HANDS ON: Paul McCarthy

The following activity ideas can be used to engage audiences in a hands-on approach to processing the ideas presented in the artist's film segment. They were compiled from our Educators' Guides and Screening Toolkits. Activities include not only visual art strategies but writing, research, and other disciplinary methods. Additional resources and strategies for teaching with films and working with contemporary art can be found in Teach.


"White Head Bush Head," 2007. Vinyl-coated nylon fabric, fans, and rigging, 299 1/4 x 360 1/4 inches. Installation view at Foundation The Hague Sculpture, The Hague, Netherlands. Photo by Gerrit Schreurs. © Paul McCarthy. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth, Zürich London.

McCarthy says that making videos is like making paintings, but he distinguishes between the different kinds of narrative they produce. Discuss this idea, and create a two-dimensional painting or collage on a chosen theme—using popular imagery and objects—and then translate the image into a video or sequence of images.


SEGMENT: Paul McCarthy in "Transformation"

Distort or destroy a work of art you created, in order to make something new that conveys a different or opposing message.


"Bossy Burger," 1991. BBQ turkey leg, television, stage set, bowls, cooking utensils, chair, counter, milk, flour, ketchup, mayonnaise, dolls, chef costume, rubber Alfred E. Neuman mask, and video, dimensions variable. Performance, video, and installation at Rosamund Felsen Gallery, Los Angeles. © Paul McCarthy. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth, Zürich London.