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PAUL McCARTHY *4.8.1945
::Werkliste | Literatur

1969 Studium der Kunst an der Universität von Utah und danach am San Francisco Art Institute, Ca

1972 Bachelor of Fine Arts in Malerei am SFAI an der University of Southern California

1973 M.F.A., studierte Film, Video und Intermedia an der University of Southern California; Master of Fine Arts.

seit 1982 - ? Professor für Video, Installationen und Geschichte der Kunstdarbietungen an der UCLA, Los Angeles.

lebt und arbeitet in Pasadena ,Ca und L.A.Ca


Paul McCarthy, geboren am 4. August 1945 in Salt Lake City / USA ist ein bedeutender in Los Angeles lebender amerikanischer Künstler der sich mit der Rückseite der amerikanischen Mythen beschäftigt: Sex, Macht, Geld. Dabei bezieht er sich in antithetischer Weise auf Disney und andere Hollywood Mythen und als lebenden Antipoden seiner Kunst, den Künstler Jeff Koons.. McCarthy sieht sich als Widerpart und Infragestellers des "American Dreams" der dem europäischen Pietismus entsprang, einer sozial konservative Bewegung die auf Pflichtgefühl und Frönmmigkeit aufbaut.

McCarthy begann mit «painting as action», indem er seinen eigenen Körper als Pinsel einsetzte und Körperflüssigkeiten als Malmaterie verwendete. Das führte zur künstlerischen Bearbeitung von der in den USA tabuisierten Sexualität. McCarthy`s Arbeiten nutzte seit den 60ger Jahren die Tradition des Wiener Aktionismus als expressiv-dekonstruktiver Aktionskünstlers, mit Methoden des Surrealismus, Happening, Fluxus, Neo Dada und den Ansatz der Antikunst eines Gustav Metzger. Er erforschte Innen- und Außenräume, indem er Löcher in Wände oder Figuren bohrte oder er drehte sich für die Dauer einer Videokassette um die eigene Achse. Er benutzte die Methodik der Konzeptkunst, der Minimalisten, der Pop Art und die des Abstrakten Expressionismus. Den Körper als Ausdrucksmittel schaute sich McCarthy von den anthorpometrien der KörpermalereiYves Kleins ab. Dabei arbeitet McCarthy mit allen Möglichkeiten der gegenwärtigen Szene: Projektionen wie Bill Viola, und Tony Oursler,Vergrößerungen wie Oldenbourg und Koons, freie Collagetechniken wie Frank Stella etc. Nach Beuys ist er der überzeugende Fackelträger für die Kommentierung der Gegenwart und der Erweiterung der Kunst ohne Rücksicht auf Tabubruch.

McCarthy gibt sich als der Anti-Warhol oder Anti-Koons und anders als Beuys ist er kein Schamane mit entsprechendem sich hegelianisch entwickelndem Weltbild als Heilplan zum direktdemokratischen "SONNENSTAAT" , sondern eher ein gnadenloser Analyst und Dekonstrukteur in der Maske des Clowns ( wie Krusty der Clown in den Comicserie der Simpsons). Wie Beuys nutzt McCarthy die Symbolik des Materials ( Mayonese und Ketchup) für eine Dekonstruktion der vorgefundenen Verhältnisse. Gegenläufig zu Beuys, erzeugt er aus einer scheinbar heilen Ausgangssituation ("Disney World") mittels Dekonstruktion ein Chaos, das die Subjekte als Opfer und Täter demaskiert und die soziale Situation als Geflecht von Sex und Macht offenlegt. Die Frauenbewegung von Los Angeles hat ihn in den 70gern stark beeinflusst. Seine Männer sind getriebene Schwächlinge, die in Uniformen den Helden markieren, aber erbärmliche Haustyrannen sind, die ihre Kinder abrichten wie es die eigenen Väter taten.
Unter der Hülle von Disneyland und des >american dream < werden die wahren Trieb-Kräfte sichtbar. So könnte man auch McCarthy als jemanden sehen, der die US-Gesellschaft auf dem Seziertisch vorführt. In der aktuellen Situation des Kampfes um die Präsidentschaft durch Donald Trump, wäre Paul McCarthy als Gestalter der Wahlkampes denkbar, da sich auch sein Werk methodisch als ein "Catch as Catch can" beschreiben ließe.

"we’re taught to be disgusted by our fluids. Maybe it’s related to a fear of death. Body fluids are base material. Disneyland is so clean; hygiene is the religion of fascism. The body sack, the sack you don’t enter, it’s taboo to enter the sack. Fear of sex and the loss of control; visceral goo, waddle, waddle. " PM 

"Disney has something to do with the future. It’s a virtual space, not unlike the Acropolis. The Disney characters, the environment, the aesthetic are so refined, the relationships so perfect. It’s the invention of a world. A Shangri-La that is directly connected to a political agenda, a type of prison that you are seduced into visiting." PM

 

McCarthy gilt mit Chris Burden als ihr Hauptvertreter in der kalifornischen Kunstszene. Er begann seine Performances auf Video aufzunehmen .Überdies erschuf er plastische Elemente (sog. "Props", Performance Objects) , die er für die gefilmte Performance als Requisiten benötigte.. Die Videos handeln von rohen und gewalttätigen Situationen. Paul McCarthy bricht das Tabu des "Cleanen Amerika". Ab 1974 wurden seine Aktionen / Arbeiten aggressiver und sexuell provokativer. Seine Darbietungen wurden als brutal selbstzerstörerische beschrieben. McCarthy wurde beeinflusst von der mechanischen Inszenierung eines Tinguely und der "Destruction in art"von Gustav Metzger. Weitere Einflüsse sind die Filme von Bruce Conner und Stan Brakhage in den 60gern; Kurt Kren, Peter Kubelka und Tony Conrad in den 70gern. Auch scheint er die Antwort Amerikas auf das Werk von Joseph Beuys zu sein.

In der Zwischenzeit hatte er sich als Verkäufer von Möbeln durchgeschlagen und als Fotograf an Filmsets gejobbt. Erst als Chris Burden ihn Mitte der achtziger Jahre als Lehrer an die University of California, Los Angeles, holte, wurde es etwas leichter für die McCarthys.

"Ich hätte mich selbst zur Witzfigur gemacht"

Erst ab 1990 wird er bekannt. Mit Bossy Burger (1991) beginnt er mit Masken und Objekten in einer gebauten Installation eine Performance mit Videoaufzeichnung zu kombinieren. Er stellt den künstlerischen Akt in der Videoperformance Painter als solchen dar, als er sich verausgabt sieben Zeichnungen zu machen. Dies machen erfordert seine ganze Energie und ist nur in einer Trance möglich. Erst ab 1999 gibt es internationale Einzelvorstellungen seines Werkes. Seine Performances mit Props ( Performance Objects) in speziell gebauten Studio- Installationen verändern sich zub objektorientierten Aktionen und sehr großen Installationen mit filmisch festgehaltenen Performances.(Video). Seinen künstlerischen Durchbruch schaffte Paul McCarthy Anfang der neunziger Jahre mit Hilfe von 10.000 Dollar, die er vom Chefkurator des Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles ( Paul Schimmel) , erhielt, um eine Arbeit für die legendäre Ausstellung "Helter Skelter" zu kreieren. Die Installation "The Garden" gilt bis heute als eines seiner Meisterwerke. In Anspielung an Hollywood benutzte er die Original-Naturkulisse aus der Fernsehserie "Bonanza". Vater und Sohn entweihen das Paradies, indem die motorbetriebenen Männer Sex mit einem Baum und dem Waldboden haben. Galerist Jeffrey Deitch erwarb die Arbeit und schickte sie durch Europa. McCarthy, der bis dahin nur zwei Arbeiten verkauft hatte, war plötzlich auf dem Kunstmarkt gefragt. 1996 startete er seine Factory.

 


—Benjamin Weissman talks with Paul McCarthy,Pasadena,????

Prior to that he was known as a brilliant "gut-and-schmutz- performance artist " who worked in relative obscurity for 20 years, adored by other artists, under-represented by galleries, uncollected by museums. Paul’s particular Grand Guignol came out of a true personal crisis that dealt with the ghoulish properties of culture, consciousness and family. Psychosexual scenes were often played out in costume (Pinocchio, Alfred E. Newman, Santa Claus, Willem de Kooning); ketchup, mayonnaise and chocolate syrup were material substitutes for bodily fluids. Paul has managed to remain a radical artist of true perversion, dedicated to fucking with viewer sensibility while at the same time achieving broad mainstream appeal. A rare accomplishment.

