Modeled after a wishing well in L.A.’s Chinatown neighborhood, Mike Kelley’s Framed and Frame (1999) consists of a life-sized reconstruction and an adjacent area with barbed-wire fencing, flood lights, and Chinese-themed decorations. These two elements—the wishing well and the enclosure—are the framed object and framing device alluded to in the title.
The installation also includes a mattress, pillow, and condoms—objects associated with adolescent sexual activity that also relate to the location of the wishing-well near two venues that were at the center of L.A.’s punk scene in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Madame Wong’s and Hong Kong Café.
"Beneath this symbol of transcendence and hope there is also a place of physical and bodily and sexual exchange," says MOCA Curator Bennett Simpson. "It’s a packed piece, it’s a loaded piece, it’s a showstopper, and it’s great to have it here."
Despite its rich connections, Framed and Frame has never been exhibited locally. MOCA is proud to show the work for the first time in Los Angeles as part of Mike Kelley, the largest exhibition of the late artist’s work to date.
Horino Masao 堀野正雄 (1907-1998)
untitled (woman wearing kimono) - 1933