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"Piccadilly Circus"Paul McCarthy

November 19, 2009

Artist Paul McCarthy describes the improvisational process and performances behind the video work Piccadilly Circus (2003).

Filmed at an unoccupied London bank before being renovated by Hauser & Wirth gallery in 2002, and shot several months before the start of the Iraq War, the work features costumed players in the roles of President George W. Bush, Osama Bin Laden, and the Queen Mum (in three versions).

More information and credits

Credits

Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Bob Elfstrom. Sound: Doug Dunderdale. Editor: Lizzie Donahue & Paulo Padilha. Artwork Courtesy: Paul McCarthy.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Interested in showing this film in an exhibition or public screening? To license this video please visit Licensing & Reproduction.

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Paul McCarthy

Paul McCarthy’s video-taped performances and provocative multimedia installations lampoon polite society, ridicule authority, and bombard the viewer with a sensory overload, of often sexually-tinged, violent imagery. With irreverent wit, McCarthy often takes aim at cherished American myths and icons—Walt Disney, the Western, and even the Modern Artist—adding a touch of malice to subjects that have been traditionally revered for their innocence or purity. Whether conflating real-world political figures with fantastical characters such as Santa Claus, or treating erotic and abject content with frivolity and charm, McCarthy’s work confuses codes, mixes high and low culture, and provokes an analysis of fundamental beliefs.

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Paul McCarthy

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Paul McCarthy

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Paul McCarthy

In this interview, conducted in Los Angeles in 2009, Paul McCarthy discusses his videos, from early productions like Ma Bell (1971) up through later works like Bossy Burger (1991).

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