 People close to Paul are forever begging him to slow down, to work less, to not tax the soul so hard, but he keeps up a mad factory pace, employing as many as 15 people at a time (old pals from Utah, boyhood friends of his son and a gang of art-school grads). He is obsessed with building things, particularly shacks, barns, boats, houses, rabbit people with unusual penises. When there is downtime, and there never is, he draws pictures. Paul is a heavyweight champion storyteller: late at night he talks and talks and talks until his entire family is sound asleep, all snoring beside him like cubs in a den.Paul McCarthy In high school I did a drawing of a man’s face looking out of the picture plane straight at the viewer. Behind him in the landscape I drew a square hole in the ground. I have always been interested in digging. I remember finding a rock in a vacant lot when I was five years old. I tried to break the rock. I pounded it with another rock. At one point I stopped pounding it and picked up the rock to carry it home. After a short distance, a head appeared from the rock. I think I was dressed in white. All the houses around me were white. It was a very bright day.

IBW - When you say language serving a number of purposes—what purposes?

PM - A purpose, B purpose, C purpose and so on.

BW - Back in the day a ton of interesting artists were doing performances. Now that energy seems to be directed toward video and film. Artists acting up for the camera. Where has performance gone? Why aren’t people working with the live, high-risk moment? Why do the majority of artists insist on being mediated? Why the distance and safety, why behave on a big installation screen, or a monitor on the floor or a pedestal? I know it’s hard on a performer (physically draining) but that used to be the appeal, the rush, which is why all actors want to perform in plays, the venue of the real. It’s odd to see a whole form almost disappear. There used to be performance magazines and regular venues at museums and galleries for performance. Not too long ago theater and performance were blurring; it was a fertile time.

PM - When I perform for the camera there are others standing on the sidelines in the void. It’s very Hollywood to stand and watch a movie being made. I am planning a performance in a theater in Berlin this year at Christmastime. I don’t know yet whether it will be on the stage or not. I think I would like to use the entire theater as a performance room, the theater as a set. Maybe I will extend the stage out into the audience, reduce the seating. I am interested in blurring our positions. I’ve always been interested in the audience being a prop. ( Paul McCarthy, Pot Head, 2002, light blue silicon rubber, 33½ x 42 x 48 inches.)

 BW - You’ve been teaching art for over 25 years. Talk about the new finishing schools we’ve got going here in LA and the hunger for immediate commercial success in favor of the slow brew, the long haul. What’s the difference between an art student today and the young ‘uns of the ’70s and ’80s? How has thinking about art changed? How has UCLA changed as a school? And while we’re at it, what do you think about curators’ obsession with youth?

 PM - Penis clam envy. The students are a congregation. It’s a religious experience—the galleries, the museums, are religious temples. The galleries are all on the prowl. Who’ll get picked? Artists declare themselves regularly as misunderstood. It’s a pot of victims. As painters, they face a rectangular canvas each day, themselves, the canvas and the studio. It’s an old problem, with a history and a tradition. There’s an old feud boiling, painters versus conceptual artists. The doctrine of painting and beauty versus the doctrine of Michael Asher. It’s all locked up in this age-old flickering. Then there’s technology—the Unabomber, theory, fear of theory. The artists affect theory versus theory affects the artists. Who controls the castle? It’s a laugh a minute.

BW - You were afflicted with a pretty strong case of dyslexia. Reading and writing has always been an arduous process far you. You mainly consume art books, not novels. This harks back to Question One, about the repetitious speak of your characters in videos. Your characters don’t talk to each other and converse; they talk to themselves, they go on for a while, stop, and then another character utters something, but they talk to no one, just the human wall. Communication becomes animal. Characters hear each other’s sounds and maybe react, maybe not. They’re all in their own universe. What do you make of this style? Also, whenever you use text in your drawings, the words are misspelled and twisted up; it seems more about sound, a textured phonetic thing rather than wards with a relatively fixed meaning. You take language that is already slippery and grease it up even further, shoot it out of the esophagus and let it fly into the air as if it were a material.

PM - Repression and annual animal communication—dyslexia is a boring subject. A more interesting subject is the fourth grade. One of my earliest memories of a drawing by a fellow artist was a pair of glasses rendered on the top of my desk at Woodstock Elementary School, fourth grade, second floor, middle of the room. I don’t know who did the drawing, a pencil drawing etched into the wood. I have no interest in conventional language, only when it is an appropriation to illustrate something else. Language is architecture as an institution for repression. I/we can’t talk seriously. It’s a grid of snakes. A tic-tac-toe grid. Verbal tic-tac-toe. Who has the janitor by his toe? Marvin Marick had a huge hose. During seventh grade in the boy’s shower room, Gerald Cook clenched Marvin’s hose, his penis, and pulled him through the locker room.

 BW -(Marvin’s Penis) Paul, why do you think about me? I’m touched.

PM - Because it was a tragedy, you, the penis, in Gerald Cook’s hands was stretched. Gerald pulled you, Marvin, screaming through the shower and locker room and out onto the basketball court.

BW- (Marvin’s Penis) Paul, after all these years, why are you still thinking of me?

PM - Sexual traumas. I remember it as sexual theater, theater and architecture: the shower room, the locker room and the gym. The lighting. How it was played out with the other boys in the room and the architectural space, a labyrinth of hallways and doors, moving into a large open space—institutional separation based on gender and function.

BW- (Marvin’s Penis) I am honored that you’ve elevated me to such a high cultural position. The penis is inherently tragic, isn’t it?

PM - No more than any other Tom, Dick or Harry.

BW I like how you think of sexual trauma as an architectural problem.

PM I think of architecture as a frame and/or stage for trauma. As a frame and/or stage, architecture contextualizes and effects trauma.

BW Isn’t conventional language just a medium?

 PM Yes, a medium—for science, for theory, for advertising soup.

 (Paul McCarthy, Spaghetti Man, 1993, fiberglass, urethane rubber cloth and fake fur, 100 inches high.)

BW The first 30 years of your art practice was a private solitary act. Things are more complicated now. You’re an industry. You employ lots of people. You’ve got a dozen projects going on at the same time. Deadlines and commitments up the wazoo. It’s getting kind of hectic, as they say. You could ease the pace if you wanted to—it’s your life and career—but you choose to keep it in high gear, pedal to the metal. Have things gotten out of hand, or is it all exactly where you want it?

PM - Sometimes I know why, how, this, that. Sometimes I don’t. I collect telephones. Send me your phones. Some days I like my shoes. Some days I hate them. Not enough time to think about him or her. Pushing the wrong button signifies a squint. If you squint it muffles my voice—wipe yourself on the carpet, and yoga is good for you. Hold your knees and scoot forward.

 BW - Your practice is kind of a family business. Karen and Damon (wife and son) are central to the enterprise, as well as Mara (daughter), who has recently pulled up a chair in the office. This is a unique setup. Ideal for you, but inconceivable for other artists with families. Talk about that one, Pop.

PM - Karen and I cook breakfast. Bake cakes. We eat out. We have lunch at 12.

BW - Joseph Beuys, our hero, once on the minds of so many people, now fading. You’ve been reading about him lately. What have you found out?

PM - Patina. It’s all in the patina.

BW Are you being coy?

PM Absolutely not.

BW - What do you mean, it’s all in the patina?

PM - He maintained a look, a surface look.

BW - A look that aged beautifully overtime?

PM - Beauty becomes cliché.

BW - Beuys as patina, Beuys as cliché.

PM - Boy as patina, boy as cliché. I was interested in Beuys in the ’70s and early ’80s. I haven’t really looked at his work in the past few years, but I have thought about his career and his effect. Beuys was critical to European artists being looked at by the art world. This began in the ’70s. The shift from the emphasis on New York to Europe began with Beuys. He was an art star, the first European art star since the pre-war period. However, it is curious that he is totally dismissed now. It’s convenient for the art world to have lapses in memory. It’s good for business. His work has an effect on artists today. It’s part of the trickle-down effect. You can see it in the installations of artists now. I am not interested in art being a cure-all.

(Paul McCarthy, Peter, Paul, 2001–2002, mixed media, dimensions variable. Installation view, Luhring Augustine, New York.)

BW - Talk about holes. They’ve appeared in your work consistently for 30 years. Holes drilled or dug up, holes to peer through, gawk at and poke, holes like empty eye sockets, portals to consciousness, the edge of a frame, a camera’s lens. You made this metaphor about cultural control, what you can see and what you can’t. Please explain further.

PM - Holes are access from one space to another—outside to inside—inside to outside—inside to inside. Round and square holes, body holes and architecture holes, mouth, ears, eye sockets, rectum, vagina, penis hole, front door, back door, windows. Holes are also openings to sleeves, deposit chambers and pockets. Donuts and rods, as sexual mechanisms, rub devices. Drilling holes, making a hole with a drill bit. It’s about sex and confusion.

 BW - Earlier you mentioned that your scripts are “improvised, repeated and become language appropriation trying to be mediated into the other.” What do you mean by that? Along the same lines there was this gem, “repression and annual animal communication,” when I asked about your use of spoken and written language. That seems like a bull’s-eye. Please elaborate.

