Akeroyd Collection


Mike Kelley, Animation 2, 2007

Animation 2 comes from a larger series of works titled Kandors. The series takes its name from the capital city of the fictional planet Krypton, where Superman was born. When Superman was still a child, his nemesis — the supervillain Brainiac — shrunk Kandor, placed it under a bell-jar-like container and stole the city just before planet Krypton’s explosive end. As an adult, Superman wrested the miniature city away from Brainiac and stored it in his Fortress of Solitude on planet Earth. For Mike Kelley, the shrunken city ‘functions as a constant reminder of Superman’s past’, as well as ‘a metaphor for his alienated relationship to the planet he now occupies’. Animation 2 is one of four videos displayed on flat-screen monitors with sound. In these works, Kelley animated images of the Kandor and City Bottles based on designs from the original comic strip in the style of popular American cartoons. ‘Each bottle performs a single emotional sound or body movement: screaming, breathing, cooing, giggling,’ wrote Kelley. In Animation 2, a utopic yellow cityscape rises from within a corked bell jar. A voice is heard giggling as the animated bottle and the city within it expand and contract, mimicking the muscle movement of laughter. The work evokes Kelley’s preoccupation with psychology, nostalgia, and repressed childhood memories that run through the artist’s practice as a whole.

MediumVideo on flat screen monitor with sound
Duration5 minutes 4 seconds, screen: 35.6 x 55.9 x 7.6 cm
Editionof 5 + 2 APs