The single-channel version, Kelley insists, is not merely a documentation of the larger installation or the video portion sucked out of the sculptural context. “The installation was like a carnival; you had an environment that you entered, you could walk around, and you could see things happening around the gallery. But I don’t want people to think this is a leftover, a resplicing. It has taken me a long time to edit, and I’ve worked a lot on giving it a sense of simultaneous action, of flashbacks, and so on.”
Kelley says he is fascinated both by film language and genres — like musicals — in which the stories seem wildly illogical when you think about them. “How much sense does Moulin Rouge make?” he asks, adding that his cinematic inspiration includes films by Guy Maddin, Federico Fellini and Luis Buñuel.
#8 (Devil: Master of Ceremonies) (Photos courtesy Gagosian Gallery)
Mouvement Portfolio #5 (Shy Satirist), (Photos courtesy Gagosian Gallery)
Day Is Done shares some of the narrative anarchy of Kelley’s three filmmaking progenitors, as well as their sly social commentary. In examining the brief window of freedom occasionally allowed in repressed contexts, Kelley suggests that there may be corollaries, both for the rest of our psychic lives, where repression reigns, and for our current political situation, which, like dress-up day at school, is described as a temporary state of exception. That said, Day Is Done is decidedly not a political commentary, Freudian analysis or critical examination of anything. It’s a lurid, funny, weird, long, taxing, thrilling, unnerving, visual, aural extravaganza. It’s some fucked-up shit.?
Day Is Done screens Monday, January 22, and Tuesday, January 23, at 8 p.m. at REDCAT, W. Second and S. Hope sts., downtown. General admission is $8, $6 for students. (213) 237-2800, www.redcat.org.