Conversations | Premiere | Artist Talk | Paul McCarthy

Conversations | Premiere | Artist Talk | Paul McCarthy



good morning and welcome to art basel conversations this year we have a full program of exciting panels including major museum directors architects curators critics and collectors but we always like to start Art Basel conversations with an artist talk because without artists Art Basel could not exist this year we are honored to welcome Paul McCarthy a true legend both as an artist and as a teacher for several decades and as his sparring partner we have Massimiliano gionee the new museum curator who also directs the for nazione to saathi and will direct the next one who VI VI by any 'l but i know you did not up get did not get up early to see me speak so all that Max and Paul start their conversation thank you for coming and thank you for coming thank you thank you everybody I don't know if you hear me we have these machines they make me feel like an actor in one of your movies pull No so I'll just say a couple of words about Paul and then we let him speak you know this morning I use this wonderful website that it's called Google ism that gives you a synthesis of all the Google pages you find about a person and I put in for McCarty and I'm going to read you a list of what came up it says Paul McCarty is probably the most well known performance artist in the world Paul McCarthy is an artist of Extraordinary Gentlemen ttle ness whose work deals exclusively in human degradation Paul McCarthy is a seminal West Coast artist Paul McCarthy is known for his raw Paul McCarthy is a disturbed man Paul McCarthy is a Californian artist whose work exposes the dark side of the American dream Paul McCarthy is Willy Wonka which I really like Paul McCarthy is especially good for McCarthy loves ketchup poor McCarthy's terrific I think I share all these views I also have to say and this is a personal note that I'm very attached to Paul and his work because I saw two shows in 1993 when I was 20 then literally changed my life and one was posthuman in which his work was central in castelló de Rivoli and also at the Venice Biennial in 1993 he had two amazing pieces at the aperto and around that time also hi they started circulating through some pirates VHS and literally after I've seen hai day I didn't feel quite the same and I started learning Paul's dialogues by heart so to the point that now I can recite a couple of lines from his movies like no Peter no give the ball back to hide or daddy come home from work today that I come home from work the great thing about meeting Paul is like meeting a star but of a very subterranean world and so I think today you'll enjoy a glimpse of this world through his own words which are always much more complex than people assume you know people I think think you are some sort of crazy expressionist but I think there is a lot more behind that image what do you think yeah next question so let's start for something practical and Paul recently opened a show in Milan at the true savvy foundation where I work where he has shown this incredible piece that is called pig island pig island of which you'll see some images running by and is a thing I don't really know if it's a sculpture or an environment or an object I think one of the best description is a matrix you call it's an object that is 100 square meters large and contains hundreds and hundreds of sculptures objects deborah's wastes and maybe we can start from there Woody's Big Island accepted well it it sort of started I don't know I mean it had maybe the seeds of it or probably ten years old but I had I was making a videotape with my son that was based on Pirates of the Caribbean and the ride at Disneyland and in the ride at Disneyland there's a kind of a little vignette as you is the car that people write in goes up the hill there's a little vignette of a pirate which seems to be intoxicated sort of laying there with the pigs awning and one pigs on his leg and one pigs kind of at aside and their little piggies he sort of fondly looking at the pigs and the pigs are looking at him and it was this sort of this sort of strangely under underlying kind of perversity to this Disney thing and I at one point after seeing that we actually video we filmed in Disneyland a lot and made movies and inside the ride at one point I'm kind of looking at this thing and I thought oh this idea of like pirates kind of marooned on an island with nothing but pigs and the relationship starts forming between these three or four pirates and and pigs and you end up with this island of men and pigs and men pigs and and then I thought oh I'll make it into a mechanical island like with robotic pigs and robotic pirates and I'll make a real island or I mean a fake island but and you'd walk around it and this whole thing of looking in on it and and it would be in these rubber mechanized pirates and so I made a few mock hats of it and it was at the time I was doing other pieces and then I decided it was time to make the big piece and I had gotten all these big foam white foam blocks to carve an island and eventually start making a mechanized sculpture that was about 40 feet by 40 feet and then what happened is as I put the blocks on the in the middle of the studio and gridded off make the island and then realize that I wasn't interested in making a mechanical island and I wasn't interested in carving the white foam so I put plywood up on top of the white blocks and then for seven years or so I made sculpture up on the blocks and so it went from like making a sculpture to making a kind of pedestal that was a bit of a theater inside the studio and there were three of us that sort of worked up there everyday for about five years or off and on I would leave they would come back and then over the seven years the piece just compiled with it wasn't in a way it wasn't the residue of making the sculpture I really was interested in this process going and then kind of paying attention or looking at the at what was occurring over the five years as as making an object not that I was exposing my studio but or making you know allowing the it was like I was making an object through a process through making sculpture