Faye Mullen’s work is informed by a sculptural sensibility combining elements of performance, site, sound, light and image — both moving and still. Informed by time and place, the practice she pursues is self-reflective and considers itself as precisely such, a practice. Characterized by a sustained interest in failure, body, materiality, her studio practice acknowledges weight as it bears as much what is physical as what is immaterial.
Mullen studied at l’École National Supérieure des Beaux-Arts of Paris, at the Ontario College of Art+Design, and at the University of Toronto where she received her master’s. She has participated in several international artist residencies including a two-year post-graduate residency at Le Fresnoy, Studio National des Arts Contemporains in Tourcoing, France. Her work has been exhibited internationally in solo and curated group shows in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Poland, South Korea, Spain, the UK and the US. Mullen currently situates her practice between Toronto, Canada and Roubaix, France.
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à jamais, 2011. Performance for a three-channel video installation. HD, silent, colour. 52 mins.
on hearing, 2011. Performance for a single-channel video installation. HD, stereo, colour. 32 mins.
Scarlet Woman, 2012. Performance for a two-channel video installation. HD, silent, colour. 3 mins.
to be veiled, 2012. Single- channel large scale video installation. Blu-Ray, silent, colour. Endless loop.
à la dérive, 2013. Single- channel video installation. Blu-Ray, silent, colour. 19 mins, 11 secs.
Disappearance in Prose, 2012. Single- channel video installation. Blu-Ray, 4.0 sound mix, colour. 19 mins, 11 secs.
The Organ and her Collapse, 2014. Large-scale single- channel video installation. Blu-Ray, silent, colour. 8 mins, 11 secs.
A practice in falling, 2013. Sound installation with a 6.0 audio mix. 22 mins, 44 secs.
When bodies wander, the rest is locked in, 2015. Single channel video installation. Blu-Ray, 4.0 sound mix, colour. 10 mins, 32 secs.
Par la suite, je ne pensais à ça qu’avec moi-même, 2015. Sound installation on a constructed robotic wall with a 8.0 mix. Endless loop.
In pursuit of a sustained practice, I have come to understand the necessary surrender to and embrace of failure. A way to find continuance alongside such objectives is to recognize the deceptive quality of making work in the contemporary context and concern oneself with the loss, lack, and limitation innate in this pursuit.
In most instances tricking myself has become vital — it is less a question of ignorance as it is of recognition. I have recognized that there are no conclusions available and this makes making work possible. When posing questions it has become important to investigate, challenge, document the posing itself. Phenomenological investigations of absence are made present through durational, sonic, and poetic imagery, not always, but at times involving the image. Through aesthetic articulations, I aim to explore what is not and what is no longer.
In the case of context for me, it is sought after. My practice is rooted in the relationship between the work, the space it occupies, the body behind the making as well as the physical body of the viewer within the particular cultural context. I have travelled extensively, uprooting my practice to several international artist residencies in a search for particular qualities of context. In such places, I lay myself open to the possibility of potential experimentation and invite failure. Provoking it, taunting it, teasing it. Practice does not make perfect — it makes for several failed attempts and in this there seems to be just a hint of what we might find to be sustenance for a practice.