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Matt Mullican. The Meaning of Things

  • Art
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

In case you're not up on your Matt Mullican facts, he was born in California, just like Google, Facebook, Apple and HP. You might find this impudent, but California has undergone a significant revolution, even more important than the Paris Enlightenment, when a group of intellectuals tried to fit the world into an encyclopaedia and heads ended up rolling.

Mullican’s exhibition at ProjecteSD is the systematic unlearning of the method we use today to understand the world. This unlearning was started by the Dadaists and surrealists, and their 'systemization of confusion' which was carried out in such an orderly way by Salvador Dalí isn't too far off from Mullican's method. Mullican works three beings at once – the I (self), the you and the omniscient – and includes hundreds of images of human activities like violence, sports and sex from the internet, which he's printed and glued onto sheets of paper adorned with an automatic watermark and meticulously numbered from 1 to 600-and-something.

I don't know if you've read that there's a trend that says you can resolve behavioural problems with the act of writing. Nothing is innocent, and Mullican's automatisms – if we forget that we all have wrists to make our hands turn this way and that – perform subconscious choreographies. Mullican is a big fan of hypnosis. And to think that, as far as we can tell, this personality stuff may very well be personal but it's not quite unique and non-transferrable.

Mullican's system, unlike online algorithms, is delightfully crafty, employing scissors, markers, paper, rubber.... If you get to the last sheet of paper with a clear head and ability to concentrate, you didn’t understand a thing.

Written by
Ricard Mas


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