Working with Matt Mullican

I worked as a hypnotist with Matt Mullican on and off for a period of three years, having been hooked up to work with him through Irene Tsatsos. We did three live performances together at LACE in Los Angeles, Martin Klosterfelde gallery and the Anton Kern Gallery in NY. We also did some studio work which was later shown at Ars Electronica. Each session was an investigation of Mullican's inner cosmology. The performances were characterized by a dynamic of conflict between the hypnotist as "controller" and Mullican as "rebel." It seemed at times that Mullican was often looking for a scape-goat for his inner frustrations which emerged during the performances, and at times became projected onto the hypnotist. His performances were very captivating, as was working with him. I am, however, in my own work, more interested in patterns of the collective unconscious, and less preoccupied with the Freudian/paranoid/Surrealist tangent that I believe is a characteristic of Mullican's work.

I nevertheless feel gratitude for having worked with him, learned from him, and see my own work as an expansion on his own ground-breaking and fearless work.
This video excerpt was taken at the Klosterfelde gallery, Berlin just a couple of days before 9/11 2001 Nov 14, 7pm.
Matt Mullican
Live Under Hypnosis
One Night Performance
November 14th, 2002, 7 PM
Anton Kern Gallery
532 West 20th street
New York NY 10011
t. 212.367.9663
f. 212.367.8135
Anton Kern Gallery is proud to present a performance by Matt Mullican on November 14 at 7:00 pm. The artist will perform "under hypnosis". This will be his first performance under hypnosis in New York City since The Kitchen in 1982. Matt Mullican began working with hypnosis in 1978 and has continued to the present having taken a break between 1982-1992. During this hiatus he began his involvement with virtual reality. Through these experiences he returned to his investigation of the hypnotic trance. Mullican's interest comes from the insertion of "self" into a media, as in video game culture; the induced state offers the experience of projecting oneself into a conceptual framework. Subjects of such performances have ranged from reliving early experiences, playing out ideas about what could happen later in his life, setting up conflicts that induce euphoria and repulsion, and exploring the relationship between context and experience in relationship to the hypnotic state. Mullican is attempting to break the patterns of every day life in order to expose underlying structures. Functioning as experiments, the performances are spontaneous and last anywhere from 10 minutes to as long as 1 1/2 hours in length. Mullican will be assisted by hypnotist Marcos Lutyens with whom he has been working for the past few years.

Thursday, November 14th, 2002 at 7 pm. The remains and results of the performance will stay in our viewing room until January 11th. For further information, please contact Fernanda Arruda or Michael Clifton at t.212.367.9663, f. 212.3678135 or email

As Matt walked out of the gallery, quite shaken, after the performance he exclaimed: "Devils and Angels, Jesus F****ing Christ" I had dreamed on the night before leaving for Berlin (two nights before) that I was sitting in a window seat of the plane that hit the South tower...In my dream, Queens could be seen across the river and the blue sky was reflected in the Hudson, as the plane I was on was losing height...