Matt Mullican (born 1951 in Santa Monica, California, lives and works in Berlin and New York) began an intensive exploration of performance art under hypnosis in the late 1970s. In the course of the 1970s and 1980s, he developed two complex, cosmology-based models and made their notational systems the primary basis of his creative output. By dissecting traditional correlations of meaning and by opening up new contexts and orders, he found he could break the paradigms of the quotidian and explore the interaction between reality and perception. His 1983 cosmology combines the artist’s concept on five levels, arranged into orders of consciousness and perception and reflected in the systems of notation.
The Mai 36 Galerie exhibition title Representing That World can be read in two ways: on the one hand, it relates to the themes addressed in the new groups of works, such as everyday life, violence, food, and sex. On the other hand, it can also be read as an indication of the subject and of the ways in which it is observed and even emotionally processed, triggering intuitive responses. In this context, the focus is on the world of meaning, imbued as it is by our own experiences, prejudices, notions and childhood upbringing.
This second, subjective level also corresponds with the individual that Matt Mullican represents in his hypnotic performances, making life perceptible as something that has emerged out of our own memories and experiences.
The series of rubbings on photographs and yellow canvas address issues of everyday life, violence, food and sex. The other series of rubbings featuring Mullican’s hallmark typography and the glassworks address the artist’s cosmology and his ideas of Subject, Sign, World, Frame, Elements. The exhibition thus allows the viewer to delve into the world of the artist.
Matt Mullican studied under John Baldessari at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles and has held a professorship at the University of Fine Arts of Hamburg since 2009. His works are shown internationally in museums and galleries. Over the past 25 years, he has had solo exhibitions in Switzerland at Kunstmuseum St. Gallen, Kunstmuseum Luzern and, in 2016, at Kunstmuseum Winterthur. A major retrospective exhibition of his work is planned for 2018 at Hangar Bicocca in Milan. Mai 36 Galerie has represented the artist since 1988.
Representing That World
Nov 03 through Dec 23, 2017
Writing via press release
Courtesy of the artist and Mai 36 Galerie, Zürich