New York

Matt Mullican

Christine Burgin Gallery

In 1925, reflecting in “An Autobiographical Study” on the hypnotic treatment that he had abandoned in his clinical practice years before, Sigmund Freud wrote that the method had nonetheless proved to be an “immense help,” in select cases, “by widening the field of the patient’s consciousness and putting within his reach knowledge which he did not possess in his waking life.” The persona conjured in Matt Mullican’s recent installation at Christine Burgin Gallery, Five Suitcases of Love, Truth, Work and Beauty, 2005—a figure whose emergence was precipitated by Mullican’s performances while under hypnosis—also seems to be sorely in need of some knowledge, though perhaps not of the type that Freud had in mind.

This character, whom Mullican has elsewhere labeled “that person,” is nameless, genderless (the artist uses the masculine pronoun when discussing him for the sake of convenience), and

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and receive the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.