July 2008: Decision Mayor and Elderman: Santa Claus on his way to public space

Santaclaus, loved and hated, will be placed in the heart of the city, at the Eendrachtsplein.
Many parties wish to provide either a temporary or permanent home for this now famous sculpture (semi-) public sculpture. Various neighbourhoods in Rotterdam have expressed a willingness to accommodate McCarthy’s sculpture, and other cities have requested to borrow the work. Soon (expected in the first half of 2008) Sculpture International Rotterdam will advise the City Council about locating the work.

For a discussion (in Dutch only) about the siting of Santaclaus in the city, see the AVRO’s broadcast Kunst van de straat (Art of the street): broadcast AVRO

In his essay De Wraak van de symbolen (The Symbols’ Revenge), Max Bruinsma discusses the case of Santaclaus in Rotterdam in relation to the dilemma about the use and function of symbols in the public realm: ‘“Kabouter Buttplug”, as Paul McCarthy’s controversial sculpture is known to the public, has touched a sensitive chord: it’s symbolic meaning is not understood “on the street”.’ According to Max Bruinstra symbols have meaning only within their own set of codes. That artists seek to provoke has become disappointing because it leaves open the question of social responsibility. read article

More about Paul McCarthy:

The artist is represented by HAUSER & WIRTH website HAUSER & WIRTH

Works by Paul McCarthy were exhibited in Ghent in Belgium from 13 October 2007 to 17 February 2008. The travelling exhibition Head shop/Shop head Works 1966-2006 was also shown in Sweden (Stockholm) and Denmark (Aarhus). website S.M.A.K.

Works by McCarthy were shown at the Middelheimmuseum in Antwerp in the summer of 2007. The exhibition AIR BORN comprised enormous inflatable sculptures including a large red version of Santa Claus with Plug (2007, h 24.2 m). website Middelheimmuseum

Publicatiedatum: 12/05/2015