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.
C.S.S.C. Coach Stage Stage Coach VR experiment Mary and Eve
CSSC – It Begins the Coach the Skull is the first episode of the 20+ episodes or features of CSSC/DADDA. The subject of Paul McCarthy’s film is bullying and abuse. Six passengers in a stagecoach travel through a Western landscape moving in a continuous loop. The passengers are Ronald Raygun, Nancy Raygun, Mary Magdalene, Jesus Chryst, Adam and Eve.
The passengers constantly drink whisky and threaten each other. The conversation in the coach is repetitive, absurd, and abusive – repeating clichés of identification that are used by authority figures and tyrants; “What’s your name? Where do you live?”. The action between the passengers progresses to sexual abuse primarily directed at the two innocents, Adam and Eve. The performance is a form of abstracted appropriation, a tool to critique, to peel the onion of what is.
Created by Paul McCarthy an directed by Paul McCarthy & Damon McCarthy. Cast: Paul McCarthy as Ronald Raygun; Kerry Wieder as Nancy Raygun; Jennifer Daley as Eve James Skinner as Adam; Rachel Alig as Mary Magdalene; Johnny E. Lee as Jesus Chryst.
Stage Coach spin-off
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 produced in collaboration with Khora Contemporary. This piece is 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.
Through the VR medium McCarthy displays a perversion of the real – a reality, which already exists imbedded in mass culture and violent contemporary imagery. The viewer’s repulsion and discomfort is intensified as they are caught up between their own terrible fascination with such confrontation and their helplessness in front of it, when immersed in the uncanny dream like world McCarthy has constructed. Characters interact with viewers and invade their physical and psychological boundaries. Like the Wild West this is a world without constraint encouraged by the persistent self-exaltation of American civilisation and masculine identity. Exposing the obscurity at the heart of mainstream culture, McCarthy’s ‘C.S.S.C. Coach Stage Stage Coach VR experiment Mary and Eve’ probes systems of gender, politics and popular culture that more or less unnoticeably rule our world.
American artist Paul McCarthy is known for his provocative performances, multi-media installations, sculptures, and films. His work fuses high and low culture and corrupts conventionally innocent figures from myth, folklore, and popular iconography. Religious or fairy tales characters are made perverse and perform taboo sex acts, creating a sharp, yet comical criticism of American mythology and accepted societal norms.There’s a € 1.50 discount on all films in the VR supporting programme when you hand in a ticket for the VR show at the counter.