PAUL McCARTHY Blockhead 2003 [R/P] - x +
McCP2003bloc

CN: McCP2003bloc

MT: rock candy bar: glucose (Ø:3x23)

DN: Mr. Megakles Rogakos - 2005

CM: Blockhead was one of two sculpture installations Tate commissioned in 2003 of American artist Paul McCarthy. Displayed between Tate Modern and the River Thames, Blockhead served as an imposing sight. Passersby likened McCarthy’s sculpture to a licorice sweet, a bouncy castle and a balloon. Not a surprising comparison, considering McCarthy draws on popular culture, including fair grounds, for inspiration throughout his career. Despite the fact that the 35-meter high Blockhead resembled a traditional bounce, the inner structure was significantly different. Blockhead was created in sections around a steel frame, which sat on a concrete base. Visitors were able to enter Blockhead. Once inside, the public found itself in a square room with two vending machines. The machines offered thick black sticks of rock - of which this is one - with the word 'Blockhead' running throughout. McCarthy claims Blockhead is based on Pinocchio. The sculpture shows a character sitting on a pile of books. Instead of a head, the figure boasts a square block with a long pointy nose, not unlike the candy in question. Although Blockhead's size appeared overwhelming, it was actually dwarfed by the Tate building as well as the entire city of London. The artist hoped it would actually look like a black hole from a distance.

[Megakles 09/2005]

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