Museum of Modern Art (Moderna Museet) is a state museum for modern and contemporary art located on Skeppsholmen island, a setting of natural beauty. Opened in 1958, the building was designed by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo. In 2009, the museum opened a new branch in Malmö in the south of Sweden, Moderna Museet Malmö.
Moderna Museet is a state museum with a national mandate for modern and contemporary art. The collection is at the forefront of its kind in Europe. The museum is a meeting place for people and art with a strong foundation in society and the world at large. With its world-class programme of exhibitions, collection-based projects and educational activities, Moderna Museet has substantial local presence and international reach. The exchange with other art institutions around the world is extensive.
The Stockholm Museum of Modern Art is a state administrative authority under the Ministry of Culture, and has, according to its instructions, the task of collecting, preserving, displaying and communicating 20th and 21st century art in all its forms. Moderna Museet shall promote international contacts through collaboration with institutions outside Sweden in the form of touring exhibitions, and shall also be responsible for Swedish participation in international art biennials. The Modern Museum is also a central museum, with national responsibility in its area.
The Moderna Museet was inaugurated in the exercise house on Skeppsholmen, May 9, 1958. The Superintendent of the National Museum, Otte Sköld, reminded in his inaugural speech that as early as 1908 the problem of current local art in the National Museum had been taken seriously and the idea of a new building for these collections. Shortly before his death, Otte Sköld saw for himself the museum realized and his commitment to creating the new museum had been decisive. Together with, among others, the Friends of the Modern Museum, which was founded in 1953, he gave the National Museum’s collection of 20th century art its own home. The museum’s driving superintendents Pontus Hultén and Olle Granathcame with their contacts and initiatives to pursue these intentions in the following decades.
On 14 February, 2004, the museum building was reopened with festivities. In addition to repairs, the opportunity had been taken to improve some of the spaces, partly to make it easier for visitors to move through the museum, and partly to utilise the upper entrance space more adequately. At the same time, the museum’s graphic profile was updated. Another major new feature at the reopening was the introduction of museum hosts – people who have a variety of skills, from life-saving to being able to tell visitors about the works of art in both the permanent and temporary exhibitions. The reason for introducing new hosts was to cater for the large increase in visitor numbers since the admission fee was abolished.
In 1901 architect John Smedberg established a beautiful electricity plant building on Gasverksgatan 22. Nowaday, the mission to transform the building into a more appropriate museum went to the award-winning architect firm Tham & Videgård Hansson Arkitekter. They chose to establish a new annex – a contemporary addition to the historic building. And give the interior an entirely new spatial order.
Moderna Museet’s passion is to mediate art for people. To embrace, challenge, and inspire people and we are driven by an ambition to speak with many. Moderna Museet inclusive and to celebrate diversity by recognizing that people arrive from different starting points. Moderna Museet engage a broader audience through sharing the wonder of art.
Moderna Museet has a long-standing history of hosting international artists for groundbreaking exhibitions, performances, and other presentations, as well as through its world-renowned collection. Experience one of Europe’s foremost collections of art from the twentieth century to today, featuring works by artists including Picasso, Dali, Derkert, and Matisse.
The extraordinary power of art is our lifeblood. Art arises in and reflects its own time. It enables questions that generate new perspectives; artists are an enormous force and stimulate broader creativity. Moderna Museet champion art because it forges new paths and enables a reflective view of both history and the present.
Moderna Museet wasa stimulating platform for people and art, to be a vibrant, open, and dynamic museum that exists as a spirit, one that offers audiences elevant, engaging, and direct ways of encountering art on equal terms. Moderna Museet inspire, and create space for new ideas by being a stimulating platform that makes world-class art accessible to a broad audience. We set new standards for art museums worldwide.
Moderna Museet collect, preserve, display, and mediate modern and contemporary art. Moderna Museet manage our cultural heritage based on the highest standards of excellence and generate research that leads to high-quality international collaborations and recognition. Moderna Museet is a leading institution within our field and we believe in sharing our knowledge.
Moderna Museet’s collection, research, exhibitions, mediation, and communication must complement and fertilize each other; these activities cannot stand alone. Moderna Museet define ourselves on the basis of the contexts in which we are involved. Our aim to make the greatest art available to as many people as possible must rest on sustainable practices that take into account environmental and social impacts. Moderna Museet must be driven by the courage to experiment, dare to push boundaries and take new paths in the way we manage our tasks.