PM - Appropriation often comes first. The blah blah, the other, is often the objective. Communication and self-realization as hacky hack.

BW - It seems like your interest in making films and videos started when you stopped doing performances.

PM - No. My interest in film and video goes back to the ’60s. For the most part film, video and performance were always connected. I have always been interested in the presence of the camera. But there were performances that were not recorded. The action was spontaneous and there was no time for equipment. After the late ’80s I started to make videotapes that were directly related to a production set, a location, a television studio or a sound stage. It was about appropriating Hollywood. I wanted to make a film on Paramount’s lot.

  (Paul McCarthy, Grand Pop, 1977, performance view.)

BW - Do you find it strange that people have such strong reactions to fecal matter, blood and mucus? The slightest thing that pops out of us is a total horror. Aren’t these standard human materials? Why the shock of what’s inside us?

PM - Maybe it is a conditioned response: we’re taught to be disgusted by our fluids. Maybe it’s related to a fear of death. Body fluids are base material. Disneyland is so clean; hygiene is the religion of fascism. The body sack, the sack you don’t enter, it’s taboo to enter the sack. Fear of sex and the loss of control; visceral goo, waddle, waddle.

BW - How cool that you’re a grandfather now. How does that affect your understanding of the world?

PM - I spend more time on or near the floor. I seem to be happy down there.

BW - Walt Disney the man, the freak with the harsh, right-wing politics, and Walt Disney the creator of all those remarkable characters and the cheerfully perverse world of Disneyland. Share your Disney thoughts?

 PM - Disney has something to do with the future. It’s a virtual space, not unlike the Acropolis. The Disney characters, the environment, the aesthetic are so refined, the relationships so perfect. It’s the invention of a world. A Shangri-La that is directly connected to a political agenda, a type of prison that you are seduced into visiting.

 

 —Benjamin Weissman is the author of a collection of stories titled Dear Dead Person (Serpent’s Tail), and the forthcoming Headless (Akashic Books). His writing on art, books and skiing has appeared in a variety of publications, including Artforum, Freeze, Frieze, Los Angeles Times Book Review, Parkett, Salon, and Spin. He teaches fiction writing at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena.

 


"In 1991, Bossy Burger: McCarthy outfitted himself in a chef's costume and Alfred E. Newman mask and performed a cooking-show parody on a set --a hamburger stand-- once used for the TV sitcom The Hogan Family. But now the set is exhibited as an installation smeared, damaged and sullied with the remains of the artist' Bossy Burger performance: dried splotches of ketchup, a feeling of squalor and furniture in disorder are clues that a bloody gastro-massacre has been going on there. Outside the production set, a monitor screens the performance. "(Paul McCarthy at the S.M.A.K. 2007)
"1992 The Garden features sets from Bonanza, a cowboy TV series from the 1960s. Seen from a distance, the artificial forest glade looks quite innocent, but walk closer and you'll spot two life-size mechanical male figures – an upright and pathetic “father?? fucking a tree and a “son?? giving the same kind of attention to a hole in the ground." (Paul McCarthy at the S.M.A.K. 2007)Since the landmark Helter Skelter exhibition at LA MoCA in ‘92, where he exhibited butt-naked mechanical men humping trees and earth on a recycled stage set from the TV show Bonanza, Paul’s career has exploded.
Caribbean Pirates ( 2001-2005): Einige übel aussehende Piraten, aussehend wie Osama bin Laden, mit a Guggenheim Turban, etc

"The Pirate Project was by far the most appealing/repulsive body of works for me. The artist's studios are in Los Angeles and one can feel the references to Hollywood. It's not so much a critique of the "dream factory" as a parody of it. Caribbean Pirates for example is inspired by the Disneyland attraction and movie Pirates of the Caribbean, only that there's nothing glamour and entertaining, it heads straight to the gore and soft porn. The center piece is an imposing 5 meter high pirate ship made of fiberglass. The deck of this brownish-red hull is strewn with objects and smeared with chocolate sauce, ketchup and fake blood. The Pirate Party videos projected on the walls surrounding the ship reveal the obscene and brutal scenes which took place on board. In the movies, thirty actors, some of them wearing oversize carnival heads, simulate the invasion of a village, complete with rape, mutilation, violence and the public sale of the village women. Beyond the farce, the masks and the grotesque spoof horror movie scenes, McCarthy's Pirate work makes also some references to the US invasion of Iraq, some scenes have been said to allude clearly to Abu Ghraib and the abuse of prisoners. " (Paul McCarthy at the S.M.A.K. 2007)

 

Paul McCarthy and Damon McCarthy: Caribbean Pirates

- Los Angeles Premiere-

"Crazed, inventive, obscene and often very funny… played out in weird costumes and with rumbustious, clownish fervour." The Guardian

This multi-screen installation offers Los Angeles audiences their first view of videos from Caribbean Pirates, the McCarthy studio’s sprawling survey of the pirate figure in American popular culture. As originally shown in 2005 at Munich’s Haus der Kunst, the manic, typically bawdy work collaged video projections with large-scale sculptures, props, and film sets — including a full-scale pirate frigate and a 1970s-era houseboat. Different incarnations of this scabrous examination of the pirate as a symbol of invasion, plunder and depravity have since been presented at several other major European venues to vast critical and popular acclaim. The site-specific installation of Caribbean Pirates at REDCAT marks the first time that this work is being shown without its related sculptural elements.

In person: Paul McCarthy, Damon McCarthy

Paul McCarthy (born 1945) is widely considered to be one of the most influential and groundbreaking artists of today. Using the language and imagery of the all-pervasive American consumer culture he grew up with, his work distorts and mutates the familiar into the disturbing and carnivalesque. His early work was heavily influenced by Viennese Actionism, seeking to break the limitations of painting by using the body as a paintbrush or even canvas; later, he incorporated bodily fluids or food into his works, and explored film, video, performance and multi-media installation.

Having first studied art at the University of Utah, McCarthy obtained a BFA in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute, and then received a MFA from USC where he has studied film, video and art. Upon graduation, in the early 1970s, he first became known for his visceral performances and film works. In 1982, he was invited to teach video, installation, and art history at UCLA. During the 1990s he extended his practice into stand alone sculptural figures, installations and large sculptures, animatronic and/or inflatable. He has had recent solo exhibitions at Tate Modern, London (2003); Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York (2002); Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich (2001); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2000); and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (2000). He currently lives and works in Altadena, CA.

Throughout his career, Paul McCarthy has produced publications, at times inviting other artists to collaborate or contribute, and has curated exhibitions. Since 2000, he has collaborated closely with his son, CalArts graduate and artist Damon McCarthy (b. 1973) on a number of complex performative video installations, such as Piccadilly Circus and Bunker Basement (both 2003), F-Fort Party (2005) and Caribbean Pirates (2001-2005). The latter project (featured at REDCAT) was inspired by Damon Mc Carthy’s suggestion to use the Disney ride Pirates of the Carribbean as a visual impetus. According to the two artists, the pirate theme is treated as a metaphor for US invasion and occupation of foreign lands.

“This gargantuan project occupied the artist and his son, Damon McCarthy, and a huge crew of actors, builders, mechanics and film personnel over several years. The performance action that took place on the set included blood-gushing animatronic limb amputations, prosthetic nose-severings, belly-bursting tropical diseases and gang-bangs. Not to mention the catering-size cans of Hershey's Chocolate Sauce drooled and spattered absolutely everywhere. It's only chocolate, you might say (like the marzipan turds in Pasolini's Salo), and the action may be so knockabout as to be unbelievable, but this is still a theatre of cruelty, in the Hollywood Jacobean mode.” -- Adrian Searle, The Guardian

“Maybe for McCarthy the world is made up of myths alone -- myths which continually allow us to come up with new conceptions of ourselves, to celebrate images, to give legitimacy to greatness, dreams, happiness, and the darkness that surrounds us.

"Hollywood & Disney -- both are the epitome of myth generators: they use them and create them. McCarthy’s show does not conceal the fascination that such myths hold -- just the opposite -- he indulges them. But then comes the horrible reversal -- the myth is destroyed by its own means: the curved, rakish pirate hat becomes the penis hat, the smiling eye grows into something phallic... Illuminated by its own light and glitter, Hollywood is meant to shine and be sullied at the same time; the skills and constructs of the dream factory are put on display and then pulled apart. What the viewer sees is the other side, where the darkest depths come to life and to light. The pink pig still grins blissfully even though it is kept alive artificially, by human effort alone. Perversions and grotesqueries appear everywhere -- the fascination and the humor are just as audible and tangible as the malice.