being the performance or making sculpture in any type of performance that is not visible to a public in a sense it was rarely videotaped and rarely photographed and and then at one point after several years the I couldn't exactly discern where the piece stopped and we the studio ended in it and then I started seeing parts of the studio metaphorically like there was a big curtain and I started thinking of that as the void and that this island was at the edge of a void and and then it sort of came to a point where I started thinking of making it two stories and going up and that I was going to construct a type of heaven above it and and so then the bottom part that had gone on for so many years ceased to be interesting and had moved on to this penthouse area which was all about drinking tequila and and being in a mirrored room and climbing a staircase to a kind of heaven and then and the bottom part I stopped working on and nobody was on it and then it turned into not making a sculpture but moving a sculpture and I moved it to another building which was all about giving it to somebody else who would move it and I gave it to these three guys to move and and that and I wasn't working on anymore they were moving it in which they couldn't like the instructions were nothing is to change position and I knew that I wouldn't do that if I moved it it was going to change but if I gave it to somebody else who believed in that that shouldn't change and the moving is a major operation you know I I don't know if you caught some glimpses of this culture of this thing to give you an idea it requires I think five containers it's being recorded in 24 gigabytes of photographs and to reconstruct it basically there are three people that as in a archeological dig they recompose it systematically it takes three to four weeks to build it and three to four weeks to dismantle it and what I particularly like about this piece is what you were saying that you couldn't tell where the studio ended and where the sculpture began and of course when you were installing the piece and when you were talking about it made me think a lot of two artists that I think are very crucial for your work who are Allan Kaprow and dieter rod I think this is particularly probably your closest piece to data wrote in it's continuous deconstruction or you know I recently in Berlin there we installed the garden sculpture of data wrote and I think there are many similarities in the piece also in the way they both the garden sculpture and Pig Island they look like giant boats they like rats in a way so I don't know if you want to talk about maybe also your relationship with Allan that was quite direct and personal no yeah I think well maybe I can talk about each of them I mean I did I wrote it in Los Angeles it was really hard to see anything of Diderot there was a famous piece that at least in the in the confines of California or Southern California that Dida wrote piece which was the cheese in a suitcase which I don't think is very well known maybe in Europe or in New York or anywhere but in LA history I think it's somewhat significant at least significant to artists and I never saw the piece I arrived in LA about the summer it was done but didn't see it and had real no really no idea of what it even looked like for years but I think it's you know at that period you know the late 60s early 70s didi wrote Joseph poisoned vos tell were all kind of especially Joseph boys were all really influential to American artists of my generation which would be in the in their 20s at that time and so seeing dieter Rhodes work he was not easy even up until you until you even hit the 80s and 90s in California it so in a way I didn't really know I knew a few things saw some books but didn't actually know of the constructions and especially the pieces that you're describing but what a for me early on I was making pieces that involve using simple wood like two by fours or one by twos or plywood and I was for a long time made living while I was making art in construction so there was something natural from even in the 60s of using wood and then later when I saw Derek's work more there was this aspect of wood and construction and at the time of there was a correlation of maybe some sort I was interested in sea captain's and boats mostly with the idea of entering the void that somehow like a boat go I mean it's very in one way a cliched image of a boat and the sea and the void and and this idea of a captain or in in the so there was a connection with boats and void and then I think a coincidence in a way of the the two large boats and then this piece Big Island you know it went from an island to refer I called it for a while the raft of the Medusa because it began to feel more like a raft than a boat and or then an island and but I think in one way being hugely influenced by Peter wrote in another way not seeing the work and some of the imagery being quite coincidental did you meet him no and we'd Alan capital he was it more well cap Roy Capra was significant I think to LA art in the early 70s in a pretty because calf row comes to LA leaves New York he goes to San Francisco then comes to LA in 1967 or 68 and is one of the main directors behind Cal arts and in Cal arts being a super influential school especially between sixty eight nine in early 70s and I and I think his presence in la-la not being a city that although there's a gal Raines and it certainly has an art scene in terms of galleries at that time it was there was a lot of performance being made I think because there wasn't as strong a gallery scene and also the influence of Kaprow and his presence just in the city was I think pretty important you know what do you think I mean when you move to LA and you were doing already performances huh how do you think your own work stood out or related to what was going on there for me the most symbolic element of your work that distinguishes from anybody else was the idea that you put on a mask that I think it's a huge sort of divide from what was going on with performance before you and in a way after you you know that there is before you there is the sort of naked expressionistic performance and then you start