April 5, 2018 - Pirelli HangarBicocca - Matt Mullican: The Feeling of Things
April 5, 2018

Pirelli HangarBicocca

Matt Mullican, Untitled (Two into One becomes Three), 2011 (detail). Courtesy of the artist and Mai 36 Galerie, Zurich.

Matt Mullican
The Feeling of Things
April 12–September 16, 2018

Press conference: April 10, 10:30am–2pm
Opening: April 11, 7–11pm

Pirelli HangarBicocca
Via Chiese, 2
20126 Milan
Italy
Hours: Thursday–Sunday 10am–10pm

T +39 02 6611 1573
info@hangarbicocca.org

www.hangarbicocca.org
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Matt Mullican
The Feeling of Things
April 12–September 16, 2018

Press conference: April 10, 10:30am–2pm
Opening: April 11, 7–11pm

Pirelli HangarBicocca
Via Chiese, 2
20126 Milan
Italy
Hours: Thursday–Sunday 10am–10pm

T +39 02 6611 1573
info@hangarbicocca.org

www.hangarbicocca.org
Facebook / Instagram / Twitter

Pirelli HangarBicocca presents The Feeling of Things, the most extensive retrospective ever staged of the work of Matt Mullican (Santa Monica, California, 1951), a renowned American artist, active since the beginning of the 1970s and a pioneer in the use of hypnosis as a performance practice in art. The exhibition, which presents thousands of works, immerses the visitor in the articulate cosmology of the “five worlds” conceived by the artist: a particular system of representation of reality made up of images, pictograms, icons, codes, signs, symbols and colors. A visual vocabulary capable of interpolating traditions, scientific studies, beliefs and cultures of different times and places in order to ponder the age-old existential questions and the most profound and hermetic aspects of life.

Pirelli HangarBicocca hosts more than 40 years of work by Matt Mullican, starting from the 1970s right up to recent works (dated 2018), produced especially for the Milan exhibition.

The exhibition itinerary as a whole presents us with the artist’s prolific production and the extraordinary variety of media used: sculpture, large-scale installations, paper-based works, as well as ones in glass, stone, metal, posters, multiples and editions, neon lights, photographs, paintings carried out using the frottage technique, videos, performances, lightboxes, computer-based projects and virtual reality. The show encompasses and presents the richness of the artist’s iconography: Mullican draws on elements taken from the world of film and comics, from contemporary communication icons, from the signposting in airports as well as images derived from various traditions—such as Hindu mandalas, tantric imagery and Hopi Indian symbols—not to mention sources of a primordial nature (also relative to the idea of birth and death, of fate and destiny), or from scientific illustrations, giving rise to his personal pictograms (“Signs”).

The Feeling of Things, curated by Roberta Tenconi, occupies the 5,500 square meters of the Navate and Cubo of Pirelli HangarBicocca. Visitors are invited to explore the space, moving through a major rectangular architectural structure, split into five areas of different colors, the connotations of which hark back to the iconic cosmologies of the artist.

Mullican’s artistic practice is accompanied by two main ways of working, with the constant aim of investigating and examining the relation between reality and perception, and providing structure for every aspect of the human condition. On one hand, the definition of a genuine cosmology which since the 1980s he has defined as the “five worlds” and with which he shows how the understanding of reality is an interior construction, forged entirely by the imagination: each world corresponds to a different level of perception and is represented by just as many colors. Green for the physical and material elements; blue for everyday life; yellow for the arts; black for language and signs, and red for subjective understanding. On the other hand, there is his exploration of the subconscious mind through the practice of hypnosis and of states of profound concentration and trances. In the state of the induced trance, Mullican claims that he becomes another person, quite unlike himself, known as That Person: an ageless and sexless entity yet with its own personality, and one capable of producing works of art.

The Feeling of Things is accompanied by a catalog focusing on Matt Mullican’s photographic production, which for the first time features a compendium of all the photographs shot by the artist, from his analogical images of the 1970s, ’80s and ’90s, up to his more recent digital images, which include the views of the Milan show, shot especially by the artist. The catalog includes text contributions from Marie-Luise Angerer, Matt Mullican, Anne Rorimer, Tina Rivers Ryan, Roberta Tenconi, James Wellington, and Helene Wyner.

 

Public Program
Thursday, May 3, 9pm: a performative lecture by Matt Mullican
Thursday, May 10, 9pm: projection of Elevated (2005) by Matt Mullican with Man by David Lang, composition performed by the ensemble Zone Expérimentale, Basel, with Mike Svoboda
Saturday, May 26, 9pm: performance under hypnosis by Matt Mullican

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