chicago

Joe Scanlan

Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (MCA Chicago)

In 1988, while working for the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago, Joe Scanlan coordinated the production of the work for Mike Kelley’s Pay for Your Pleasure. Kelley’s installation presented forty-three colorful floor-to-ceiling banners, each with a portrait of a noted thinker or artist. Accompanying each portrait was a short quote from the subject giving his or her opinion on the transcendent and positive potential of violence and destruction. These banners served as a backdrop for a small painting of a clown by mass-murderer John Wayne Gacy, then awaiting execution on Illinois’ death row.

Ten years later, Scanlan returned to Kelley’s mechanics in Pay for Your Pleasure (reprise). His work is less an homage to the earlier work than an application of its procedure (juxtaposing a culturally authoritative discourse with an object all too real) to different material. Forty-nine

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