At the Object in Transition panel at the Getty Center in L.A.: Paul McCarthy (far left) discusses the sheep plug that hangs over his head like a dagger. “The dark stuff is hair,” he said. We hope he means wool. (Photo by San Suzie.)
A who’s who of contemporary art conservation gathered at the Getty Center last night to hear Rachel Harrison, Doris Salcedo, Paul McCarthy (the man who brought the world the chocolate Santa butt-plug), curator Elizabeth Sussman (of Gordon Matta-Clark, You Are the Measure fame) and conservator Christian Scheidemann talk about conservation and contemporary art. Harrison discussed the problem of removing cobwebs from chicken beaks and replacing cans of exploded grape soda. McCarthy pondered the aging of ketchup. In between, Salcedo bummed everyone out with a long discourse on the meaning of the concentration camp in modern society as expressed by her installation Neither. Scheidemann, who has worked extensively with all of the panelists (as well as Robert Gober, Matthew Barney, and the late Jason Rhoades), repeatedly exclaimed, “The artist is always right!” But if the artist makes a piece out of some unstable, melt-able compound that freaks out at the slightest variation in temperature, how “right” are they?
Find out how to preserve your chocolate butt-plug after the jump.
PRESERVING THAT CHOCOLATE SANTA BUTT-PLUG SANTA IN FOUR EASY STEPS.
- Take it straight from the gallery to the coolest place in your house.
- If it gets hot, put it in the refrigerator.
- If you remove the sculpture from the fridge, gently blot water condensation with a soft cotton diaper.
Paul McCarthy discusses Sheep Plugs, an installation he and Jason Rhoades made, consisting of butt-plugs made of sheep fat. They stored the pieces in a cave in Strasbourg where they grew mold and became a safety hazard. So as not to get the CDC involved, they now reside in a sealed, air-conditioned container. From left: Paul McCarthy, Doris Salcedo, Elizabeth Sussman, Katherine Harrison, Christian Scheidemann.
The view of L.A. from the Getty tram: Wouldn’t this look great as a 10′ tall x 8′ wide image, done in Jujubees on velvet with rain splatters in melted ice cream? Hopefully I will know how to preserve it by the end of the night.