‘Rocky’ as you’ve never seen him before…

Paul McCarthy, still from 'Rocky', 1976

Discovering a Paul McCarthy video amidst ACCA’s current Gestures and Procedures exhibition was a welcome relief after suffering through Bianca Hester’s ‘experiential’ trash next door.   Leg of Lamb loves a bit of smut and
McCarthy never fails to disappoint.

Tucked in between projections of Mike Parr’s 1970’s performance pieces and Daniel von Sturmer’s elegant modernist videos, McCarthy’s offering is decidedly base.  ‘Rocky‘ features the naked artist repeatedly punching himself in the face and smearing ketchup where the sun don’t shine.

McCarthy’s performances often rub people up the wrong way (ahem) but there’s something perversely pleasing about watching a grown man behave in such a puerile manner.  McCarthy abandons ‘normal’ codes of behaviour and reverts to a primal form of existence in which pleasure (and pain) is achieved simply, directly and without inhibition.

Gestures & Procedures, ACCA, 111 Sturt Street, Southbank, Melbourne, until September 26.

‘Rocky’ as you’ve never seen him before…