Xtended, Eye Filmmuseum

July 25 – August 11, 2019


Paul McCarthy

Eye Filmmuseum sharpens the senses with Xtended, an ongoing programme dedicated to VR installations by international artists and filmmakers. Renowned makers have pledged their participation in the series. It is the first time that a museum has devoted structural attention over several years to virtual reality as a cinematic art form.

Paul McCarthy’s VR artwork featured as part of this ongoing programme. First exhibited by the Faurschou Foundation during the Venice Biennale in 2017, ‘C.S.S.C. Coach Stage Stage Coach VR experiment Mary and Eve’ (2017) is a virtual reality experiment based on McCarthy’s on-going project, ‘Stagecoach’, or ‘SC’ for short. Encompassing a wide range of different media, the project includes a new film CSSC: Coach Stage Stage Coach, inspired by John Ford’s Western Stagecoach of the same title from 1939 starring John Wayne.

Taking the form of a spin-off of Stagecoach, a phenomenon associated with the entertainment industry, the VR work builds on a scene from the film. The scene involves two characters, Mary (played by Rachel Alig) and Eve (played by Jennifer Daley), whose movements McCarthy captured using stop motion technology. The viewer is propelled into the claustrophobia of constant surveillance by the two women and their doubles, entering into a vicious hallucination of a psychological mind game. All social conventions break down as the plot unfolds and escalates into a psychosexual trip of rape and humiliation.

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