Dream Within a Dream

Gaylord Fine Arts, Los Angeles
April 6 - May 6, 2024

Dream Within a Dream

During embryogenesis, the group of cells at some point arrange themselves into a fold. This folding is a part of the mechanism that pre-forms certain organisms for bilateral symmetry (which the vast majority of animals have), rather than, say, radial or spherical symmetry.  How do cells “know” they should fold, or where to start folding? In The Fold, Gilles Deleuze defines the Baroque as an “operative function” that “endlessly produces folds”:

 “The problem is not how to finish a fold, but how to continue it, to have it go through the ceiling, how to bring it to infinity. It is not only because the fold affects all materials that it thus becomes expressive matter, with different scales, speeds, and different vectors (mountains and waters, papers, fabrics, living tissues, the brain), but especially because it determines and materializes Form.”[1]

In Dream Within a Dream, Marlie Mul presents two new bodies of work; a series of sculptures with the shared enumerated title Unnamed Charm; and a series of photo etchings, Unnamed (Studio Process).

In the Unnamed Charm series, folded and curled colored silicone sheets—in black, silver, yellow and reds—are held together with steel hardware, creating small bijou-like, tense objects that might fit in one’s hand. Installed throughout the room, each one has its own persona. Some are sprouting synthetic hair, adding a soft-edged aura to the hard edges of the boldly colored silicone. Others have small plastic bones protruding from their crevices, or red-tipped pins stuck into the material. The lines of the parallel folds form vague question marks.

The Unnamed (Studio Process) prints are made using the photo-etching technique photogravure, which was first developed in the 19th century. Shadowy images of egg-like shapes with pins and hairs can be made out through a kind of haziness of texture that emerges from both the images and the printmaking technique. These photos were taken while Mul was producing works for the 2021 exhibition, Sperms Going to a Fashion Show.  The objects appear as though stalled in a process of anthropomorphization, their hairstyles and identities not quite finished.

Mul’s relationship to material is grounded in artifice—there is no purity here. The skins of the sculptures are silicone, the little bones made of plastic, and the hairs synthetic—iconic materials of the body cartoonishly reproduced as obvious fakes. There’s a coexistence of the serious and the silly across the exhibition—a material investigation into the baroque that produces mysterious “charms” with personal style.

–– Marina Caron


[1] Deleuze, Gilles. The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. First Edition. Minneapolis: Univ Of Minnesota Press, 1992. 3, 34.



All etchings titled "Unnamed (Scalp)" and all etchings titled "Unnamed Charm". See work descriptions at the end of the page.

List of works:

Unnamed (Scalp), 2023 (black)
Edition 4/5
Photo etching (intaglio black) on 300g Zerkall paper.
Print size: 8.67 x 6.7 inches
Frame size: 16.9 x 14.6 inches
Stained walnut wood.

Unnamed (Scalp), 2023 (yellow)
Edition 1/2
Photo etching (intaglio yellow) on 300g Zerkall paper
Print size: 8.67 x 6.7 inches
Frame size: 16.9 x 14.6 inches

Unnamed (Scalp), 2023 (pink)
Edition 2/3
Photo etching (in intaglio and cameo black and pink ink) on 300g Zerkall paper.
Print size: 8.67 x 6.7 inches
Frame size: 16.9 x 14.6 inches

Unnamed (Scalp), 2023
Edition 2/3
Photo etching (2 plates: intaglio in yellow and black ink) on 300g Zerkall paper.
Print size: 8.67 x 6.7 inches
Frame size: 16.9 x 14.6 inches

Unnamed (Scalp), 2023
Edition 4/5
Photo etching (intaglio black) on 300g Zerkall paper.
Print size: 8.67 x 6.7 inches
Frame size: 16.9 x 14.6 inches
Stained walnut wood.

Unnamed (Scalp), 2023
Edition 2/5
Photo etching (intaglio black) on 300g Zerkall paper.
Print size: 8.67 x 6.7 inches
Frame size: 16.9 x 14.6 inches

Unnamed Charm, 2024 (yellow)
Silicone, stainless steel hardware.
5 x 6 x 2.1 inches

Unnamed Charm, 2024 (translucent pink)
Silicone, stainless steel hardware.
5 x 6 x 2.4 inches.

Unnamed Charm, 2024 (translucent white, bones, hair)
Silicone, synthetic hair, plastic, stainless steel hardware.
7x 7 x 4.4 inches

Unnamed Charm, 2024 (yellow, bones)
Silicone, plastic, stainless steel hardware.
5.25 x 6 x 4.4 inches

Unnamed Charm, 2024 (dark red)
Silicone, stainless steel hardware.
4.75 x 5.75 x 2 .25 inches

Unnamed Charm, 2024 (black)
Silicone, stainless steel hardware.
4.8 x 5.75 x 2.1 inches

Unnamed Charm, 2024 (yellow)
Silicone, stainless steel hardware.
5.4 x 6 x 2.5 inches

Unnamed Charm, 2024 (silver, red, bones, hair)
Silicone, pins with glass head, synthetic
hair, stainless steel hardware.
8 x 7.5 x 4 inches

Unnamed Charm, 2024 (translucent)
Silicone, stainless steel hardware.
5.9 x 6 x 2.5 inches

Unnamed Charm, 2024 (black, hair)
Silicone, synthetic hair, stainless steel hardware.
8 x 7.5 x 3.5 inches

Unnamed Charm, 2024 (silver, har, red glass beads)
Silicone, synthetic hair, red pins with glass head, stainless steel hardware.
6.5 x 7 x 3 inches

Unnamed Charm, 2024 (black, hair, red glass beads)
Silicone, pin with glass head, synthetic hair, stainless steel hardware.
9 x 8 x 3.4 inches

Unnamed Charm, 2024 (silver, bones)
Silicone, plastic, stainless steel hardware.
5.1 x 6 x 4.5inches

All images courtesy of Gaylord Fine Arts, Los Angeles

Photography by John Tuite

Partially supported by the Mondriaan Fonds

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