Mike’s World: Michael Smith & Joshua White (and other collaborators) is the first major retrospective of internationally renowned performance/video/installation artist Michael Smith and his New York-based collaborator, director/artist Joshua White. This extraordinary exhibition features some 30 years of videos, installation environments, and other performance-related materials detailing the adventures of “Mike,” a sweet but hapless Everyman character created by Smith, and his amusingly ineffectual search for a piece of the American Dream. Mike’s World will be on view April 25–August 3, 2008.
Since the 1970s, Michael Smith has been a pioneering figure of performance art. Merging the art world with the entertainment world, he has created a body of work that includes video, commercial, and cable television shows, puppet shows, stand-up comedy, gallery installations, drawings, and even comic books. Throughout his work, Smith has developed a number of characters and personas, the most emblematic of which “Mike,” is the subject of this current exhibition. “Mike” functions metaphorically as a kind of ever-hopeful Candide, adrift in a world of rapid technological advancement that he seems incapable of fully comprehending.
Mike’s World is organized by the Blanton Museum of Art at The University of Texas at Austin and curated by Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, director of curatorial affairs and curator of American and contemporary art for the Blanton. The exhibition has been designed by Michael Smith and Joshua White as a self-contained theatrical set. Other collaborators include Mark Bingham, Power Boothe, Mark Fischer, Alan Herman, Howard Mandel, Kevin Noble, R. Sikoryak, Doug Skinner, and William Wegman. Two new works serve as the introduction to the exhibition: a five-minute video by Smith and White reprising the story of “Mike,” and an installation timeline that introduces Mike’s World to museum audiences and contextualizes it within recent “real world” historical and cultural events.
Mike’s World is organized by the Blanton Museum of Art at the University of Texas at Austin and curated by Annette DiMeo Carlozzi, director of curatorial affairs and curator of American and contemporary art for the Blanton. The exhibition has been designed by Michael Smith and Joshua White as a self-contained theatrical set.
Mark BinghamPower BootheMark FischerAlan HermanHoward MandelKevin NobleR. SikoryakDoug SkinnerMichael SmithWilliam WegmanJoshua White