With an art collection comprising more than 130 000 works, Moderna Museet (Museum of Modern Art) is Sweden’s leading museum for modern and contemporary art. Moderna Museet has one of Europe’s finest collections of modern and contemporary art. The collections contain contemporary painting, sculpture, photography and art film from 1900 onwards, and in the case of photographs also from around 1840.
By combining international masterpieces by artists such as Warhol, Picasso and Dali with temporary exhibitions by prominent artists of the 20th and 21st century, Moderna Museet manages to attract many returning visitors for an ever-changing art experience. The original collection was dominated by Swedish and Nordic art, American art from the 1950’s and 60s, and French-oriented modernism, however, the collection has been extended to include more female artists and to create a more versatile collection with works from all over the world.
The Moderna Museet arranges several large exhibitions in both Stockholm and Malmö each year, a number of medium-sized and smaller exhibitions. In 2012, the museum in Stockholm had around 500,000 visitors and the museum in Malmö over 100,000 visitors.
Since the start in 1958, the Museum has been known for its close relationship to artists – Marcel Duchamp, for instance, signed several of his works in Stockholm towards the end of his life, and Andy Warhol had his first solo museum exhibition in Europe at Moderna Museet in 1968.
The Moderna Museet collection now comprises some 6,000 paintings, sculptures and installations, 25,000 watercolours, drawings and prints, 400 art videos and films, and 100,000 photographs. The Collection covers paintings, sculptures, installations, films, videos, drawings and prints by Swedish and international artists from the 20th and 21st centuries, and photography from the 1840s until today.
Thanks to focused collecting initiatives, the Museum has successfully increased the breadth and depth of its collection. Back in 1963, The Museum of Our Wishes was launched, transforming the Museum instantly into a leading European art institution; the government contributed SEK 5 million, for the acquisition of iconic works by Giacomo Balla, Francis Picabia, Kurt Schwitters, Giorgio de Chirico and many others. A few decades ago, the exercise was repeated, but this time spotlighting women artists only – works by Louise Bourgeois, Dorothea Tanning, Judy Chicago, Susan Hiller and others were added to the collection.
Only a fraction of the collection can be on display. But it allows us to explore and reformulate the standard art historical narrative through new insights and constant changes in the exhibition. This includes Moderna Museet Malmö, with its innovative angle on selecting and showing works from the collection since opening in 2009.
A large art collection is the best possible starting point for visual and intellectual experiments. Moderna Museet, as an open and living museum, is constantly rewriting the standard history of modernism by frequently rehanging its collection in radical new ways. Since 2009, the Museum has two locations, Stockholm and Malmö, where innovative selections of works from the collection have been featured regularly since the opening. A few of the iconic works, such as Henri Mattisse’s Moroccan Landscape (Acanthus), Robert Rauchenberg’s Monogram, and Eva Hesse’s sculpture Untitled, are nearly always available for check.
Explosion! – Painting as action
Explosion explores the rich and complex cross fertilisations and borderlands of painting, performance and conceptual art. It traces this expanded idea of painting as action from late 1940’s until today. The exhibition will include works in different mediums by some 45 artists from many parts of the world such as the important Japanese Gutai group, among others Shozo Shimamoto, Sadamasa Motonaga, Saburo Murakami and Kazuo Shiraga, along with artists as Allan Kaprow, Jackson Pollock, Niki de Saint Phalle, Yves Klein, Ana Mendieta, Alison Knowles, Rivane Neuenschwander, Yoko Ono and Lawrence Weiner.
After the second world war, a number of painters in different parts of the world began to attack painting’s fundamental assumptions in ways that were at once both aggressive and playful. Many artists attached as much importance to the creative act itself as they did to the painting that resulted from it. On this borderland between painting and performance, chance or the spectator were often recruited as co-creators of the work. This experimental, conceptual attitude to painting and art subsequently inspired a lot of other artists. In recent years, interest in performance art has increased, and with it interest in its roots.