"The content of McCarthy’s large-scale performances, created with his son Damon, are in the lineage of Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf and Pasolini’s Salo or the 120 Days of Sodom, yet the action is abstract; barely comprehensible... What ends up being shown is a strange mixture of B-movie gore, absurdity, inanity, excess, trash -- huge bellies stuck onto bodies, actors wearing silly, round noses; mayonnaise, ketchup and other sauces just as important as the (naked) bodies.” -- Emma Nielson, Pulse Berlin

The Jack H. Skirball Screening Series is curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud

 Funded in part with generous support from Wendy Keys and Donald Pels.

Date & time General

Admission Students,

Alumni with

Affinity Card CalArts

Students,

Faculty and Staff

Thu 11.20.08 8:30 pm $20 $16 $10

Fri 11.21.08 8:30 pm $20 $16 $10

Sat 11.22.08 8:30 pm $20 $16 $10

 For student and CalArts alumni, faculty and staff discounts,

please call the REDCAT box office at 213-237-2800.

http://ganymede.calarts.edu/season/0809/fv/pirates.php

 


"THE SALOON" , 1995/96

Paul McCarthy, The Saloon, 1995–96, mixed media, 139 x 191 x 110 inches. Installation view showing Dance Hall Girl and Cowboy (Gunfighter). Es würden Werke gezeigt, "die Ihre moralischen Gefühle und Empfindungen verletzen könnten", zeigt ein Schild an der Kasse. Die Installation "Saloon Theatre" von Paul McCarthy, in der Pornoszenen zu sehen sind könnte Moralvorstellungen verletzen.


"LaLa Land - Parodie Paradies" , 2005 : " Lately, we have seen a lot of McCarthy in Britain. A retrospective travelled to Tate Liverpool in 2001. In 2003 his huge inflatable sculptures stood outside Tate Modern, and that same year the Los Angeles-based artist presented an installation, Piccadilly, as the opening show for Hauser and Wirth's new London gallery. Including hours of video performance, projected amid the wreckage of the set he built for the performance, Piccadilly's theme, approximately, was a tea party attended by the Queen Mother, George W Bush and Osama bin Laden. All this might be seen as a warm-up for LaLa Land Parody Paradise, the largest exhibition of McCarthy's work ever to come to Europe; it has travelled from Munich's Haus der Kunst to the Whitechapel Gallery in east London" McCarthy's use of whole and partial body casts always makes one think of grotesque dismemberments, and the casting process is revealed as relating to dominance and bondage games, even a form of torture. Can we see, now, a cast of a figure, with a bin-liner covering the head and torso, without being reminded of the photos taken at Abu Ghraib?

What has always saved McCarthy's work from being a slight, if gruelling, sort of sadomasochistic exhibitionism, has been his humour, and the violent acts he perpetrates are often as close to Disney or Warner Brothers cartoons as to S&M scenarios or the torture room. Nevertheless, though his approach to artistic orthodoxies may have begun as a refreshing playfulness, it soon escalated towards the nihilistic, the depressing and the abject.

His smaller sculptures - the mangled busts, the pirate heads with penis-eyes and cock-and-ball hats, the evil, grinning Jack Palance types - show that he has a sculptor's sensibility, as much as an errant film-maker's or an opera director's. And here's McCarthy himself, hairy and blotchy, prone on a sun lounger, his willy poking out from under his shirt. Neither better nor worse than a Ron Mueck sculpture, this work shows us the limits of the hi-tech, latter day version of the waxwork. Or at least I thought it did, until I saw the pig.

So lifelike is this many-teated sleeping pink sow, breathing sonorously and twitching a curly tail in her porcine dream, that only her cumbersome life-support system of electronic gizmos, hydraulics and computers convinces us she's not real. Even her sphincter puckers in her sleep. Pigs are not renowned for their personal grooming, but this one is perfect: immaculate, pedicured, sleek, gamine, not an whisker out of place. And what is this porker dreaming of? Of an island, which sits on a plinth a few steps away - a treasure island where a horde of pirates and a herd of pigs make squealing, bestial love 'neath the dinner-plate palm trees.

While McCarthy often parodies the movie industry - the sets, the special effects, the preoccupations with child-like wonder and the crass, moronic violence - Disney itself is interested in his pig, for its animatronics department. This is a nice reciprocation to McCarthy's work Caribbean Pirates, which is roughly based on Disney World's Pirates of the Caribbean theme park ride. It fills a vast warehouse 10 minutes' walk from the Whitechapel Gallery.

There, a big, cubic ship pitches and yaws in several directions at once as its hull and superstructure see-saw, tilting together and apart. It's like watching two huge minimalist sculptures having sex. Just looking at it makes you feel queasy. Wander between this and the hull of a pirate ship next door, and the the mocked-up cabins and decks - strewn with severed limbs, buckets of guts, welters of strawberry-syrup blood and other remains of buccaneering mayhem - and you almost do throw up.

In a splintery houseboat that might have drifted here from Cape Fear, a TV monitor plays Mike Nichols' 1966 movie of Edward Albee's play Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, about the psychological blood-letting of a shipwrecked marriage. Albee's title refers to Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf?, a tune sung in Disney's 1933 animated short Three Little Pigs. McCarthy uses Nichols' film as a goad for his actors - who include a Liz Taylor lookalike - in developing the hours and hours of frightening video footage from two deranged performances, which are projected around the walls. Another reference point included Pasolini's Salo (based on De Sade's 120 Days of Sodom), and I also detect hints of Terry Gilliam, Ken Russell, William Burroughs' Wild Boys and every pirate adventure one has ever come across.

To say that all this is full-on doesn't do justice to such a gargantuan project, which has occupied the artist and his son, Damon McCarthy, and a huge crew of actors, builders, mechanics and film personnel over several years. Damon also lost two fingers in an on-set accident, adding a horrible verisimilitude to the performance action that took place on the set - including blood-gushing animatronic limb amputations, prosthetic nose-severings, belly-bursting tropical diseases and gang-bangs. Not to mention the catering-size cans of Hershey's Chocolate Sauce drooled and spattered absolutely everywhere. It's only chocolate, you might say (like the marzipan turds in Pasolini's Salo), and the action may be so knockabout as to be unbelievable, but this is still a theatre of cruelty, in the Hollywood Jacobean mode.

Excess is everything, and it always slides in the same direction in McCarthy's world, whether he is playing at being Captain Morgan or Santa Claus, Heidi or a mad abstract expressionist. Everything slides into evil, the scatological and what the painter Francis Bacon once relished as "dabbling about in somebody's innards". McCarthy's work is often described as cathartic. Yet, clearly, all this acting-out, which has been going on in his work since the 1970s, doesn't work, because he always ends up in the same place, forever re-enacting the same squalid scenes. Call it repetition-compulsion, call it obsession.

Call it sculpture or performance, it is, finally, a gleeful wallowing in debasement. And it also has a great deal to do with America - with the amorality of the movie industry, with consumerism, with hypocrisy, double standards and repression. McCarthy intends his pirates, their vessels and their journeys as a trope for America's empire-building, and her current adventures abroad. The pirates might even be heroes, colourful individualists, no matter what trail of butchery they leave behind them. And all that Hershey's Chocolate Sauce, which so often has been a substitute for excrement and blood, also looks a lot like oil. It's a sticky business.

Paul McCarthy LaLa Land Parody Paradise is at the Whitechapel Gallery, London E1, until January 8. Caribbean Pirates is in Cheshire St, London E2. Details: 020-7522 7888 or www.whitechapel.org (The Guardian, Tuesday 25 October 2005 http://www.guardian.co.uk/culture/2005/oct/25/1)


Paul McCarthy: The World as Pirate’s Lair – LaLa Land, Parody Paradise

the art of Paul McCarthy, by Emma Nielson Available languages: English Deutsch

Die Welt als Piratentum

Paul Mccarthy's LaLa Land, Parody Paradise

Emma Nielson

Available languages: English Deutsch

 

Abgesägte Schwänze, ausgestochene Augen, galante Narben, peg leg, riesige Nasen, Säbel, Messer, penishat: Schwanz und Hodensack schmücken den Kopf anstelle des Hutes - Disney's Figurenkabinett wird zur Fratze: welcome to lala land! Piraten blicken von allen Seiten: als kackbraune Skulpturen, als großformatige schwarzweiß-Zeichnungen mit viel libidinösem, blutigem Rot - zersetzt durch Zeitungsausschnitte mit breitgespreizten Mädels und aufgerissenen Mündern, als blutrünstige Akteure in langandauernden Performances... Von allen Seiten wimmeln die Herren der Meere, deren zerstückelte Körperteile in Fetzen fliegen, während sie immer noch lachen - zu jedem Abenteuer bereit. Desweiteren lachen uns glückliche Menschen von im Negativ abgezogenen Werbephotos an. HOLIDAY PLEASURE: Familienglück, Zigaretten, bubbleworld und mittendrin ein Metallsockel auf dem ein Schwein schläft, lebenserhaltend verkabelt und ganz zufrieden lächelnd, ab und zu zuckt im Traum ein Bein oder die Schnauze - und wir sind somit mittendrin in der westlichen Gesellschaft , in derem patriarchalischen Gebaren, ihrem grenzenlosen Chauvinismus und ausufernden Imperialismus, deren Insignien des Glücks sich im Konsum finden . Die Piraten verkörpern das Potenzgerangel, das sexuelle Abenteuer, das Abenteuer auf hoher See, den Mut, die Unabhängigkeit, das Sich-Widersetzen der Regeln, das kunterbunte Treiben auf dem Schiff, den Charme, die Ehre und denEinsatz mit dem Leben.Ihr Holzbein beweist ihre Heldenhaftigkeit, das versprochene Glück findet sich immer wieder in der Suche nach der reichen Beute in der Ferne - die Schatzkiste, die schöne Frau - und geht stets einher mit Mord und Totschlag. Ermordet werden die Anderen, aber auch das Schwein wird jeden Tag wieder rituell erlegt und einverleibt.