your performance that is masks and so suddenly it's not about the truth it's about a character and any fiction and in a way that masks immediately connects you to Disneyland to to Hollywood and with that simple gesture I think there is a big fracture happening but what was your the way you would place your own work in relation to that community if you did at all and how would you distinguish your own work from I think the minimalism or the objects that I've made and late 60s a both in film and in sculpture but and they were a type of you know minimalism influenced by you know the minimalism at the time but it it I never made a cross into I always referred to the minimalism in terms of the body and that he it was always about minimalism for me was always about a skin with an interior and that the Donald jeder the Tony Smith although the essence was this object it was always encasing an interior and the interior was always some sort of void and and I was always interested in that I couldn't access the void of the interior of minimalism like that was what was critical was not the shape but that it contained a void and then so the pieces I was making at the time were always about indicating that there was something inside and that there was an interior you couldn't access other sculptures at that time might be a cube but it would have a tail coming off that indicated that somewhat you could inside inside that thing was an interior and I referred to the cubes of skulls so I would refer to the like a cube as a skull and other forms were referred to the body and then I hadn't really made I've made a couple of pieces indicating a mask one was just a piece of cardboard with two holes in it and the it hung from a string and it was sort of the first real break out of the minimalism into a performative object in that the viewer could stand at either side and look out these holes but what it was to make reference to or to be poignant about is that I was obsessed with the fact that I look out of two holes in my head and that I forget the skin of the skull disappears and it's it's so there was this thing about the structure of the face and and looking out of holes and so the piece was about somehow referencing the skull and then I I was going to do a performance in the 70s and it was the first time that I did a performance using liquid in an actual videotape and I suggested to the cameraman that he doesn't show my head so it's just from here down and in the next performance I did which was several weeks after that I taped my head up so I covered my head and then I realized that all the actions that involve liquid also involve covering the head and then it wasn't until I think early mid 70s that I begin to use masks and it there is two things going on one is the the the image of the mask and all the masks were just bought it thrift a toy or these gagged stores these Halloween stores and so the masks are usually of whoever is popular at the time whether it's Madonna or Carter or you know whoever's the latest thing and it was just choices made like like a ready-made I just go in and pick one and but quickly by putting on the mask I created another architecture so the mass or different purposes but one was that by putting it on I encased my head made an architecture and referenced the interior or referenced my interior by my interior being inside the mask and it also changes the sound and so although it one way and intuitive act to use a mask in another way for me directly existential like it was a way of isolating and isolating myself at the performance scripted or especially the these first ones and where they always conceived for a camera because I think that's also another major contribution or revolution of yours that a lot of your performances are in a way televised at their own origin they're not I mean some of them had happened live but many of them are conceived just for a camera or yeah I think in the 60s I was really interested in experimental film and influenced by experimental film and was it kind of fetishized cameras I was really into the camera itself and the camera being a type of again a type of brain or a skull the camera this kid the camera itself is a skull and I there was a period where I didn't do much filming of performances when I was in San Francisco in the late sixties it it was a whole period of not filming and the interruption of the camera to the action but I moved to LA in 1970 and at that point I wanted to go to film school and the idea was is that I wanted to make films and make films that were performances and and then it just compounded and I think that as much as the live-action was important to me filming or photographing it was equally important and I and in a way I think I was I have kind of thought of at the time in LA a lot of performance artists referred to their work as sculpture performance as sculpture the body is a three-dimensional thing as a three-dimensional object as a sculpture and I think I was always more interested or something about it as the performance in painting and not just from the act of painting and the action of painting but also making a picture and making a picture was using the camera and so there was kind of two things of this this sort of obsession with filming and photographing the action and the performance and then beginning to use to overlay that into the piece itself the actual film image and then when does the the architectural part especially the use of sets come in because that's I think another one of your greatest again revolutions the idea that the this set like in the garden or in bossy burger that you appropriate actually a television set you populate it with your people your own characters and then you make it into a sculpture hey well the early paintings that I did I thought of him as doors so I would and they they were often painted on boards and I would say their doors or I would say that a painting that was horizontal was a window and so there was these kind of direct references in the sixties of painting to architecture meaning doors and windows and then and and so there's this connection the architecture you know from the sixties and then the films being a lot about