Paul McCarthy b. 1945
Black and White Tapes, excerpt (1972) Paul McCarthy in UbuWeb Sound
1970-75, 32:50 min, b&w, sound

This compilation of thirteen early black and white performance tapes from the 1970s reveals the nascent development of the themes, the raw physicality, and the performance personae that mark McCarthy's well-known later works. In several pieces, McCarthy uses his own body as a tool to examine the process of making art: He becomes a human paintbrush as he drags himself across the floor while holding an open can of white paint; he violently whips the walls and pillars of his studio with a large paint-soaked sheet. Often the artist uses his naked body, body parts, and body fluids in conceptual exercises. These performative acts can be overtly confrontational, as when he repeatedly spits directly onto the camera lens. Other pieces involve more subtle contradictions and inversions of objects, motion, light and shadow. -- EAI

This title is available for exhibitions, screenings, and institutional use through Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), NY. Please visit the EAI Online Catalogue for further information about this artist and work. The EAI site offers extensive resources for curators, students, artists and educators, including: an in-depth guide to exhibiting, collecting, and preserving media art; A Kinetic History: The EAI Archives Online, a collection of essays, primary documents, and media charting EAI's 40-year history and the early years of the emergent video art scene; and expanded contextual and educational materials.