Ignasi Aballí (1958)
Ignasi Aballí’s work Persones consists of a long line of dirty footprints along a wall. They were made by the artist leaning against the wall and resting one foot languidly against it. The work also serves as a kind of choreography, since the audience is invited to complete it by leaning against the wall and leaving dirty footprints on the normally spotless, white museum wall. Aballí is consumed by the issues of absence and disappearance, and various ways of capturing time. His practice is often conceptual, based on his background as a painter.
William Anastasi (1933)
Back in the early 1970s, William Anastasi began working on a series of blind drawings when he was on New York subway. Often, he was on his way to John Cage to play chess. With his sketchpad in his lap and a pen in each hand, he would put on his big earphones and close his eyes to concentrate and achieve a meditative state of mind. His body moved with the lurches, stops and accelerations of the train. Like a seismograph, Anastasi registered the changes in his position. By making himself into an instrument for registering the movement of the train, he renounced his authorship of the drawings. The title of the work is the time when it was made.
Janine Antoni (1964)
Janine Antoni uses her hair as a paint brush to paint the gallery floor with Loving Care hair colorant. Antoni explores the daily rituals we perform on our bodies. She takes everyday activities, such as eating, bathing and mopping the floor, and transforms them into sculptural processes, imitating the rituals of art. She carves her teeth and paints with her hair and eyelashes. The materials she uses are ones that are normally used on the body to define it in society – soap, lard, chocolate and hair dye. Their particular significance to women means that her works are interpreted differently depending on the gender of the viewer, she claims.
John Baldessari (1931)
Being the son of a landlord, John Baldessari occasionally had to redecorate flats. He used to pretend he was making a painting when he painted a wall. This enjoyable conceptual exercise helped him get through the monotonous chore. He also began thinking about the difference between one kind of painter and the other. In Six Colourful Inside Jobs, Baldessari lets a person repaint a room for six days in the six primary and secondary colours, filming it all from above. Hours of painting becomes minutes of film. The title is a pun. Inside Job alludes to a Hollywood detective drama. The time corresponds to six working weekdays. Like God, the painter gets to rest on the seventh day.
Lynda Benglis (1941)
In Lynda Benglis’ series of works, Pours, paint is poured from large vats and left to dry on the floor. Thus, the paint has the character of a sculpture, dried paint with no “support” in the form of a canvas or panel. Unlike Pollock, the painting is not hung on a wall but is installed directly on the floor. In addition to their painterly and sculptural qualities, Benglis’ works are also a commentary on Pollock, which is further enhanced in the pictures published in the American magazine Life in 1970, together with a smaller picture of Pollock painting.
Olle Bonniér (1925)
Olle Bonniér first showed his work at a legendary group exhibition in Stockholm in 1947. Two years later, in 1949, he created the work Plingeling, which is both an abstract painting and a music score. This white painting could be seen as an iridescent universe. The dots arising in this universe have irrational orbits, occasionally colliding with each other so that a tinkling sound arises. Plingeling does not contain any explicit instructions for how it is supposed to be played, and the result is different every time it is performed. Bonniér’s work is an early example of performative painting, a work created as a painting but incorporates instructions that can be transformed into music.
George Brecht (1926–2008)
Water Yam is an artist’s book that Georg Brecht published originally in 1963, in a box designed by George Maciunas, who wrote the Fluxus Manifesto. This box, which is sometimes called the Fluxbox or Fluxkit, contains cards of different sizes that are event scores, or Flux scores, for various kinds of happenings. The scores often leave room for chance or coincidences, forcing the user, or the audience if the score is performed publicly, to make their own interpretation and thus become co-creators of the work. Brecht said that his scores were meant to ensure “that the details of everyday life, the random constellations of objects that surround us, stop going unnoticed”.
Tony Conrad (1940)
When Tony Conrad arrived in New York in the 1960s, he was sceptical of the art scene but discovered the vibrant film scene, finding it more interesting since it was independent of the art institutions. Conrad wanted to combine film with the exciting new developments in painting. One of his strategies was to make ultra-long movies. Andy Warhol had made films that went on for 24 hours. Conrad’s work Yellow Movie is a film that has been going on for 40 years! The idea is that the cheap paint gradually changes colour over time. No one can measure the change taking place in the “movie”, but this is of no consequence, since it is taking place in your own imagination, says Conrad.
