360: Paul McCarthy

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Paul McCarthy, C.S.S.C. Coach Stage Stage Coach VR experiment Mary and Eve, © Paul McCarthy and Khora Contemporary. Courtesy of the artist, Hauser & Wirth, Xavier Hufkens and Khora Contemporary
Paul McCarthy, C.S.S.C. Coach Stage Stage Coach VR experiment Mary and Eve, © Paul McCarthy and Khora Contemporary. Courtesy of the artist, Hauser & Wirth, Xavier Hufkens and Khora Contemporary

About

American artist Paul McCarthy is known for his provocative performances, multi-media installations, sculptures, and films. His work fuses high and low culture and corrupts conventionally innocent figures from myth, folklore, and popular iconography. Religious or fairy tales characters are made perverse and perform taboo sex acts, creating a sharp, yet comical criticism of American mythology and accepted societal norms.

Commissioned and produced by Khora Contemporary and first presented at the Venice Biennale in 2017, C.S.C.C. Coach Stage Stage Coach VR experiment Mary and Eve revisits McCarthy's ongoing series "Coach Stage Stage Coach" and led to 11 variations of the piece in virtual reality.

The artist used motion capture technology to record the movement of actors Rachel Alig and Jennifer Daley. Viewers are propelled into a dream like environment in which a group of female figures endlessly appear in different stages of a seemingly looping narrative in which they taunt each other physically and emotionally. Characters interact with viewers and invade their physical and psychological boundaries. In this claustrophobic overload, VR users are caught up between their own terrible fascination with such confrontation and their helplessness in front of it.