CARTER MULL - POTO AND CABENGO ESCAPE
23 JUNE - 4 September 2016
Mull’s work is derived and conceptualized by the experience, theorization and processing of relationships both in the social field and in our shared, mediated landscape, transposing the social image to the exhibition context. Informed by sociology and writing on mediation, Mull’s project owes as much to contemporary popular, mass market fashion and chart topping Hot 100 songs.
In the last couple years, Mull began to think about how concerns central to his practice could produce an active materiality in his work. And while the expanded use of drawing and photography, (as opposed to self identification with a given métier) orients the practice within the expanded field, Mull’s inquiry into the rigid codes of medium, such as production process, substrate and material application, cultivates a new awareness of how art is produced and formatted in our ever-changing present.
Photography, a medium central in both discourse and use in Mull’s practice, took a coincidental, yet exciting turn of events in late 2012. At that point, Mull met a group of young club kids near his studio whose fashion and lifestyle sensibility closely mirrored Mull’s work of nearly a decade. Inspired by their fashion, Mull began to document the community. With no formal training in photography, Mull shot surprisingly crystalline images of his subjects, the first pictures of people he ever made. Over the course of the next couple years, Mull photographed the growing and changing scene, amassing a rich archive. As the club community began to shift gears into the next burgeoning trend, Mull continued to use the camera for social-conceptual research shooting models for fictitious marketing campaigns as well as close friends. After three years, Mull officially formed Eye Eye Productions - a stand alone shell company whose chief client is Carter Mull.
In making this exhibition, Mull became particularly aware of Slavoj Zizek’s description of the Kinder Egg in The Perverts Guide to Cinema. In make the show, Mull pulled from the Eye Eye Productions archive, sourcing images that form a socio-conceptual base for the exhibition by specifically using shot and constructed images in relationship to drawing. The archive is its own Benjaminian array from which the artist, to riff off of Zizek, builds out the superficial world around him in the form of the Untitled Social Subjects, Veil sculptures and the multitude of wall drawings amidst the space. Like his images for Eye Eye Productions, which forges points of connection with his project and other social fields, Mull recomposes form between the socially specific and fabricated space of popular media (photography, the entertainment industry, social software) and the material and temporal space of art.
Sensitive to the relationship between time and subjectivity, Mull’s artistic language takes into account the social drive and dimension of the contemporary subject. His work speaks to the basic units by which we trade connective desires and emotional responses, sequencing the phantasmagoria of communal existence.