Öyvind Fahlström (1928–1976)
Öyvind Fahlström was a multifaceted artist who worked experimentally and in several disciplines. He was a visual artist, a writer, a film-maker and a composer. His encounter with pop art and the comic book culture in New York in the early 1960s had a radical impact on his art, and he began making variable paintings in the form of board games. Games were his way of illustrating political, social and economic power constellations. Viewers are intentionally invited to move the markers and elements of the paintings to form new combinations.
Ceal Floyer (1968)
Ceal Floyer’s main preoccupations are light, shadow and colour, and how we perceive and interpret the world with our senses. With a prolific use of modern technology, she creates idea-based works that combine elegance with apparent simplicity. Here, the monitor screen is entirely filled with interchanging colours. These are in fact close-ups of a glass of water, into which brushes with different pigments are dipped. The pigments correspond to the basic colours of video technology. Thus, Floyer brings together analogue and digital colour.
Pinot Gallizio (1902–1964)
In 1959, Pinot Gallizio’s manifeso for industrial painting was published. Industrial art was to be produced mechanically and be made available to everyone. Art was to be made among the people, or not at all. The idea was that thousands of kilometres of canvas would be mass-produced and then distributed to the people, to liberate them from the bourgeois art that had led to financial speculation and contributed to perpetuating the class divide. Quantity and quality would become one and the same thing, thus ending the artwork’s status as a luxury commodity. Gallizio was also a founding member of the radical leftist art movement known as situationism, which wanted to liberate art from its role as a fetishist commodity of capitalism.
Cai Guo-Qiang (1957)
Cai Guo-Qiang uses gunpowder and fireworks to draw pictures in the air. Sometimes these works last for a few seconds, sometimes the explosions leave traces on paper or canvas. Since 1989, Guo-Qiang has been making “projects for extraterrestrials” monumental explosive works directly on the ground, so that they can be seen from other planets. In 1998, Guo-Qiang carried out a project on the frozen waters between Moderna Museet and the Vasa Museum: a trail of fuses and gunpowder made the waters between the two islands part for a moment, like the Red Sea in the Bible, when Moses led the Jews to the promised land.
Sadaharu Horio (1939)
Sadaharu Horio showed his work for the first time with Gutai in 1966. With more than 100 exhibitions and performances annually, he stresses that exhibitions are not a separate situation but an extension of life, and that day-to-day activities are basically a performance. Each moment is different and irreplaceable. Horio devotes himself to the possibilities of the moment with the openness of a child. In a continuous ritual, he covers the everyday objects around him with paint every day. To avoid having to choose colours, he sticks to the order of the paints in the box, and thus evades any personal trace. This painterly ritual could be taken over by anyone and perpetuated eternally.
Yves Klein (1928–1962)
For Yves Klein, the colour blue represents emptiness, sky and sea – the intangible. Nearly all his works are monochromes in his signature colour, International Klein Blue. He used a special binder that does not affect the lustre and intense character of the pigment. Klein’s anthropometries are paintings made with an audience, like performances. The models painted directly on each other’s bodies and pressed themselves against the canvas, or dragged each other across it, like living brushes. Klein is said to have got the idea of painting as a direct imprint of the body on seeing a stone in Hiroshima with the shadow of a human being burned into it by the atom bomb. This sight may also have inspired his fire paintings.
Akira Kanayama was the secretary of the Gutai group. He jokingly said that the position involved so much work that he had no time to paint and instead let a remote-controlled toy car paint for him. The resulting Work (1957) can be seen as a critique against Jackson Pollock’s drip paintings, with which they have some resemblance. In Kanayama, the male genius who expresses his feelings with paint is supplanted by a toy car that randomly zooms around the paper, leaving a trail of paint, or, as in the work Footprints, where the artist’s soles have left tracks on the paper. Kanayama thus challenged the artist’s personal relevance to the quality and ingenuity of the work.
The Black and White Tapes are a compilation of 13 early performances from the 1970s. This selection shows the budding development of themes, the brutal corporeality, and the performance persona that has come to signify his oeuvre. Like Hermann Nitsch and the Vienna actionists, Paul McCarthy explores loss of control, but without the ritual elements and with direct links to Hollywood superficiality and material abundance. Common to both Nitsch and McCarthy is that the liquid form (paint) is not directly limited to a canvas but spills in such a way as to resemble body fluids that suddenly and catastrophically appear all over the place.
