In conjunction with Mike Kelley and Michael Smith's exhibition A Voyage of Growth and Discovery, REDCAT hosts the premiere of the single-channel film version of A Voyage of Growth and Discovery which like the installation mirrors the existential journey of Baby IKKI over several days at a festival of “radical self-expression,” famous for its presentations of large-scale displays of fire, held in the remote Black Rock Desert of Nevada.
Written, directed and produced by Mike Kelley and Michael Smith, A Voyage of Growth and Discovery follows Baby IKKI, a pre-lingual character of ambiguous age that artist Michael Smith has been performing for over thirty years. IKKI, alone in his journey, despite being surrounded by thousands of revelers, negotiates the rave-like festival environment while also exploring the primal natural elements of fire, water, earth, and wind. This monumental work--the first exhibition in nearly ten years for both artists--is an immersive two-and-a-half hour six-channel video, sound and sculptural installation currently on view through August 26, 2010 at The Farley Building in Los Angeles.
The screening at REDCAT premieres the hour-and-a-half hour long film version of A Voyage of Growth and Discovery which mirrors the annual event: four days and nights of festival, proceeded by an introductory travel section, and followed by a post-festival day. The festival itself is a carnivalesque event where IKKI is subsumed in raves, faced with erotic encounters, and surrounded by multitudes of costumed partygoers – many dressed in childish attire (though none as infantile as IKKI). The culmination of the event is the spectacular public “burn” after which the Baby is left alone to ponder his “voyage.”
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the artists.
Read Christopher Knight's Los Angeles Times review of the exhibition
Additional information available at westofrome.org