Spectacle is proud to present two films from Mike Kelley, one of the most influential artists of the last 25 years. A rousing testament to the endless creative and vital energy that Kelley exhibited throughout his career, he teamed up with artists Raymond Pettibon and Paul McCarthy for two radical, seminal works presented here courtesy of Pettibon and Electronic Arts Intermix.


Dir: Mike Kelley & Paul McCarthy, 1992.
63 min. USA.

Heidi is the brilliant and disquieting “real-time” meta-cinematic adaptation of Joanna Spyri's classic Swiss childrens' fiction with incredibly gross rubber puppets.

Kelley writes of the endeavor: "In late 1992 at the Krinzinger Galerie in Vienna, a show of Los Angeles based artists was held entitled LAX. Paul McCarthy and I were among the roster of artists invited to participate in this exhibition. We did a collaborative work based on Joanna Spyri's novel, Heidi. Our work consisted of a set, a group of partial and full life-size rubber figures and a video tape shot entirely on the set. We were interested in addressing the fractured nature of filmic language, the fact that films are experienced as a seamless whole. In the tape, we foregrounded this fracture in our treatment of the actor. In films, horror films particularly, it is often necessary to have sculptural stand-ins for actors. Depending on their function, these doubles may be parts of, complete replicas of, smaller or larger than, the actor, or, in the case of cell or computer animation, may not exist three-dimensionally at all. They are all simply tools in the production of an illusion, and are not meant to be seen outside of the film context. In Heidi we toyed with this illusionary nature by treating the doubles and stand-ins for the actors as obvious sculpture, more in the manner of a puppet show than traditional film."

Dir. Raymond Pettibon, 1989.
56 min. USA.

Sir Drone is radical illustrator Raymond Pettibon's fittingly urgent, scrappy and hilarious filmic paean to the teenage punk rock impulse. Starring LA punk/art stalwarts Mike Kelley and Mike Watt as two young dudes trying to put a band together, the film was shot by Pettibon on home video gear in two days, with all of his dialogue read off a cue cards; originally distributed through record labels on VHS, the movie stands, aesthetically and through its production-means, as a knowing reflection of the burgeoning DIY experience and the transfiguring internal forces that are forged by it.

Of course, Watt says it best: “Pettibon presents the early days of Los Angeles punk rock not as simple metaphor for the human condition, but as a singular attempt to break the organic chain of metaphysical fate. there and then and forever after, music was to be no longer music. hippies were to be no longer hippies. everything was instead to be punk. but punk as an end - a squelching of artistic attempt. more, a transcendence of artistic statement itself, by starting with human material that is entirely artless - punk!”

Trailer: Andrew Steinmetz


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