Hoffmann, the foundation promotes challenging artistic projects combining a particular interest in environmental issues, human rights, education, and culture in the broadest sense. The LUMA Foundation's current focus is to create a truly experimental site, the Parc des Ateliers in Arles (France), dedicated to the production of art and ideas and developed with architect Frank Gehry. This ambitious project envisions an interdisciplinary centre for the production of exhibitions, research, education and archives, and is supported by a growing number of public and private partnerships.

The Foundation engages in long-term collaborations with institutions like the New Museum of Contemporary Art (New York), CCS Bard College (Annandale-on-Hudson, New York), Serpentine Gallery and Tate Modern (London), the Kunsthalle Zürich and the Fotomuseum Winterthur (Switzerland), as well as arts festivals and biennials around the world.

Mike Kelley 1954-2012
a tribute exhibition in collaboration with the LUMA Foundation
within the framework of Summer Festival by Robert Wilson on Long Island

Harald Falckenberg