Text labyrinth by Matt Mullican

Visiting this year the Venice Biennale with concept called “Encyclopedic palace” I realized that the main project is about different forms of human madness and about different outside inspirational forces. Exhibition was talking like Fluxus movement: “everyone can be an artist”, but artists on the Venice Biennale were all about mysterious sacred or hypnotic influences.



One of the most memorable projects from this Biennale was the Untitled (Learning from that Person’s Work) made by Matt Mullican. It was the labyrinth of his mind where visitors come through. It is known that Mullican makes his works in a hypnotic trance. This way attempts to plumb the depths of his own psyche. His works are the result of the performances during which he is overtaken by an alter ego, whom he refers to as “that person” – an ageless, sexless entity that rises to the surface of Mullican’s consciousness, rendering him a mere “passenger” in his own body. He is often in the state of psychosis: he mumbles and huffs, rolls blissfully on the ground, chants and sings. In this state he makes abstract drawings and text-based works on paper or bed sheets that he places as the walls of long labyrinth imitating rough cartography of his own mind. So his works are the hybrid of performances and drawing. He uses his subconscious as a material. Partly it looks schematic, partly as a cosmological chart. Partly symmetrical and partly spontaneous. It offers free access to the artist’s psyche.



Labyrinth of signs, symbols, and words seems like the way of sending message but in this chaos you cannot catch the clue of this hypnotic communication. The project is about possibility and impossibility of communication itself. Visitors were moving through this illusion of artist’s mind like our message is moving through the medium. The main primordial idea is always lost. The final message is always nit the same as at the beginning of the communication. Mullican’s labyrinth also looks like human mind in the conditions of wide world if information. Everywhere you look, you see symbols, letters and words and everyday it becomes harder and harder to get the clue, the most useful information. People get lost in this informational flow like the artist’s message in this chaos labyrinth. 




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