Ab Ovo


“Ab Ovo” is a multi-media visual arts project organized by Steven Hull. Hull was inspired by his two children for “Ab Ovo” or “From the Egg,” and chose to use the children’s story as the goal and framework for the show. Nineteen visual artists were given the MMPI-2TM (Minnesota Multi Phasic Personality Inventory). The test, developed over 60 years ago, remains the most widely used measure of pathology by the U.S. legal system. Customized for child custody settings, the tests produced personality profiles which were anonymously and randomly assigned to nineteen writers. They were in turn asked to base children’s stories on them. The stories were then illustrated by a second group of 19 visual artists. The gallery installation featured the illustrations, an audio track of the writers reading their stories, and a picnic table designed by Dewey Ambrosino at which viewers could sit while they peruse the test results, which have been made anonymous. The tests, stories and illustrations are being published in this hardcover book “Catalogue Raisonne: Ab Ovo,” with a forward by Hull and an introduction by Susan Morgan. Published 2005.

Test Subjects: Julie Ault, Ellen Birrell, Derek Boshier, Candice Breitz, Inka Essenhigh, Charles Gaines, Steven Hull, Mike Kelley, Mary Kelly, Glenn Ligon, Simon Leung, Cosey Fanni Tutti, Jonathan Momk, Dario Robleto, Jim Shaw, Martha Rosler, Michael Smith, Georgina Starr, Bruce Yonemoto. Participants: Gail Pickering, Gail Swandlund, Ion Birch, Rachel Kushner, Marcos Rosales, Millie Wilson, Paul Noble, Trinie Dalton, Henry Taylor, Sean Dower, Soo Kim, Tony White, Isabell Heimerdinger, wayne Lindberg, Ivan Morley, Mady Schutzman, Kelly Barrie, Leslie Davis, Kaz Oshiro, Vincent Johnson, Lamar Peterson, Kimberly Nichols, Thomas Lawson, Stewert Lindh, Junko Shimizu, Jim Krusoe, Marnie Weber, Betty Nguyen, Paul P., Marina LaPalma, Hiroki Otsuka, Terri Phillips, Tanya Haden, Ben Ehrenreich, Scott Cassidy, Benjamin Weissman, Michael Mahalchick, Lynne Tillman.

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