the early films being about architecture but then when I moved to LA and I'm I begin to be it by I think the late 70s really interested in in acquiring sets from Hollywood and I was working in Hollywood at the time and being in a soundstage the sets were I was really interested in these sets this sort of convoluted architecture which you go in the front door and there's no living room but you go directly out the back and and these things sort of sitting in these big black empty rooms like voids and they were always you walked around them and this thing of things being filmed inside a soundstage and it being reminiscent of some sort of trap that you can't leave inside a dark space and so the architecture or the use of sets sort of happens in the late 70s and I think I you know television sets are set up like this so that all the cameras look in and they're law sometimes they're even opened up like that and my whole interest was to close them back up to make them so you couldn't leave them so they they really represented a trap that once you're in you can't get out and so it was to use sets but always to recreate them back into a trap it was he bossy blue the first or they gathered no the first use of sets happens in a videotape called mother pig which was in San Diego and I had acquired a set and then they took it back I never got to keep it and then when I did family tyranny and cultural soup I built a set for that so those are both ones late seventies ones mid 80s and then but bossy burgers the first real full set that is kept and shown in a gallery and the garden counts afterwards the garden was an idea before bossy burger but and I was going to do the garden in Roseman Shelton's gallery but then the opportunity came to show it of MOCA so I decided to put the garden in mocha and then came up with bossy burger so although bossy burger was made before the garden the garden is six or seven months before you say the guy I'm sure you remember the garden is this garden or this set actually from Bonanza right the trees were on bonanza and there are this mechanical men that are copulating with one with a tree and another we with the earth and the earth one not that is true – yeah and you said before that he relates closely to Pig Island or in which way well the garden I was it's the two men the the one man with the tree which is which is vertical and then the other man on the ground which is horizontal so it's this vertical horizontal and the one that's humping the tree is an older man and the one that's on the ground is younger and they they the gardens like a rectangle and there's so there this way compositionally in the middle of the garden and both of them are dressed like they're it's lunch break and they're going off to the woods and it's a little like the older man is instructing the younger somehow and there's a sort of collusion I think they're not aware of the outside and then by that they're an island and they they're busy in the inside and in the viewer the trees end up being like shields where you have to the viewer has to look through the trees but by looking through the trees they have to bend so I'll sudden the viewer becomes voyeuristic but they're positioning themselves and it's about it was at the time I was sort of one part of it was I was watching Chicago television and there was a whole thing about that beliefs recieves Chicago television and so there were a lot of Chicago Cubs fans in beliefs and I thought well that's so up that they view in but yet Chicago has no I of beliefs beliefs is aware of Chicago and it's this idea that in a way America was a type of island and so then that became somewhat political but that in maybe he's a sidelight to the thing but it with so the garden in a way is an island and and so the concept of an island has been I've been interested in that because Islands are islands or walled in cities become ways of conditioning and the idea of culture being a condition that were conditioned to reality and which i think is something I've been interested in for a long time you mentioned the fact that in the garden there is an older man teaching to a younger man and throughout your work that is I mean the figure of the patriarch and the teacher are always crucial from the capital of the boat two sailors meet – it's a literally a gallery of patriarchs that you have composed and I don't know if you want to say something about easy the conscious decision like you decided to explore American father figures or or kind of deface them and are you a patriarch yourself at this point who's going to yeah but I I think we're well the same with Big Island in the middle it's there's me in the middle of Pig Island and then I'm wearing the head of bush and so the mask because I wear the mask of bush so it's often in pieces the bodies me and the head is a mask of a patriarch but the patriarch at one point you know in the in the sort of evolution of pieces I've made it's kind of it went from a series of pieces in which it it's me me as a female seemed to be something that appeared over and over again in the 60s then it went to the animals and I kept wearing the masks of animals then it started into patriarchs and the patriarch went on for a while it was a sea captain grandfather presidents you know Carter Arafat like and and then it went to cartoon characters like Popeye and a patriarch but then to olive oil and then it went to Heidi and then you know Pinocchio and Sadhan Saudi socks a tea sack and then Santa Claus a patriarch and then the theme went to cowboys and now you know Snow White and so yeah the patriarch comes and goes and I I don't know whether sometimes it's yeah I'm interested in dethroning the patriarch in a way and that includes myself but it it's also not just the patriarchy but I'm kind of right now really interested in the the personality that the the intangible personality which is like Bush or Mickey Mouse or bin Laden or Anjali Jolie like somehow they're the in touchable and they so something about that that that includes you know the cartoon figure of Donald Duck you know so or Walt Disney or whatever you know so yeah George Clooney I don't know do you think your work is mostly about America or DD