Paul McCarthy: Central Symmetrical Rotation Movement at the Whitney

In Paul McCarthy’s Central Symmetrical Rotation on realized as an installation at the Whitney, uses architecture to create perceptual disorientation in the viewer through spinning mirrors, rotating walls, projections, and altered space.

In Bang Bang Room (1992), the space almost seems to come alive as the walls of a free-standing domestic room move slowly in and out, the doors in each wall wildly slamming open and shut. The violent thundering echo of the slamming doors harmonized by the disjunction of the empty room. For me there was something calming in the violence of this piece.

In Spinning Room (2008), first conceived in 1971, but being realized for the first time for this show, live images of viewers are rotated and projected onto double-sided screens that appear infinitely reflected on four surrounding mirrored walls, enclosing the viewer in a wildly disorienting space. In Mad House (2008), being created for this show, a room spins disconcertingly on its axis, an office chair twirling wildly in the inside as the outside spun around it.

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