SAMUEL DRAXLER




No Going Back: Matt Mullican
December 2016

No Going Back: Matt Mullican

"While Mullican aims to channel a deeper state, he knows that audiences often doubt that his trances are actually 'real,' as opposed to 'staged.' I find this distinction unnecessary: either way the trance is a stage tactic, and Mullican's actions genuinely enact the anxiety, frustration, and anger that, on some level, we all feel. But by operating within an insulated system of performance in which he explores his own subjectivity through personal reflection, and in the closed-circuit of his individual cosmology on display at Peter Freeman, Mullican's work thoroughly and completely turns inwards. In the performance, as his inner self pounds at the wall to get in, the trance shatters, and we realize that it was all emotional projection, not empathy."

The full text is available at Art in America.