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Mike Kelley: Educational Complex

Together with Johanna Fateman, Howard Singerman, Piper Marshall and Nic Guagnini, artist, writer, and author John Miller considers whether, as Kelley's Educational Complex suggests, there can be a document of civilization that is not at the same time a document of barbarism.

Mike Kelley on Educational Complex:
I decided to build a reconstruction of every school I ever went to with all the parts I could not remember left out. And then these were combined to one super school. They were cut apart and reconfigured, in a kind of very formalized way that made it look more like a kind of modernist architecture…. Educational Complex was done directly in response to the rising infatuation of the public with issues of Repressed Memory Syndrome and child abuse…. The implication is that anything that can’t be remembered is somehow the result of trauma.

John Miller is an artist, writer and musician based in New York and Berlin. In 2011 Miller received the Wolfgang Hahn Prize from the Society for Contemporary Art at the Museum Ludwig in Cologne. Miller’s books include The Ruin of Exchange: Selected Writings and The Price Club: Selected Writings (1977-1998). He is a Professor of Professional Practice in Barnard College’s Art History Department and is represented by Metro Pictures in New York and several other galleries abroad.

Johanna Fateman is a musician, writer, and co-owner of Seagull Salon in New York City. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Art in America, Artforum, Bookforum, Apology, and The New Inquiry. She is currently working on a book about radical-feminist author Andrea Dworkin.

Artist and writer Nicolás Guagnini (1966, Buenos Aires, Argentina) has lived and worked in New York since 1998. From 1997 through 2010, together with Karin Schneider, Guagnini produced films under the moniker Union Guacha Productions. Their works have been screened in numerous institutions, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Guagnini was a founding member of the cooperative gallery Orchard, A prolific writer, Guagnini’s texts have appeared in publications such as October and Artforum, as well as numerous books.

Piper Marshall is an independent curator and writer based in New York City. In 2015, she curated six monographic exhibitions for Mary Boone Gallery, working with artists Ryan McNamara, John Miller, Caitlin Keogh, Ericka Beckman, Judith Bernstein, and Angela Bulloch. Formerly a curator at the Swiss Institute, she organized the group exhibition Descartes' Daughter. Marshall writes for periodicals including Texte Zur Kunst, Art in America, Kaleidoscope , Spike, The Third Rail and

Howard Singerman first published writings on the work of Mike Kelley in 1979 and has written often on Kelley's work over the past decades. He is the author of Art Subjects: Making Artists in the American University (1999) and Art History, after Sherrie Levine (2012). He is a Professor and chair of the Department of Art and Art History at Hunter College.

Now in its eighth year, the NYPL program series An Art Book, initiated and organized by Arezoo Moseni, is a celebration of the essential importance and beauty of art books. The events showcase book presentations and discussions by world renowned artists, critics, curators, gallerists, historians and writers.


New York Public Library


The New York Public Library's public programs of the Artist Dialogues Series, are recorded and shared with as part of a partnership coordinated by artist, curator, and senior librarian Arezoo Moseni.