exist I mean it's interesting to see so many people here now because and on many level your success began in Europe before the American oh I read I find there is a great coincidence that flash out puts you on the cover in 93 and then our forum with the same photograph puts you on the cover in 2001 around the time of the new museum show with the exact same photograph from the same piece so it's a I think you've got more recognition in Europe early on now was that the case or so do you feel your work is about America it speaks about well I mean over the years of either the question that Campbell come up is how has California or Los Angeles influenced your work and then I don't always say no not really the reality of that is they I think it has so you know there is something about but at the same time I had the choice a long time ago I could have gone to Europe or I could have gone to New York and I specifically chose LA and I think it was because of what la is as type of fantasy mini media world but I think I was interested in the imagery of LA not the architecture I don't think that's so interesting I think the atmosphere of LA is affected a lot of artists in LA the the sky I think that's it's there but I think I was interested in kind of the the the up pleasantry of LA and and almost I was interested in the sort of synthetic goo of the blacks the sort of dark synthetic goo of Los Angeles that I think sort of you I was attracted to that and so in a way I think yeah my work is strongly related to America and to Los Angeles it's hard to know about yeah in a way I start showing more in in Europe as in the sense of the art world but there was a really pretty strong alternative underground in Los Angeles and it to a degree a the art world that I was part of was in Los Angeles and it yeah my work sort of goes into an art world that we think of in this sense it before in Europe before America but I was part of something in LA that at the time felt like an art world yeah and it was an art world you know of other artists and nonprofit organizations and magazines and and a respect for each other's work I guess you know you run a magazine yourself really yeah I ran a magazine and you know in a radio program and stuff like that yeah was it was your work accepted or shown much at the beginning or you had to create your own context to show it in LA well I think most of the early performances were done in my own studio so it I mean I or once in a while in a school or something I don't there was a there was a couple of interesting galleries that I did pieces in but it Europe was much more acceptable in that way to me doing performances that America was yeah maybe before we asked the audience if they want to ask you something actually I had a question about the role of the audience in your work because I you know you went from probably performing for very small audiences life to an idea of performance and sculpture that is quite spectacular that anyway problematize the role of the audience and I think that's quite interesting and I don't know if you have any thought about it the way you also have appropriated techniques from the media and from cinema to in a way to conquer the audience know and to assault it at the same time that is that I thought that that is important for you well I I don't think I made very I mean maybe there was I don't know 10 12 performances where maybe more I don't know 15 performances in which a general public was invited and of those maybe seven or eight of them had just coincidentally were part of some sort of performance festival or somebody knew about it in which there was a large audience and by large I mean not much bigger than this audience and but so the majority of pieces worden for four small audiences and in a number in the end they kind of went to different ways some small audiences were very aware of my work were new me in a way were open to it maybe not I mean some cases they just wanted to with me or something during the performance in a either a friendly way or a shitty way but at least they were aware of it and then there were a number of performances which were done just on the street and to an unexpected like an audience that had no idea what maybe I was and and that kind of performance of both being large and small and people who knew what it was and people who didn't exists up through the 70s and into the 80s and then at when I quit doing for live performances in the late 70s and then it all becomes about making the video but it was always about this thing of you I make a video and people who come and watch the video being made but they're on the outside so in a way they see themselves as watching a film or a video being made but I was interested in that configuration where 50 people or throw any people would be there to watch a film being made they knew it was being done and there are there a particular type of law live audience and then that live audience would always affect what I did and even though it might not mean that I cross Oh in that situation where I cross over and come anthem in some way but in a way their presence really affected what was happening and I've always been interested in or aware that that the energy of people in the room affects what you do but now for example with the inflatables you taken it to a sort of urban scale is that how does de canto Jess you relate to the audience when when you're talking to anybody in a street with a gigantic Santa with a bad plague or when one of your sheet piles flies away from then then I think it's about what an object does yeah and what an object is in a in a space and how people interact with it and then those become they're kind of like event sculptures and you sort of place them and they they sort of activate because they're a bit alive they you can bounce against them they move they people know that they associate inflatables with a particular kind of object or activity and and you know like they end up in parks or in parking lots and is in it there's a slight connection to like a carnival less or the carnival or that and so I'm you know that that's playing a part like it's like I'm making these big sculptures which are rides and that's about