 

McCarthy hat eine Vorliebe für die (US-amerikanischen) Mythen undIkonen dieser Welt. In den meisten seiner Arbeiten pickt er sich ihre Abbilder und Vorbilder aus und bearbeitet sie bis ins Mark: Santa Claus, Pinocchio, der Cowboy müssen genauso daran glauben wie Herr Bush und die britische Königin. Vielleicht besteht für ihn diese Welt nur aus Mythen - Mythen, die uns ständig die Möglichkeit geben,Vorstellungen von uns zu entwerfen, Abbilder zu feiern, überhaupt eine Legitimation zur Grösse zu geben, zum Traum und zum Glück.

 

Hollywood & Disney, beide sind ein Inbegriff der bereits generierten Mythen, sie benutzen sie und sie kreieren sie - in dieser Ausstellung wird die Faszination vor ihnen nicht verhehlt - im Gegenteil. Aber dann kommt die grausame Umkehrung - der Mythos wird mit seinen eigenen Mitteln geschlagen: aus dem geschwungenen, galanten Piratenhut wird der penishat, aus dem lächelnden Auge wächst ein Schwanz... Hollywood soll im Glanz leuchten und gleichzeitig besudelt werden; das Können und die Bilder der Traumfabrik werden gezeigt und wie durch eine Mangel gedreht. Was man zu sehen bekommt ist die Kehrseite, aus der heraus die Abgründe zum Leben erwachen und ans Tageslicht kommen. Das rosarote Schwein grinst sogar noch selig, während es allein von menschlicher Hand künstlich am Leben gehaltten wird. Perversionen und Grotesken schälen sich überall heraus - die Faszination und der Humor sind ebenso spürbar und hörbar wie die Häme. Die Mythen glänzen und erlöschen in lautem Getöse.

 

Die mit seinem Sohn Damon zusammen großangelegten Performances lehnen sich inhaltlich an Albee’sWho's afraid of Virginia Woolf und Pasolini’s Salo oder Die 120 Tage von Sodom an, jedoch erscheinen die Handlungen eher abstrakt und sind kaum erkennbar. Das Filmmaterial der Performances wird an die Wände projiziert und die Requisiten - ein Piratenschiff, ein Schiff als Fort , ein Hauswagen, einzelne Arme... - ausgestellt. In diesen Performances verdichten sich die verschiedenen Themen und Motive, die zuvor in der Ausstellung präsentiert werden: Körper und Körperlichkeit , die Glieder und die zerhackten Glieder, das Zusammengesetztsein , die Nacktheit, die Körperöffnungen, die Begrenzungen, das Beschmieren - der Ekel - der Exzess. Was gezeigt wird, ist eine seltsame Mischung aus Splatter, Absurdität, Albernheit, Exzess, Trash - den Körpern werden riesige Bäuche aufgeklebt, die Schauspieler Innen tragen alberne, runde Nasen; Mayonnaise, Ketchup und andere Saucen sind genauso wichtig wie die (nackten) Körper.

 

Man sieht Folter, Überfall, Vergewaltigung, Fesseln, Vögeln, Blut, es geht um Beengungen und das Durchbrechen der Enge - zumindest um denVersuch dessen. Die Schiffe bestehen aus verschiedenen winzigen Räumen, geradezu Schläuchen - und in dieser Enge vollzieht sich der Ehewahnsinn ,die Zerreißproben, der Kampf um die Macht; die dunklen Seiten der Seele und die Abgründe finden ihren Platz - und mit einem fröhlichen Lächeln auf den Lippen begeht man täglich die Gewalt. Der Horror ist perfekt. Alles in einem Gewand von humorigen Trash, ab und zu sieht man den kläglichen Versuch, die Wand zu durchbohren, um wenigstens eine Hand befreien zu können - die Margarine dient dabei als Gleitcreme .

Die McCarthy's verweisen auf die Perversion dieser Welt, sie drehen die Spirale stets weiter, aber die Analyse der Welt wird zu einer Analyse der Seele, oder umgekehrt?! Wir geraten in die Welt des Unbewussten, der Phantasie, der sexuellen Enthemmungen. Dabei geht es mehr um die Enthemmungen und Entäußerungen als um das Sexuelle - der Sex ist nur der Ort im Menschen, an dem das Hemmungslose, die Untiefen, das Exzessive vielleicht am ehesten und eindeutigsten in Erscheinung treten kann.

Widersprüchlichkeiten und Gegensätze sind aufs Engste miteinander verschlungen. Themen, Mythen... werden immer wieder konstruiert und dekonstruiert und dieses Prinzip stets offengelegt. Ich frage mich, ob diese vertraute Methode eigentlich ausreichen kann und finde nicht so recht eine Antwort. Aber am Ende bleibt eine Mischung aus irritierender, grotesker, hämische rAlbernheit und auch Ekel, die sich an den Grenzen der westlichen Moralvorstellungen entlanghangelt und sich darüber erhebt. Der Ekel scheint zur Läuterung aufzurufen, dabei ist die Perversion ihr Stilmittel.

 Der zerstörerischen Unfreiheit mag man nur noch entkommen zu können, indem man deren Wucht sich aneignet und weiterschraubt; das Aushöhlen und Entmachten gelingt womöglich nur, indem man am eigenen Körper die Wirklichkeit durchlebt. Die Arbeiten leben von dem Überborden, dem Besudeln, der Stoff ist getränkt, wie auch die Menschen vollkommen beschmiert und durchtränkt sind - die Stimmung ist skurril und orgiastisch.


mit lala land parodie paradies präsentiert das haus der kunst die bislang umfangreichste werkschau des amerikanischen künstlers paul mccarthy in europa. 1945 in salt lake city, usa, geboren, gilt mccarthy als einer der international anerkanntesten und zugleich einflussreichsten künstler der gegenwart. sein schaffen war wegweisend für die jüngere künstlergeneration der amerikanischen westküste, etwa für mike kelley oder jason rhoades, inspirierte aber auch junge europäische künstler wie john bock oder jonathan meese. mccarthys interesse gilt der "malerei als aktion", der performance, der installation und dem film. seine bezugspunkte wurzeln im typisch amerikanischen: soap-operas, comics, b-movies und disneyland.

 

paul mccarthys kunst ist provokant. ob in den live-performances der 1960/70er jahre oder in seinen aktuellen installationen und inszenierungen – stets ironisiert und attackiert er den american way of life oder die pervertierte, von den medien manipulierte gesellschaft. seine arbeiten sind geprägt von einer drastischen, meist sexuell aufgeladenen künstlerischen sprache ohne rücksicht auf verklärende konventionen oder tabus.

 

lala land parodie paradies präsentiert nun auf rund 2.500 m² zwei neue, raumgreifende installationen paul mccarthys, an denen der künstler mehrere jahre arbeitete und die jetzt erstmals öffentlich zu sehen sind: pirate project und western project. in beiden arbeiten setzt mccarthy eine vielzahl künstlerischer mittel ein - installation, skulptur, zeichnung, fotografie und video - und verbindet sie zu einer monumentalen inszenierung. die protagonisten entspringen, wie häufig bei paul mccarthy, gängigen amerikanischen klischees: cowboys und piraten. sie sind urthemen der amerikanischen zivilisation und zugleich klassische sujets des hollywood kinos. sie wurden in unzähligen filmen zu mythen stilisiert und verklären die sicht auf die amerikanische vergangenheit bis heute.

 

im zentrum des western projects stehen das westernfort mit wachtürmen und tunneln; planwagen umkreisen den komplex und erinnern an den aufbruch amerikas nach far west und die gewaltsame eroberung von land als teil des amerikanischen traums. parallelen zum aktuellen zeitgeschehen sind hier offensichtlich. pirate project zitiert figuren wie peter pan oder pirates of the caribbean – beides rides in disneyland. kernstück ist ein original großes piratenschiff aus rostrotem fiberglas, das – wie auch das westernfort - als setting für eine performance diente, die ca. einen monat lang mit rund 30 protagonisten im haus der kunst durchgeführt wurde und in der ausstellung als video zu sehen ist. die performance – ebenso wie die große westernparade, mit der die ausstellung eröffnet wurde – funktioniert dabei wie ein initiationsritual: sie macht die installation zu dem, was sie jetzt ist. überreste wie trichter, schokoladensirupdosen oder prothesen, die in der performance einsatz fanden, oder planwagen, die teil der eröffnungsparade waren, werden nun zu bestandteilen der installation.

