Critics’ Picks

View of “Metemetrica,” 2010. Floor: Diamond, Caviar, 2010; From left: Touch, 2010; Carbon, 2010.

View of “Metemetrica,” 2010. Floor: Diamond, Caviar, 2010; From left: Touch, 2010; Carbon, 2010.

Los Angeles

Carter Mull

Marc Foxx Gallery
6150 Wilshire Boulevard
October 23–November 27, 2010

Although the images found in Carter Mull’s latest exhibition are photographic in nature, the postcamera processes by which they come into being bear an indeterminate relationship to the medium’s conventions. Most often, the individual works in “Metemetrica” waver back and forth between reverence and irreverence for the cultural expectation that photographic images necessarily share some relationship with the world they represent. In Mull’s works that are framed on the gallery walls and that are used to line the floor, there is a visual density that revels in the residue and static that has accumulated over the duration of what seems to have been an exhaustive cycle of imaging and reimaging in the darkroom or studio.

The effects of elapsed time are most apparent in Diamond, Caviar, 2010, an installation of 1,800 offset prints on metallic paper that are strewn about the main exhibition space for visitors to walk on. The number of prints corresponds to the number of individual frames in sixty seconds of video footage, at the standard rate of thirty frames per second. This concordance might signal that Mull’s art can be seen as part of the recent resurgence of abstraction in photography, or of structuralism more broadly. But any attempt to explain his work entirely in the context of current visual trends and styles would be too reductive; Mull’s larger practice is varied enough to navigate the problems and anxieties of image production on its own terms.