Americas

Matt Mullican
Untitled (Details from fictional realities)

Mullican’s Stick Figure Drawings depict characters reduced to their most basic graphic representation. Glen is a simple silhouette, genderless and inspired by a found photo of a crime scene, in whom we recognize the generic sign of the universal symbol of a self-portrait.

Mullican continually projects himself, sometimes physically, into the silhouette that he has created, allowing the artist to pass from one reality to another. Most recently Glen can be found in the project Representing the work, which comprises a collection of collages, drawings and drapes all of which feature his most iconic characters. Again, the artist brings us into a space of presentation and representation, questioning the difference between the work, and the representation of the work. The large white sheets also function as objects, allowing for imagined projections. Given the centrality of performance in his work, we might also read such elements as a reference to both the unconscious and the body.

Since the 1970s Matt Mullican has been developing an encyclopedic practice that borders on the obsessive. Working within the conceptual art tradition, the Californian artist seeks to work within the parameters of systems in order to better overcome traditional frameworks. From reality and fiction, subject and object, consciousness and unconscious, his work oscillates between different antagonisms in order to develop a notion of perception through a cosmology based on the symbolism of representation, creating a multiplicity of signs, including photographs, pictograms and schemas. His research into consciousness has also led the artist to investigate the possibilities of hypnosis as way of reaching beyond representation and introducing chaos to order. These trances gave way the appearance of That Person, the artist’s alter ego, first presented in New York in 1982,through whom he explores the borders of reality and representation.