Matt Mullican

Matt Mullican

Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes

Matt Mullican
Performance: Under Hypnosis, The Kitchen
New York 1982
© Paula Court

May 27, 2010

Matt Mullican
12 by 2

4 June – 29 August 2010

Opening: 3 June 2010, 6.30 p.m.
Press Preview: 3 June 2010, 11 a.m.

11 rue Docteur Dolard
69100 Villeurbanne

The IAC is presenting the largest solo exhibition by Matt Mullican. For his exhibition, Matt Mullican has opted for putting his oeuvre into perspective in a mode combining the experimental and the archival.

The resultant abundance of documentary material, associated with the categorizing of objects according to their inner nature, gives rise to an exhibition deliberately more evocative of a workshop situation than of a classical presentation of works of art.

The focus here is on the recent cycle That Person’s Work, which will be illuminated by works from the 1970s and which, combined with his use of hypnosis, allows for exploration of different works by the artist in a host of different genres.

Working in the fields of performance, installation, digital technology and sculpture, Matt Mullican is seeking to develop a cosmological model based on a personal vocabulary combining the visual and the symbolic. Hypnosis and cartography are his principal modes of operation.

He explores functional sign systems of his own devising through actions undertaken under hypnosis, in a permanent back and forth movement between the real and its schematization, and between fiction and its physical reality.

His overall world system comprises five separate parts and their respectively colored referents: green corresponds to the elements, but also to death and hell; blue (“the world unframed” – by consciousness, that is) to the city and events that go unperceived; yellow (“the world framed”) to the world marked out by consciousness and art; black to language and signs; and red to absolute subjectivity and ideas – but also to paradise. Whether the system is used in terms of its separate elements or as a whole, its compartmentalization represents a vertiginous attempt to contain the totality of both the world and its representation.

For some years now Matt Mullican has been emphasizing a more distinctive aspect of his oeuvre, which he calls That Person’s Work, “that person” designating the multiple subjective entity – male or female, young or old – utilized in his performances under hypnosis. Using the automatic writing mode, the experiments carried out during the performances are noted down in the form of texts and abstract calligraphies, the common factor being a world within our world in which Matt Mullican reconstructs elements of a “fictionalized” existence.

Born in California in 1951, Matt Mullican occupies a highly distinctive niche in the Contemporary Art field, in terms of both the nature and range of his artistic project.
Continuing an international career that has included participation in Documenta in Kassel in 1982, 1993 and 1997, Matt Mullican presented the exhibition “DC: Matt Mullican – Learning from that Person’s Work” at the Ludwig Museum in Cologne in 2005, and in 2007 gave a performance under hypnosis at Tate Modern in London.

Laboratory Space Brain – Station 3
Friday 18 June at 7 p.m.

Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes
11 rue Docteur Dolard – 69100 Villeurbanne – France

For further information:
Press contact: Delphine Peyronnet:

The Institut d’art contemporain gratefully acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Culture and Communication (DRAC Rhône-Alpes), the Rhône-Alpes region and the city of Villeurbanne.

RSVP for Matt Mullican
Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes
May 27, 2010

Thank you for your RSVP.

Institut d’art contemporain, Villeurbanne/Rhône-Alpes will be in touch.


e-flux announcements are emailed press releases for art exhibitions from all over the world.

Agenda delivers news from galleries, art spaces, and publications, while Criticism publishes reviews of exhibitions and books.

Architecture announcements cover current architecture and design projects, symposia, exhibitions, and publications from all over the world.

Film announcements are newsletters about screenings, film festivals, and exhibitions of moving image.

Education announces academic employment opportunities, calls for applications, symposia, publications, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Sign up to receive information about events organized by e-flux at e-flux Screening Room, Bar Laika, or elsewhere.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.