 

die welt, die mccarthy in lala land parodie paradies inszeniert, ist eine welt aus ekel und anziehung, schmutz und künstlichkeit, pornografie und disneyland. stets ist es die dunkle, verborgene seite der protagonisten, die er zur schau stellt, ironisiert und bis ins groteske überzeichnet. doch nicht schock und provokation sind das ziel mccarthys, sondern die katharsis, die den letztlich moralischen anspruch des künstlers vor augen führt.

 

im rahmen der bundesgartenschau 2005 installiert paul mccarthy auf dem dach des haus der kunst ein überdimensionales, aufblasbares blumenbouquet (inflatable). das haus der kunst wird so zu einem blumentopf, aus dem deutsche geranien sprießen.


Sawed-off penises, gouged-out eyes, swashbuckling scars, peg-legs, huge noses, swords, knives, even a “penis hat” (penis and scrotum as a new kind of headgear) – Disney’s cast of characters gone grotesque: welcome to lala land! Pirates appear from every side: as shit-brown sculptures, as large-format black and white drawings highlighted with lots of libidinous, bloody red – contrasted with newspaper clippings of girls with their legs spread and mouths open – and as bloodthirsty actors in long-winded performances… The room is teeming with these lords of the sea who just keep laughing, even as their body parts get hacked into scraps – they’re always up for more adventure.

 

But there are also happy faces smiling out at us, printed as the negatives of advertising photos. HOLIDAY PLEASURE: family fun, cigarettes, bubble world, and in the middle of it all, a pig sleeping on a metal plinth, hooked into cable TV as though it’s a form of life-support, smiling, content. Once in a while the pig twitches a leg as it dreams – and here we are, smack-dab in the midst of Western society. Its patriarchal behavior, its boundless chauvinism and escalating imperialism, not to mention its emblems of happiness, are all expressed through these difficult images of consumption. For their part, the pirates symbolize power struggles, sexual escapades, adventures on the high seas, courage, independence, an individual putting his life on the line. The pirate’s wooden leg is a tribute to his heroism, the fortune he seeks, the plunder off somewhere in the distance – the chest of treasure, the beautiful woman. It’s only the other people that get killed, but even the pig is ritually slaughtered and gobbled up with each new day.

 

McCarthy has a predilection for American myths and icons. In most of his works, he takes the models and role models of that world and skewers them. Santa Claus, Pinocchio and the cowboy play just as important a role in the imagery as Bush or the Queen of England. Maybe for McCarthy the world is made up of myths alone – myths which continually allow us to come up with new conceptions of ourselves, to celebrate images, to give legitimacy to greatness, dreams, happiness, and the darkness that surrounds us.

 

Hollywood & Disney – both are the epitome of myth generators: they use them and create them. McCarthy’s show does not conceal the fascination that such myths hold – just the opposite – he indulges them. But then comes the horrible reversal – the myth is destroyed by its own means: the curved, rakish pirate hat becomes the penis hat, the smiling eye grows into something phallic…Illuminated by its own light and glitter, Hollywood is meant to shine and be sullied at the same time; the skills and constructs of the dream factory are put on display and then pulled apart. What the viewer sees is the other side, where the darkest depths come to life and to light. The pink pig still grins blissfully even though it is kept alive artificially, by human effort alone. Perversions and grotesqueries appear everywhere – the fascination and the humor are just as audible and tangible as the malice.

 

The content of McCarthy’s large-scale performances, created with his son Damon, or in the lineage of Edward Albee’s “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf” and Pasloni’s “Salo” or “120 Days of Sodom”, yet the action is abstract; barely comprehensible. The film material of McCarthy’s performances are projected onto walls, while the props – a pirate ship, a ship as a fort, a caravan, individual arms – are displayed around the room. These performances highlight various themes and subjects that have been presented earlier in the exhibition: bodies and corporeality, limbs and dismemberment, juxtaposition, nudity, bodily orifices, boundaries, smearing – disgust – excess. What ends up being shown is a strange mixture of B-movie gore, absurdity, inanity, excess, trash – huge bellies stuck onto bodies, actors wearing silly, round noses; mayonnaise, ketchup and other sauces just as important as the (naked) bodies.

 

The viewer sees torture, attack, rape, bondage, sex, blood – it’s about restriction and breaking through restriction – or at least the attempt to do so. Pursuing the boundaries. The struggle for power, the dark sides of the soul and its darkest depths all find their place in this exhibition –it’s with a smile on our lips that we go about our daily violence. McCarthy and his son point out the perversions of this world - they keep turning the screw further - but does this analysis of the world become an analysis of the soul, or vice versa?! We end up in the world of the unconscious, the imagination, sexual inhibitions unmasked. But even there it’s more about shedding inhibitions and relinquishing control than it is about anything purely sexual. Sex is just the part of human beings where a lack of restraint, the excessive, and the real depths are most likely to become apparent. Contradictions and opposites are intertwined intimately. Themes and myths are continually constructed and deconstructed as this principle is continually revealed. I question whether that method, time-honored though it may be, is really equal to its project in this case, and I’m not sure of the answer. What remains at the end of the experience is a mixture of irritating, grotesque, malicious inanity and also disgust, which gropes its way to the limits of Western morals and then overcomes them. Disgust would seem to invite an attempt at reformation, though perversion is the means to that end.

 

It may be that one can only escape the destructive lack of freedom by taking on its very force and cranking it up to its highest volume; hollowing it out and depriving it of its power is only possible when one lives its reality through one’s own body. McCarthy’s works are enlivened by being overloaded, soiled, the material is awash, just as human beings are thoroughly soiled and saturated – the mood is bizarre and orgiastic. And you are left, alone, to figure out the point.

 

lala land took place at:

whitechapel gallery, London www.whitechapel.org

Haus der Kunst, Munich www.hausderkunst.de

The catalog was published by Hatje Cantz, with articles by: Elisabeth Bronfen, John C. Welchman, Benjamin Weissman, and Stephanie Rosenthal.


Head Shop / Shop Head (2007/2008) : " The exhibition is rough, abject, violent, it grabs you by the guts, hovers between bad Hollywood slapstick and the restroom, it's a carnival of the vile and filthy but it is fascinating and mind-blowing. In fact, it must be one of the best exhibitions... "(Paul McCarthy at the S.M.A.K. 2007) http://www.we-make-money-not-art.com/archives/2007/12/last-week-i-vis-2.php

McCarthy's work seeks to confront us with cultural and social traumas – with the dark side of The American Dream and western consumer society. As McCarthy himself says, "You may understand my actions as vented culture. You may understand my action as vented fear."


Zur Zeit arbeitet McCarthy mit Photo, Video , Skulpturen ( "Props") und Installationen. Dabei werden große Kulissen aufgebaut, in denen dann Akteure Szenen nach "Lust und Laune" spielen. Alle Handlungen werden auf Video und Fotografie festgehalten. Nach Beendigung der Performance, zählen Kulissen, Videomaterial und auch Fotos als Kunstobjekte. An diesen Arbeiten ist in letzter Zeit auch oft sein Sohn Damon McCarthy beteiligt. Ein Teil seines Werkes bezieht sich auf Disney´s animierte Szenen in Disneyland, als Beispiel sei PIG ISLAND genannt.

Paul McCarthy arbeitet in allen zeitgenössischen Medien und zählt zu den wichtiigsten zeitgenössischen Künstlern.

 


Paul McCarthy - Liste ausgewählter Werkle:

more than 60 films spanning his entire oeuvre, his early sculpture Dead H (1968) and the installations The Trunks (1992-93), The Garden (1992) and Bossy Burger (1991)


HIer die Projektbeschreibung von Paul McCarthy selber zu:

Pig Island (2003-2009 )

 Stagecoach is McCarthy’s second long-term project, based on the film of the same name, a 1939 American Western starring John Wayne. The movie follows a group of strangers travelling across the United States in a stagecoach pursued by Apache Indians. Here, McCarthy uses the Western as a recognisable structure from which to form alternative interpretations; the SC works focus on social interaction between the genders and ‘saloon girls’ reappear as central characters. A repeated castration theme is conveyed through textual references scrawled across the paintings like a mantra: ‘CUT OFF THE HEAD / CUT OFF THE PENIS’.

