Last week, the Wiels Centre for Contemporary Art opened the first retrospective exhibition in Belgium of works by Art21 artist Mike Kelley (Season 1). On view through July 27, 2008, Mike Kelley: Educational Complex Onwards, 1995-2008, is conceived as a history in which every work forms a chapter in the artist’s career. According to Nicolas Trembley, writing for artforum.com, the exhibition “borrows its title from one of Kelley’s more famous works: a large-scale model, first shown at Metro Pictures in 1995, that represents the various schools the artist has attended.”
The Wiels Centre, which opened to the public in May 2007, is positioned as “neither a museum, nor a Kunsthalle or a centre for the fine arts, but an institution which articulates a set of complementary functions (exhibition, production and education).” Mike Kelley fills three floors of Wiels–a former brewery and an architectural landmark in the Brussels landscape. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue that includes texts by Diedrich Diederichsen, Anthony Vidler, Howard Singerman, Mike Kelley, and Wiels curator Anne Pontégnie. On April 30, Pontégnie will give a guided tour of the exhibition. Other public programs include I Love Mike, a series of creative workshops for children ages 6-12 years old that will explore themes and materials in Kelley’s work.