Paul McCarthy – new book project Piccadilly Circus/Bunker Basement

Paul McCarthy – new book project Piccadilly Circus/Bunker Basement

Scalo Publishers

December 17, 2004

Paul McCarthy - new book project Piccadilly Circus/Bunker Basement

Scalo Publishers
Schifflande 32,
CH-8001 Zurich,
P.O. Box 73,
CH-8024 Zurich

Paul McCarthy Piccadilly Circus
Bunker Basement
Essays by Robert Storr and Ralph Rugoff

“Using the Victorian interior of an abandoned bank on London’s Piccadilly as the on-site location for this video performance, and a rudimentary re-creation of that bank’s subterranean vaults in his studio outside Los Angeles for supplementary footage, McCarthy has staged a slapstick Twilight of the Gods that also doubles as the most disturbing Sadeian fantasia since Pier Paolo Pasolini’s Salo.” (Robert Storr)

A president (George W. Bush), multiple Queen Mums, and a terrorist (Osama bin Laden) are the protagonists, “With their oversized heads and giant clown shoes, they resemble strangely hybrid creatures….cartoon characters that shit, bleed, and possess real genitals.” (Ralph Rugoff) In frenzied acts of self- and reciprocal mutilation, sawing and hacking away at each other’s oversized foam heads, McCarthy’s characters “do not appear to be thinking at all. Instead, they act instinctually, which is the political moral of McCarthy’s riotous scenario; reasons of state cannot explain such destruction and debauchery but an amoral state of nature, which no mask of decorum can hide or contain, unleashes primary urges that do.” (Robert Storr)

Born 1945 in Salt Lake City, McCarthy trained as a painter before experimenting with film and producing photographic work in the late 60s and early 70s. Based in Los Angeles, his work is notorious for its perverted interpretations of childhood stories and vulgarity of expression. As critic Morgan Falconer wrote, “Interested in the parallels between American mass culture’s pervasive infantilism and contemporary society’s means of civilizing young children, through toys and educational TV shows, he attempted to blur all the boundaries between childhood innocence and adult knowledge and sexuality.”

Scalo is very excited to present this 320-page two-volume edition of photographs, which contains an extensive documentation of McCarthy’s unrestrained performances and over-the-top installations. Exhibited internationally since the late 70s, McCarthy’s work has been shown most recently at important museums and galleries, including: the Tate Modern, London (2003); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2000); and New Museum of Contemporary Art New York (2001).
Piccadilly Circus was performed and exhibited at Hauser & Wirth London; Bunker Basement was performed at Paul McCarthy’s studio in Los Angeles and the video was shown as part of the installation at Hauser & Wirth London (2003).

Paul McCarthy Piccadilly Circus / Bunker Basement
Two-volume hardcover box set, 30.5 x 31 cm Piccadilly Circus 188 pages, 170 pages quadrotones Bunker Basement 160 pages, 150 pages quadrotones
ISBN 3-908247-89-6
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