PRINT December 2005

Alison M. Gingeras

1 PAUL MCCARTHY, “LALA LAND PARODY PARADISE” (HAUS DER KUNST, MUNICH) After years of intensive toil in his Pasadena studio, McCarthy delivered an epoch-making exhibition based on his two pet obsessions: pirates and cowboys. All the signature McCarthy elements were present, and then some: monumental installations-cum–film sets (the pirate ship, the houseboat), the conflation of historical trauma and kitsch Americana (US cavalry troops channeling the SS), live bacchanalian performance (a parade featuring horse-drawn covered wagons and a lederhosen-clad Bavarian oompah band), and mindboggling storyboard drawings, as well as a series of new autonomous sculptures (standouts included an anatomically correct mechanical pig). This show was spectacular not only in the scale of its execution and ambition, but also in the dense layering of conceptual conceits, which allowed viewers to get something

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