people getting in them and it like I made this big cube that spins and it's about someone being inside in a way it goes all the way back to 1969 when I was making the cubes with somebody in with my imagined somebody in it so those are again kind of carnival sculptures like the inflatables and but are meant for people to get inside and that it's a ride and it's something that moves and you know it has a performance like the object is a has a moment where it activates so maybe we can ask the audience if they have any question to enter the conversation well one immediate valuation hello I would be very interested in your relation and/or valuation or estimation of Viennese action ISM and most of all of course autumn ooh I uh well I think with action ISM I think I I know of action as a maybe by the late 60s I think Allan Kaprow had shown me something and but saw very few images of action is iment ill this till the early 70s I think and and I I think it it affected me a lot but at that time I was really in the early 60s I knew of Gustav Metzger and Metzger I'd sort of discovered Metzger by 65 or 66 and also Ralf Ortiz and and vas tel and Capra and then also a Japanese artist named Kudo and so I was aware of performance and and it was interested in in the idea of destruction and art which was a Metzger Metzger had done the destruction in art symposium and so there was already this sort of moving in this direction of a kind of an object being made through an action or a painting through an action or although the word performance wasn't used in a way I was I think the like Kudo it was a single person making like an event or a performance like one person in the room and I think probably the action Esso influenced by Kline and and maybe knew of Goethe Kudo and some of those pieces so I see the action iseven TS and at that time not very many images but enough images to really affect what I was doing and it entered in a way kind of running into something that made total sense to me in in the sense not in with mule a lot I never saw a lot of images of mule and I didn't see the films until much later like the Kurt Crane films in the which would have happened in the mid to late 70s but I think in one way a real influence and another way there it's some of the imagery is very coincidental like I never knew that the mule used masks until way later and in it I think for myself using liquids in a performance starts before I know of them but I always thought that liquids really made something happen and I would refer to liquids as a flux that with the use of liquids it then begins and I equated liquids to the subconscious and that is I think a correlation to mule and maybe you know although I've never asked him or I don't know what he feels about that I've never had a conversation with him but I would say both an influence and at the same time just somebody that I identify with or have correlated and I think there are differences though I in LA I never felt that art cured anything and I never saw myself where I think with the AAA and some of mules ideas that somehow we could change society and I think that's a European village idea that you are in a place where you can affect society and I never believed I could change LA and so I never saw myself in any shamanistic position or any kind of healer of anything and I never saw myself as healing myself so in that way we are quite different I don't see myself as a in art for me is not therapy in the sense that I'm not getting well you clearly know it nothing it's your up but it it so that way it's different and then I was I think quite influenced by the the iconic imagery of of Disneyland of that or television world and then and then the facade of Hollywood and so it is effective or as influential as the action Astana I think the effect of television and Disneyland and Hollywood and this what I think is the black goo or the underbelly of all that or how how how it appears is I mean it's sort of really crochet cliched but how it appears that everything is OK that Disneyland is a dream world and you end like I have this thing where you enter Disneyland and you're in a dream and they refer to it as a dream and and that you are where in my case I think it's a dream that is is only covering something up and and although that's very cliche and we all spout it and know it I think in its reality it's real and from that point of view again it's a I don't come out of Europe it's not a village I come out of LA so it's a different sensibility but yeah I appreciate the word privado bill you're more a symptom than a cure yeah and part of the disease there is another wizard and actually I will do a little advertisement but speaking of the influences of them is a very joyful and optimistic face of your motorized ticket looks like the face of Jeff Koons dick is it in influence it was I influenced by chakra not by Def Con but it looks like the faith of your pig is the same face in Jeff Koons speaking it can be an influence interesting paper you know the piece all jigs look alike I'm afraid I don't know coincidence but you have done and work about it what I just cooked yeah yeah I mean I made a piece about children so there was a question and you are a great transgressor visually as we know not afraid of any image China can you give the microphone and also art historically speaking you transgress any borders and I don't know shall I call you great parochial minimalist the great pop art expression hystrix or expressive pop artist can you tell us more about your transgressions in art thank you I don't know I think she's asking about France maybe if you wanna say something about translations ideas in the history of art I really didn't hear the question so I meant that you trust grants transfers any precip ideas one cannot put you to a drawer what kind of artists you are which I laughs you are not afraid of doing things which are revolutionary in art and can you tell us more about this say something about transgression or maybe not it was a question about trends frustration transgender transgender not transgender efficient transgressing ideas transgender knowledge it no minister transgression transgression right I couldn't hear the