SB- Perhaps one might be misled by the title, which gives the reader these three very loaded ideas to associate.
MK- The title already has the issue inherent in it. It already raises the issue of deconstruction of those myths. I wouldn't have to do anything more than that -- to make the title -- if that was the point of the work. The point of the work was the experience of it in real time -- the time-based work -- and that's why the final outcome is more a structural work. I don't know if you looked at the book, or if you were able to find a copy of the text, but you'll see it's more about flow, about dwelling on subject matter. It is mean-spiritedly committed, sometimes at the expense of the found texts, which I scramble and invert and do other things with. But again, it is more a matter of playing with it. And again, the work wasn't designed to be didactic, and it doesn't function didactically or hold up to philosophical scrutiny on that level. It's more play with language and ideas. But it is, in its subject matter, kind of heroic. And I played with that concept in relation to the presentation of myself as some kind of self-conscious rock star, playing with the heroic performer -- sort of a pseudo-Jim Morrison performance. But it didn't get to stay there -- it didn't maintain that pose; it kept falling apart.
SB- But there was a need to engage the viewer, and make him or her see it your way. The invitation to engage in "spelunking in the cave," as opposed to accepting the Platonic model.
MK- That is sort of a joke I make. If you were going into the cave with your back towards the light, you'd never get to reality -- you'd just go into another cave.
SB- But if you accept the joke the whole work becomes about misreading.
MK- My work pretty much has been the glorification of misreading, and not just one misreading but a lot of misreading. At least at that point it was.
SB- Is "Plato's Cave" typical of your process of working? Is that how you usually go about it?
MK- I am less programmatic than I used to be. At times, I pick the theme and work with it, and sometimes it stays there and turns into something else; but at a certain point I would decide that, "Well, here is the leitmotif," and I stuck with it. Generally I try to pick something that will allow some development, some kind of open-ended motif, or some kind of historic situation that I try to jam with.
SB- How exactly do you see it changing now?
MK- After the "Plato's Cave" piece, none of the pieces culminated in a performance anymore, like "Half a Man." There wasn't really any kind of end to the work. And at that point I started going back and doing things in older styles. I decided I wanted to play against notions of development and history. In the other work I was always substituting one logic system for another logic system, but they were all discrete. But now I'm more interested in my work not being discrete. I want to go back and make works from any of these series and just continue them.
SB- So you are not closing a body of work. You begin it and leave it open?
MK- Right, I just leave it open, endlessly morphing. And they morph from one into the other. In fact, I have maybe three or four projects now, but I can't differentiate them, except maybe by major themes. They blend into each other.
SB- Have you shown any of these projects ?
MK- Yes. I'd say the "Missing Time" project is one of those. I've been also doing some sci-fi related works, and a work about the "Land-O-Lakes" butter princess. All these works are separate projects, but there are thematic crossovers. I let them flow one into the other, and I don't care so much about having to tie up an end with them. Even the performances were pseudo endings, because they didn't make any sense, so they weren't coherent logic systems. Still, they had the effect on the audience of being a coherent logic system, because they were dramatic, and people felt moved by them. They had an impulse to believe, as you have in theater. In a certain way I was relying on people's impulses to project meaning and closure onto works. And that is especially easy to do in time-based works, because they can't remember what happened -- it's too confusing. So now I'm more interested in that projection, in playing with it more overtly, especially in the "Missing Time" projects. I'm interested in how people project personae onto me, and onto historic figures. I make works about that.
SB- Was "Missing Time" a critique of the art education system?
MK- I'd say it was more about a kind of Oedipus relationship, a pseudo Oedipus relationship to your master, whether that's your family, your teacher, or your culture -- the patriarchy -- and doing works that seem to be in line with the tenets of your training. So the school model was really the positioning of a place, but I was also interested in the composition of the model, which was composed as a formal painting. The model doesn't tell you anything particularly, but it does tell something about composition. The paintings were a kind of joke, sort of gestural formal paintings with the intrusion of pulpish elements, which gives everything a kind of dysfunctional edge, perhaps giving the whole thing the air of child abuse. Which is what I was going for. And then I wrote all these abuse scenarios that were meant to look like newspaper clippings, which gave them the veneer of truth, to look like news. They looked like something real, cut out of a newspaper, but they were complete fabrications or fantasies.