 

The Western genre is central to American masculine identity, and here McCarthy restructures reality using Hollywood’s tactics. He alludes to classic icons of martyrdom whilst exploiting film stars as characters in a sexual vaudeville. ‘SC, Leonardo DiCaprio’ can be read as a profane version of St. Sebastian, as the composition centres around a figure with hands tied symbolically behind its head and with legs spread wide. McCarthy employs a wealth of art historical references to render his figures as powerless and impotent; even the horse, conventionally deployed as a symbol for military prowess, is represented here limp and pink, barely capable of supporting his charge. Together, the SC paintings function as unscripted storyboards in which McCarthy reverberates between the central Stagecoach motif and male icons of the film industry in a series of sexual dreamscapes which form a starting point for a future Stagecoach performance and film.

McCarthy employs collage throughout these paintings, uniting a host of seemingly unconnected reference material such as ripped fragments of high-fashion magazines, images sourced from the Internet and three-dimensional objects including synthetic wigs, a pair of boots, a coffee table and soft toys that are wedged forcefully through the surface of his paintings. Within these works, McCarthy expertly weaves the history of painting with contemporary motifs in dramatic scenes that expose latent desire and exploit the uncomfortable space where childhood innocence meets adult knowledge.Exhibited alongside his paintings, a room of Hauser & Wirth’s Savile Row gallery is devoted to new drawings related to both White Snow and Stagecoach.


Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, USA

March 05, 2016 — September 11, 2016

The Henry presents an exhibition of black walnut sculptures by American artist Paul McCarthy (born 1945) , as a spin off of WS. Ranging in height from three to fourteen feet, the works that occupy the museum's lower level gallery are the product of the artist's interest in the nineteenth-century German folktale Schneewittchen (Snow White) and Walt Disney's beloved 1937 animated classic film.

For these works, the artist turned to computer mapping to digitally scale, shape, and manipulate the final wood sculptures. The resulting pieces are recomposed, and sometimes grotesque, variations of familiar characters from the classic tale, such as the Prince, Dopey, and Snow White herself. The centerpiece of the exhibition, White Snow, Bookends (2013), is a two-part monumental sculpture weighing a total of 36,000 pounds. The giant "tchotchkes" are entangled and dislocated representations of the Prince and White Snow on horseback that recall the elaborate compositions of Baroque sculpture, but that instead court truncated narratives and abstraction.

In his protean and unbound work McCarthy has sought to violently question conventions. Poking fun at and providing a biting critique of society's most beloved symbols and deeply held beliefs, McCarthy is intent and insistent on stretching and subverting the widely accepted notions of moral, social and artistic order.

This is the first comprehensive presentation of this series in an American museum.

CREDITS

Paul McCarthy: White Snow, Wood Sculptures is organized by Luis Croquer, Deputy Director of Exhibitions, Collections, and Programs, with project management by Susan Lewandowski, Manager of Exhibitions and Registration. The exhibition is supported by the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and ArtsFund.

 

weitere Werke: Alpine Man / Santa Chocolate Shop

Reviews: Backdoor Man /The Mechanical Id / Performance / Boxing Paul / Interview 2001 /

Links: McCarthy im Haus der Kunst München 2005 / artin.de / PortalKunstgeschichte X / netzeitung.de / Paul McCarthy

 

Die Arbeiten von Paul McCarthys sind provokant. In den Live-Performances der späten 60er- und 70er-Jahre setzte er seinen Körper als Material ein und ging oftmals bis an die eigenen physischen Grenzen. Er hantierte mit typisch amerikanischen Produkten wie Ketchup oder Mayonnaise, die er mit eigenen Körperausscheidungen zu Saucen vermischte - eine Attacke gegen die Werte des american way of life und die von den Medien manipulierte Gesellschaft. In den 80er-Jahren entstanden neben den Live- und Videoperformances mechanische Figuren (mechanical sculptures), die den Künstler im Ausstellungsraum allmählich ersetzten. Seit den 90er-Jahren verbindet McCarthy in grossen Installationen den realen, schmutzigen und aggressiven Körper mit cleanen Kulissen. Es entstehen komplexe Werkgruppen und Inszenierungen, die - meist sexuell aufgeladen - auf theatralisch-drastische Weise mit Tabus brechen und auf Themen verweisen wie sexuelle Gewalt.

Paul McCarthy parodiert Autoritätspersonen, feste Familienbeziehungen und starre Begriffe von Sexualität. Mit Materialien wie Ketchup oder Mayonaise ironisiert er die "amerikanischen Werte". Er selbst benannte in den 70er Jahren diese Bestandteile als "Flux" und charakterisiert mit dieser Bezeichnung auch sein künstlerisches Vorgehen. Diese "Flux" - Materialien stellen nicht allein Lebensmittel, sondern auch Körperflüssigkeiten dar. Die Assoziation von Ketchup mit Blut weckt dabei vor allem Horrorvorstellungen. Ebenfalls dienen die Materialien als Farbe zum Malen und spielen damit auf den Künstler selbst an.

In den 80er Jahren ergänzte Paul McCarthy seine Live - und Videoperformances durch kinetische Figuren. Esi st deutlich, daß er mit diesen automatisierten Figuren auch ein Substitut für sich selbst geschaffen hat. Durch ihre Mechanik bleibt ihr performativer Charakter gewahrt. Hatte er bereits in der Videoaufzeichnung seiner Liveperformances die Unmittelbarkeit der Vorstellung abgeschwächt, so erreicht er diese Distanzierung nun durch den Einsatz einer kinetischen Figur, deren Bühnenset immer mehr an Gewicht zunimmt und die Flux Materialien ersetzt.Paul McCarthy ist eigentlich als Vertreter der Abject Art ( Arbeit mit Körperflüssigkeiten und Exkrementen) bekannt und arbeitet in der Fortführung und Verschmelzung der Ideen von Fluxus und Andy Warhol.

Paul McCarthy beschäftigt sich im Besonderen mit den Clichefiguren des US-Mainstream-Unterhaltungsbetriebes - Stichwort Disney, Alfred E. Neumann, St.Nikolaus, Heidi , Pinochio - und deren unausgelebten Seiten, den indem er seine psycho-sexuelle Basis dekonstruktiv offenlegt. So zeigt er die Rückseiten des amerikanischen Traumes.

Seit Ende der sechziger Jahre arbeitete Paul McCarthy mit einer Vielzahl von Medien: Sein Interesse galt der >Malerei als Aktion< der körperlich-psychischen Entäußerung um, ähnlich Beuys in einem räumlichen Kontext seine Aktionen realisiert und ein Werk als Installation zurückläßt. Zusätzlich speichert eine Videokamera die Aktion die den voyeuristischen Blick des Betrachters lenkt.

Mit>Bavarian Kick<1987, erweiterte McCarthy sein formales Repertoire um teils mit Motor ausgestattete Plastiken, die an seiner Stelle agieren. Im Mittelpunkt von McCarthys Performances stehen die Konflikte oder >Dilemmata< der hybriden und zugleich klischeehaften Charaktere, die er mit Hilfe von Masken und Verkleidungen annimmt: des Politikers (>Carter Replacement Mannequin< 1980), der Hausfrau (>Mother Pig< 1983) oder auch des Künstlers (>Painter<1995).

McCarthys stets sexuell aufgeladene Aktionen sind theatralisch-drastische Inszenierungen von oftmals tabuisierten Vorgängen und Handlungen wie Geburt und Tod, Koitus, Sodomie und Masturbation, Kindermißhandlung;häufig verweisen sie auf die patriarchale Familienordnung als einen Ort tiefgreifender Störungen, wie in >Bossy Burger< 1991, oder >Heidi<( mit Mike Kelley), 1992.In der Maskerade der mythischen Cliches legt er deren dunkle Seiten offen.

Dabei geht es ihm jedoch nicht um die Authentizität unterdrückter Gefühle, sein Thema ist die Prägung individuellen Verhaltens durch massenmediale und soziale Strukturen. Der Körper ist einer der Schauplätze, an dem sich diese Einflüsse überlagern. McCarthy Bezugspunkte sind die Simulakren einer (un)heilen Welt wie Disneyland, B-Movies, Fernsehserien und Comics. Seine obsessive Verwendung industriell hergestellter Flüssigkeiten wie Ketchup oder Mayonnaise als Ersatz für Körperflüssigkeiten markiert den durch und durch entfremdeten Zustand des (amerikanischen) Individuums:

McCarthy inszeniert ausweglose Situationen, die soziale Machtverhältnisse widerspiegeln, um sie seinen geschmacklosen. symbolischen und nicht zuletzt tragikomischen Verwüstungen zu unterziehen."

Zitate : Astrid Wege 1999 -siehe TaschenVerlag, >Art at the turn of the Millennium<, 1999


Paul McCarthy in San Diego 2004

Paul McCarthy fuses sculpture and performance in artwork that is defined by controversial combinations of pop-culture clichés, social taboos, and art historical references. Throughout his thirty-year career, McCarthy has repeatedly exploited the popular image of the pirate as the psychological inspiration for an ongoing, complex, and continually changing project. His pirate drawings, films, and sculptures engage the clichés of a hermetically closed, male-dominated world where fantasies-otherwise repressed-are made manifest and moral barriers are torn down.