question at all I'm sorry I'm sorry next huh yeah yeah it's very noisy on yes okay easier easy one um I like what you said you know about Disneyland I was going to say is it's a bit like Disneyland after dark after dark we can't hear can you hear us can you hear me now yeah okay I said I like what you said about Disneyland in your work I was just going to follow on and say it's like Disneyland after dark it's all like this quirky sort of horror story that Walt Disney never really wanted to show that you've shown what I wanted to ask is can you hear me okay the question is is basically the social imbalance in America today where the rich get the richer in their own sort of fantasy world and the poor get the picture where there is bread lines and the whole sort of middle class is just collapse do you see that very much in your work the rich get richer and the middle classes collapse yeah and it's all your fault now but maybe in general is it bana lies in question but does your work have a political position or should I have a political position should our going to have a political position I well it yeah you know the question is is it I don't know whether art should have a political position I don't know because it's it's so subjective that way and artists do what they do and they come in all kinds of colors or whatever you know and uh personally I see the politics enters the work like you know in a way what I made Pig Island I wasn't going to put George Bush up on the pirate having sex with a pig I actually was going to put another head up there and then I couldn't figure out how big the head was that I was going to put up there and I had this bush head and I said I'll just put Bush up there and it was really to determine scale but of course once Bush was up there he never came off and he you know like then I then I got into trying to sculpt Bush's face and I spent I think I spent two years sculpting Bush's face trying to figure out what he looks like what his mouth was what his eyes were and it the same with Anjali Jolie I I had nothing against Angeline Jolie other than I was really interested in that she was a celebrity and it was about celebrity her status as celebrity not her status as human being Bush's case I think they become way more connected Bush is who he is and I so but I was sculpting I started sculpting Anjali Jolie and then I started sculpting Bush and I spent a year sculpting Bush and then I put Bush back up on the pig or back up on the guy the pig and then I realized I didn't want Bush there a and then I tried to because it was too Bush it was too Jim and then I tried to distort his face to abstract it so I cut his nose off thinking that in some ways they would disguise the Bush character take him out of the piece but then it only made it was like the act of cutting off a nose is an act of you know at the same time that I I cut off the nose of Bush and then that was announced it was a program a radio program in which there was a woman whose brother her brother and her lover to punish her cut off her nose in her ears and I went whoa it's such a violent act to cut off the ears in the nose and it's a punishment like you destroyed the face but in a way I was distorting the face to get to an abstraction but then it's a punishment so the the act of making the abstraction made a violent act or the image of violent act and the the the act of punishment Bush's punishment and so you know the pie it's I think I'm always like everything else it's just filtering through and so the political content or political thinking is always inherently a part that the to the thinking of art or the thinking of what art is and the thinking of politics and conditioning and they just get mingled together they become inseparable and I do I think of myself as a political artist I just think of myself as an artist and what I do is is often inseparable from the world I live in so there are two questions there and somebody with a microphone maybe we do like it we take two or three questions all together and then we end yeah okay hello hi can you hear me oh yeah good okay yeah I got it um yeah I have had a question regarding the you said that the first time that you showed like a set from one of you in front of one of your films as a bossy burger can you hear me do you hear me okay bossy burger right was the first time you showed like the set of a film in a gallery you said and okay my question sort of in follow-up and like the film the painter you have these like gorgeous giant bottles tubes of paint and actually the painting itself that you make in the film did these objects ever enter the art market like art is that painting existing today as a something that's traded on the market um well the what happened to the painting the sets of bossy burger and the painter I will bachi burger I kept for the in my studio for I don't know 10 12 years and at one point the set was sold as a whole thing and the painter was sold as a whole sculpture those kinds of pieces although I've made I don't know seven or eight of them the reality is is that three or four have entered the art world had gone into collections for the most part those big sets haven't sold but it does how it has happened yeah they were never separated you know parts weren't take it out as a joke in painter when I did at one point when the painter at one point kind of came up somebody inquired about the cost of the of the piece and I remember I said well it's this much for the whole piece but if you buy the paintings it's three times as much and you don't get the rest of it so you told you talked about Allan Kaprow and detail wrote we had a big influence on you but what was the influence of John Baldessari on you did he did he have an influence on bother sorry I I didn't know Baldassare very well until the well I knew a Baldessari's work and I I was always interested in his work but I don't think it's work was an influence in a real way on me but I was interested in his work at that time the artists like Baldassare Ian Ruppersberger dead rachet and that type of conceptualism of LA I was interested in but I was interested in other artists more so but I've always respected his work nopal told me a great