The wide-ranging, multi-media work of Mungo Thomson (born 1969, Woodland, CA, based in Los Angeles) approaches mass culture and everyday perceptual experience through a lens of deep time and cosmic scale, implicating the spaces of production and exhibition along the way in ever-widening extrapolations.
He has convened an orchestral ensemble to perform a score transcribed from the chirping of crickets, persuaded museums to let their incoming mail pile up unopened in the galleries for the run of an exhibition, made a stop-motion film animation of his art dealer’s Rolodex, and replaced the coat-hangers in the Whitney Museum’s coat check with custom-made hangers modeled on orchestral triangles, transforming it into an enormous musical instrument.
Thomson’s signature TIME mirrors, person-sized silkscreened mirrors bearing the red border and logo of the 100-year-old international weekly newsmagazine, pair a precise historical moment with the viewer’s own reflection in the present. As a series these works form their own archive, reflecting each other, and picturing the viewer within an infinity room of culture and politics and media and design.
Mungo Thomson attended the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program in New York and the Graduate Fine Art Program at UCLA. Recent solo and group exhibitions have taken place at The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museo Jumex, Mexico City; the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles; The Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; and The High Line, New York. He was included in The 2 ndCAFAM Biennial, Beijing, China; The 2012 Pacific Standard Time Public Art and Performance Festival, Los Angeles; the 2011 Istanbul Biennial, Istanbul, Turkey; The 2008 Whitney Biennial, New York; PERFORMA 05, New York; and the 9th Biennial of the Moving Image, Geneva, Switzerland. His work is held in the public collections of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Henry Art Gallery, Seattle; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; Museo Jumex, México City; FRAC Île-de-France, Paris; and GAMeC, Bergamo, Italy, among others.