Pot Head embodies McCarthy's desire to deface perceived cultural, sexual, and in this case, artistic norms. In its first incarnation, Pot Head was a clay bust of a man wearing a pirate's tricorner hat and lapelled coat. McCarthy, in a characteristic act of destructive bravura, later used a cutlass to hack off the sculpture's nose and ruffled shirt. He then destroyed the bust's hat by shoving a pot down over its head and eyes. This silicone cast of the clay bust features the detritus of McCarthy's performance. The lumpy remains of the hat sit where they first fell and the sword rests where McCarthy laid it down after "finishing" his sculpture.


2013 - WS 19.Juni - 4.August 2013 , Park Avenue Armory , NY-City

WS, seine größte Arbeit bis heute und der Höhepunkt seines kreativen Schaffens. Ein Hauch von Bosheit zu Themen, die traditionell für ihre Unschuld oder Reinheit verehrt werden, webt McCarthy zusammen. Er zeigt einen massive, fantastische Wald von hoch aufragenden mit grotesken Videoprojektionen von ikonischen Zeichen spielen ihre eigenen Märchen-Drama in einem Replikat von seinem Elternhaus. Dieser gewagte sozialer Kommentar der den amerikanischen Traum und seine geliebten Icons schmäht, bombardiert den Betrachter mit einer Reizüberflutung skatologischer, sexuelle Gewalt und debaucherous Bilder, die mutig den Betrachter zwingt zu erkennen an der verdrehten Unterseite der populären Kultur. Das Ergebnis ist eine visuelle, sehr anspruchsvolle, immersive Erfahrung eines der einflussreichsten und wichtigsten Künstler unserer Gegenwart.

Der video Hauptbestandteil der "WS", die auf acht Plakat-Größe Bildschirme projiziert wird, erzählt die Geschichte von Schneewittchen im Laufe von sieben halluzinatorische Stunden während dem Walt Disney (gespielt von Mr. McCarthy) Vertragsparteien mit der titular Jungfrau und ihre sieben winzigen Freunde. Es ist sehr sexuell, aber nicht über Zufriedenheit wie es über Delirium und Mr. Eccles Worte, "die Verweigerung von Sex." Der enorme Raum, stöckig mit Teppichen von Disney Hotels, echoes mit wilden Schreie und jault wie die Zeichen Ballon-Tiere, fellate decken einander in Gewürze und bang, Drum Solos auf Metall Töpfe und Pfannen.

Das Video wurde gedreht, eine exakte Kopie der drei-Viertel-Skala von Mr. McCarthys Kindheit Zuhause und in einem massiven künstlichen Wald mit grotesken 30-Fuß-Bäume, die beide in der Mitte der Halle Drill installiert sind. Klein Zimmer Haus zusätzliche Bildschirme (und zusätzliche Inhalte Warnungen), während andere Räume in der Waffenkammer-Funktionsmodelle der Anlage aufgrund ihrer besonders Grafik voller Schneewittchen waren andere Videos wie das Dendrophila gefüllten weißen Schnee-Mammut und ein "Walt Paul" zu speichern – Perücken, Wasserflaschen, Kitsch Figurinen und Poster von Mr. McCarthy unterzeichnet.

Dreihundert Stunden Video und Millionen von Dollar später, ist das Ergebnis wie nichts, was das Arsenal vor vorgelegt hat.

 


ESSAYS

Paul McCarthy - Selected Exhibitions ( Solo shows / * indicates publication )

2005: Haus der Kunst , München,D-land
2001 : Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (22/02 - 13/05 2001)
2000 :"Paul McCarthy", Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (12/112000 - 21/01 2001) & New *
1999 :" Paul McCarthy " Sammlung Hauser und Wirth, St. Gallen-CH, 6/13-10/10
" Dead H, and Early Performance Photographs " Studio Guenzani , Milan, Italy, 24/3-19/4
1998: "Painter, Video and Drawings" Galerie Krinzinger, 9/24/-10/23
"Photographs--Performance Photographs and Video, 1969-1983" Luhring Augustine, 4 /18-5/21 21
"Photographs--Performance Photographs and Video, 1969-1983" Patrick Painter, Inc. 1/21-2/ 21
1997: "Santa Chocolate Shop", Galerie Hauser & Wirth, Zurich, Switzerland, August 23-October 18
1996: "Paul McCarthy," Tomio Koyama Gallery, Tokyo, Japan, November 23-December 10
"Saloon," Air de Paris, Paris, France, Oct. 26-Nov. 12
" Yaa-Hoo", Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NY, September 7-October 12
"Video Works", Galerie Drantmann, Brussels, Belgium, March 16
"Videos and Drawings" Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen, Denmark, February 16-March 17
1995: "5 Photographic Works, 1970-1974," Blum & Poe, Santa Monica, CA. Dec. 5, 1995-Jan. 13, 1996
"Painter," Projects Room, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY, May 30-July 18, 1995
Art and Public, Geneva Switzerland
"Tomato Head," Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin, Germany, February 17 to March 5, 1995
"Pinocchio Pipenose Householddilemma Tour", Travels to: Air de Paris, Paris France; Galeria Antoni Estrany, Barcelona, Spain;
Luhring and Augustine, New York, NY; Galleri Nicolai Wallner, Copenhagen, Denmark; Esther Schipper Galerie, Koln, Germany; Studio
Guenzani, Milan, Italy; McKinney Art Center, Dallas, TX; Auckland City Art Gallery, Auckland, New Zealand; Ooe Landesmuseum, Linz, Austria
1994: Air de Paris, Paris, France
Le Fonds Regional d'Art Contemporain, Poitou-Charentz, Angouleme, France
Air de Paris, Nice, France
Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.
Galerie George-Philippe Vallois, Paris, France
Studio Guenzani, Milan, Italy
1993:"Video," Ynglingagatan I, Sweden
Galerie Krinzinger, Vienna, Austria
"The Dead Viking", Buchholz und Buchholz, Koln, Germany
Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NY.


1997-98

Grand Opening at our New Space
Thursday, May 28, 1998 - Saturday, August 1, 1998
Luhring Augustine Gallery, 531 West 24th Street, New York, New York 10011
  
Paul McCarthy 1969-1983
Saturday, April 18, 1998 - Friday, May 22, 1998
Luhring Augustine Gallery, 130 Prince Street, New York, New York 10012

 Patrick Painter Editions

Editions published by Patrick Painter.
Saturday, October 18, 1997 - Saturday, November 29, 1997
Lehmann Maupin, 39 Greene Street, New York, New York 10013
 

1996-97


The 1997 Bienniel Exhibition
Curated by Lisa Phillips and Louise Neri.
Thursday, March 20, 1997 - Sunday, June 1, 1997
Whitney Museum of American Art, ALL FLOORS, 945 Madison Avenue at 75th, New York, New York 10021
 
Paul McCarthy, Paul Noble, Allen Ruppersberg
Saturday, December 7, 1996 - Saturday, January 11, 1997
Jay Gorney Modern Art, 100 Greene Street, New York, New York 10012

 a/drift:

Scenes from the Penetrable Culture.
Sunday, October 20, 1996 - Sunday, January 5, 1997
The Center for Curatorial Studies Museum, Bard College, Annondale-on-Hudson, New York 12504
 
Paul McCarthy Yaa-Hoo Town
Saturday, September 7, 1996 - Saturday, October 12, 1996Luhring Augustine Gallery, 130 Prince Street, New York, New York 10012



Electronic Arts Intermix
542 West 22nd Street, New York, New York 10011
contact: Galen Joseph-Hunter
telephone: 212-337-0680, fax: 212-337-0679
e-mail: ghunter@eai.org
hours: Monday-Friday 9:30-5:30
artists
 
Lehmann Maupin
39 Greene Street, New York, New York 10013
telephone: 212-965-0753, fax: 212-965-0754
e-mail: lmgallery@earthlink.net
hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10:00-6:00
artists
 
Luhring Augustine Gallery
531 West 24th Street, New York, New York 10011
telephone: 212-206-9100, fax: 212-206-9055
e-mail: LAGny@aol.com
hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10:00-6:00
artists, images
 
Whitney Museum of American Art
945 Madison Avenue at 75th, New York, New York 10021
telephone: 212-570-3676, fax: 212-570-1807
hours: Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday 11:00-6:00; Thursday 1:00-8:00 images
Literatur: 

Phaidon Verlag> Paul McCarthy<

Paul McCarthy

Hatje Cantz Verlag
(ISBN3-7757-0949-5) Englisch
2000. 258 Seiten, 440 Abb., davon 280 farbig

21,60 x 27,00 cm
Broschur

   
 
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