Pirates have been making front page news lately. No, I’m not talking about that dude who uploaded Chinese Democracy to his website before its official release date. I’m talking about those bad motherfuckers off the coast of Somalia who are hijacking oil tankers, seizing cargo ships, and are turning lawless portions of the Red Sea into their own personal playground.
Here in L.A. we’re facing a very different infestation of pirates, courtesy of maverick artist Paul McCarthy and his son Damon. Continuing tomorrow and Saturday, REDCAT is presenting the multi-screen Caribbean Pirates, which their literature describes as “the McCarthy studio’s sprawling survey of the pirate figure in American popular culture.”
Sounds fun, right? Well, avast ye scurvy scalawags, prepare to be boarded!
For those unfamiliar with the work of Paul McCarthy, he’s probably best known for his performance piece Bossy Burger, in which he plays a chef in an Alred E. Neuman mask who moves through a kitchen like Texas Chainsaw Massacre’s Leatherface and covers himself head to toe with ketchup, mustard, and other condiments. He also raised a lot of eyebrows in the early ’90s with The Garden and Cultural Gothic, two installation pieces that use animatronics to explore an intimate relationship between between a man and a tree, and a young boy and a goat, respectively. And just last Christmas he made headlines by opening a factory in New York that churned out naughty chocolate butt plug-carrying Santas.
So, time for a pop quiz to see if you’ve been paying attention.
Q: Should you take your kids with you to see Caribbean Pirates?
A: As Doctor Evil might say, “How about ‘no?'”
But you’re guaranteed to see some stuff you won’t soon forget. Screenings start at 8:30 p.m. and tickets are available here.
And before you go, please note this is not the full-blown animatronic Caribbean Pirates that opened in Munich’s Haus der Kunst in 2005 and also included a full-scale pirate frigate. This is just the filmed portion of that multimedia experience. But as as consolation prize, the artists will be there each evening to talk about their work. Hopefully one day L.A. will get a chance to see the entire installation. Until that sweet day, be thankful for this. And drink up me hearties, yo ho.