"In the paintings where it's there—the tenderness—I work for it. I'm not afraid of it. If I could put my bleeding heart in there, I would."
From "Art in the Twenty-First Century" Season 3 (2005)
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In a body of work that includes sculptures, performance, and installations, Mike Kelley explores contemporary culture's obsession with repressed trauma. Many of Kelley’s projects draw on his own memory. "Educational Complex," he says, “is a model of every school I ever went to plus the home I grew up in, with all the parts I can’t remember left blank.” That project has led Kelly to create of a performance/video called "Day is Done," which will eventually consist of 365 tapes, one for every day of the year. In scenes that he writes, directs and scores, Kelley has drawn on yearbooks to re-stage high school rituals with surreal elements, such as donkeys, devils, and eerie music in a student-body assembly.