story that when our tip over at the book came out he bought him with a friend and they split it because it was too expensive so have had a half of the book yeah and they would read it halfway through and then it was a timeshare book yeah yeah it was a time to look I don't know what was in the other half so maybe if we get the last question or last two questions no I can't hear me either okay um it's very straightforward so your work is full of sex and Cox and fetishistic materials and I want to know what you find interesting about sex that's straightforward what you find interesting about sex in your work your work not like my doctrine what I find interesting about sex in my work yes ah I don't know yeah um I I think is that the subject of sacks in my work is it goes back it was really interested in in in in the 60s in Reiki and therapy and so and I was really influenced by I think this book the mass psychology of fascism and so there's that part that it's sort of like oh yeah there's the answer I believe this one and and then at the same time that this the thing of there's an early sculpture I made in 1970 which is they were made in the same room and I I didn't connect I connected them but I didn't realize how kind of critical it was I had I had made this videotape in which I there were swinging doors in my in this studio I had like these big swinging doors and I I covered the inside of the doors that swung with cotton and then it was taped to the door like cotton was wrapped it in taped so that you ended up with this door that had this big white cotton entrance that so when it hit and it kind of it was about making the doors quiet but it was really about making this image of of like a vagina or a like an opening like this vagina going like this and then at the same time that same day or week I taped a big stick to the wall like a just a you know two gaffers tape and taped it to the wall and the two things of the vagina in the room that you went through and the stick hanging off the wall this dick and and that those two imagery have gone through my work ever since the the pole as the dick and a lot of pieces they're swinging doors and the swinging doors or the doors or the vaginas and and this kind of combination going back and forth and then and then sculptures now in which holes are dug out and the hollowing out and making the hole and then the protruding pipe and the and the stick and then at the same time it's a there's a lot of imagery about the the Placid penis that it's not a rat and that it's this kind of impotent the inputted dick and then the erect weapon and then the whole and it reappears all the time it's been there since the sixties and it's in all through the work and is it's like I said I'm not cured I just obsess on it all the time and relationship Egon and I can say it's also a lot about consumption you know I always hear that in Italian also in English you say a wedding is consumed or cons you say it's consumed right yeah and I always thought it's a creepy word choice to say that a marriage is consumed it's it's a form of consumption and in pig island particularly there is this sort of equation between Kentucky Fried Chicken boxes sex celebrity and you know coming from Italy where my prime minister manages to consume our wealth accumulate wealth for himself and consume various marriages I think that peace also resonates quite interestingly with you know sex as a currency or sex as a form of consumption and you know after all also the mechanics of celebrities are all based on our desire of sex with them but frustration of that desire so I think it's also you know very much related also to a tradition of sex in the work of Duchamp I think and sex as he drew Alex in a way not yeah times and tubes and you know over the years it's it other layers have happened and how I associate like like the pig humping over and over again and then consumption over and over again like it's the same gesture and so I connect the two the ingredients of ketchup and mayonnaise and liquid and the bottle being phallic and you know not just that they it's it's different than pop to me it it the psychology of advertising or the psychology of consumer objects and and making something you know it finds itself connected like humping a mayonnaise bottle with a ketchup bottle is different than a Campbell's soup can on as a sculpture was a question there also hello hi I'm actually more concerned interested in your ideas of completion a completion there's a lot of talk about the process and sort of these performative aspects and all the detritus you see in your completed sculptures and your sculptures never really look completed they always look in flux you have your coffee cups and you're mixing tubes and everything on the table and just you know cover it up and and they look like almost never completed and I'm just curious if your of your take on completion of a work completion of a sculpture is it complete is it will it ever be complete and thank you pieces do seem to just I know that like in performances or something it's just a point where it just ends it just seems to be going and in all sudden it just the end just happens it just feels like there's nothing else like the airs out of the bag and and then they kind of know that with sculptures or it works the same the air is out of the bag it just sort of comes to an end and what's interesting to me is is that sometimes a piece will go on for a long time 10 15 years and then what's also interesting and sometimes the bet the airs out of the bag it's over and then all sudden with is in the way that I didn't see the air coming out of the bag I then all sudden don't see that it's starting to fill back up and two years later I'm back on the piece so it changes my view of when something is completed and I I don't you know like things seem to start back up and pieces sometimes feel like they never end even though they stop for a while then start again so that's maybe a good place where to end yeah this thank you so much thank you those of too bad is it it was a coup by Kipnis Lego fainted off some little questions that we're lost she was a nice suit

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