Devoted to the world of everyday life, the blue section is composed of a series of works focusing on the theme of the city. From the 1980s onwards, the artist expanded his cos – mological diagrams (Charts) to comprise the map of a ficti – tious city, with both general views and details of buildings. Using the map of a city—developed using the most diverse array of media, from drawings on paper to granite, Gobelins tapestry, and above all computer-generated images— Mullican arranged his conceptual model within an ideal and well-ordered space.
Since 1986, thanks to his partnership with the Hollywood IT company Digital Productions, Mullican has used a powerful computer to virtually develop the map of his ideal city, cov – ering an area of 18 square kilometers and divided into five districts associated with the five colors of the cosmology. Computer Project (1986–90), as it was titled, thus recreated the cosmology as though it were the landscape and architecture of a city, made up of streets and administrative buildings, but also restaurants, theatres, hospitals, and detailed interiors of houses, with furniture and furnishings, and to do so the artist used an absolutely innovative medium, a precursor of virtual reality and artificial intelligence. The exhibition includes Untitled (1989), a series of lightboxes with computer-generated views taken from this project, photographs which were originally displayed on occasion of an exhibition at MoMA in New York in 1989.
The Blue Area also comprises a series of films and videos by the artist, from the earliest films in Super 8 format shot in the 1970s, in which Mullican described the world around him, to the famous Elevated (2005), a poetic portrait of New York City, made from found footage from 1935 and featuring music by David Lang, and the virtual journey made by the artist in his virtual city (Five into One, 1991-92). The latter is a further development of Computer Project: thanks to more advanced technology, Mullican builds a navigable threedimensional virtual environment. Nonetheless, given the complexity and unsustainable costs of transferring the computer that developed the project in real time to a museum, Mullican decided to film two video extracts of one of his journeys and present them on monitors accompanied by a text with the same title in which he describes his journey.
Alongside a series of works in glass and granite that represent models of cities, Mullican has also built a yellow box in the Blue Area, which represents the domestic everyday real world. Inaccessible to the public and visible only from the outside, the room recalls a performance set and includes the objects and furniture that characterize the life and passions of the personification of the artist (as a radio, a few newspapers, a coffee machine, a table, a bed, a bath sink, a pot, a chair). Two fundamental works of Mullican’s career, dating from the 1970s, are also presented here. In these two sculptures—created in close connection with the Stick Figure, the series of drawings realized by Mullican in 1973–74—the artist has reduced the figurative representation to the bare minimum. Head and Body (1973) and Sleeping Child (1973) consist of a simple piece of wood, the first placed next to a smaller one and then, in the second case, partially resting on a pillow on the floor. Other abstractions of a real subject, both works are closely connected with the subjective capacity to feel empathy for inanimate objects and images, since the artist attributes them human qualities and projects subjective experience onto them (imagining the corresponding experience).