Thursday, April 17, 2014

Battleship Bilbao

Mike Bouchet and Paul McCarthy have collaborated on "a set of drawings based around Frank Gehry’s Bilbao Guggenheim Museum." 

"The artists had both long felt that the general form of the museum obviously looked like a warship. In these drawings, the Museum is depicted as a battleship, or has battleship details added; large artillery cannons, helicopter and fighter jet staging areas, as well as visitors and museum staff in naval uniforms."

Above, a selection of vandalized posters on view at Galerie Parisa Kind, Frankfurt. Also in Frankfurt, at Portikus (below) the artists have incorporated their own Battleship Bilbao into an enormous installation devoted to "analogies of war, military defense structures, and armed forces . . . hinting at the U.S. domination of the visual arts industry since World War II" (Written prose by curators, as here, tends toward the vague and random. Language is their tired servant, forever pushing the same mop around the same floor. To write that Bouchet and McCarthy are "hinting" (with their didactic art of deliberate crudeness) at many decades of cultural-political-military-economic aggression by the United States is like saying the Three Stooges are "hinting" at male violence while bashing heads.)