press release

Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art is pleased to announce that Matt Mullican will be showing ROOM NUMBER 4, one of the chambers from his installation ‘Learning from That Person’s Work’, initially conceived for the Ludwig Museum in Cologne. In his introduction to the Ludwig catalogue, Kaspar König describes the exhibition as a “locus of emergence” with “hundreds of drawings and collages via a multi-layered complex”. Made with numerous bed sheets that function as supports for the works on paper, this fragile, labyrinthine architecture, designed by Mullican, replaces the gallery with “that person’s” world.

Viewers who immerse in the room, who climb under the covers, discover a rich world of everyday experiences and visual information that describes “that person”, an experimental framework of otherness. The drawings do not outline the beliefs and daily rituals of a specific individual or fictitious character, but rather a situation or place which the artist picks up on in his unconsciousness and expounds. This vague person emerges with hypnosis, a free-forming state of reception, where the artist looks for ways of being, rather than individuals. “When I am in the trance, it’s like you’re a radio, an AM radio. I’m receiving different kinds of information”.

Matt Mullican, in conversation with Ulrich Wilmes, explains “it’s like trying to create connections after the person has died. So it was a biography before it is a person (…) Usually, what happens is that the biography is written after the person has died, in this case, however, we try to create a person from his biography or from the beginning”. Mullican patches this symbolic character together on the sheets: the things he does, the things he likes to do, the songs he loves… in order to create a context that becomes the biography of an anonymous, ageless, genderless person.

In addition to the installation, a video of Mullican under hypnosis and a selection of photographs of the artist’s default atmospheres, dream-like skies and artificial seas of down that suggest flight, will be on view.

Now living in New York, Matt Mullican was born in Santa Monica, California, in 1951. He received a bachelor of fine arts degree at the California Institute of Arts in Valencia, where he studied with John Baldessari. He has exhibited his work widely in the US and abroad since the mid-1970s.


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Matt Mullican