In the early 1970s, Ana Mendieta began creating silhouettes and “earth-body sculptures” out of mainly blood, earth, fire and water. Using her body as her tool, she made human imprints on nature. Her performances were documented on film. Ana Mendieta was the first to combine the two contemporary movements of land-art and body-art, resulting in works involving the themes of life, death, place and belonging. Mendieta’s ritualistic use of blood, gunpowder, earth and fire is also linked to the Cuban religion of Santería. As a thirteen-year-old, Mendieta was sent from Cuba to the USA, where she was raised in orphanages. Her search for identity and a sense of belonging imbues Mendieta’s entire oeuvre.
Saburo Murakami was a co-founder of the Gutai group and one of its most seminal members. He formulated the group’s concept of outdoor exhibitions and created performance acts in which he challenged painting by moving its boundaries and exploring whether the genre could go beyond paint on canvas. The work Six Holes is a literal and theoretical blow against painting. The artist has made holes through multiple layers of brown paper stretched on a frame, using various parts of his body. The result of his experiments was new kinds of “paintings”, a first artistic attempt to renegotiate the relationship between performance and object.
Rivane Neuenschwander calls her art “ethereal materialism”. She uses everyday materials to express the passing of time, the fragility of life and human relationships, often allowing chance and interpretative processes to determine the final result, as when she asked two chefs to create a meal based on a shopping list she found on the floor of a supermarket. In the work Secondary Stories (2006), brightly-coloured circles of tissue paper are wafted above an inner ceiling with fans. Now and then, they randomly fall to the floor, forming new patterns like drops of paint.
The Vienna Actionists’ theatrical and aggressive painting performances and body art combined art with rituals and religion. In many respects, Hermann Nitsch’s works are like classical dramas, with their striving for catharsis, a form of healing purification through suffering. They offer resistance to the fact that modern Western man is so far removed from the rituals that caused ecstasy with its cleansing and regenerative effect. According to these ideas, we cannot experience great joy unless we can also experience pain, grief and fear. The practices of the Vienna Actionists can be seen as part of the Austrian expressionist tradition, with elements of Catholicism, psychoanalysis and rebellion against the bourgeois, hierarchical social order.
Niki de Saint Phalle
In the early 1960s, Niki de Saint Phalle shook the male-dominated art scene to its foundations with her Shooting Pictures (Tirs). In these works, she covered paint containers with thick layers of plaster on a wooden board. She then fired a rifle at them from a long distance; when the bullet hit the containers, the paint ran out randomly on the plaster. The act of shooting became an exceedingly intentional act that could also be seen as a performance. Describing the act, Niki de Saint Phalle said she was shooting at all men, her brother, society, the Church and school.
When Jackson Pollock had his breakthrough in 1947, he had converted to an entirely new and revolutionary way of painting. Placing large canvases directly on the floor, he dipped brushes and sticks into pots of liquid paint and let it drip onto the canvas as he moved around all four sides of it, while listening to loud bebop or other jazz music. This method, he said, was related to Native American Indian ritual sand paintings made with coloured sands that were strewn in beautiful patterns. For Pollock the act of painting itself was as important as the finished work. His way of painting was called Action Painting, and he is regarded as one of the seminal abstract expressionist.
Robert Rauschenberg, Niki de Saint Phalle
In May 1961, the exhibition Movement in Art opened with a party. Niki de Saint Phalle had attached a myriad of paint-filled bags to a theatre backdrop, on top of which she placed a plastic sheet and a carpet, to form a dance floor. When the guests began to dance, the bags burst, creating an abstract painting. After the party, Robert Rauschenberg and Billy Klüver (founder of Experiments in Art and Technology, E.A.T.) were the only remaining guests. The painting was still lying on the stage. They took it outside, and Rauschenberg suggested that they could improve the work, and perhaps attract the attention of a cab driver, by spreading it across the road. Several passing cars left tyre tracks on the canvas before a cab finally stopped.
Carolee Schneemann is a pioneer of performance and feminist art. In the early 1960s, she used her body as artistic material and was the first American artist who worked with “body art”. In Eye Body she appears nude, smeared in paint, grease and chalk. Transferring painting from the canvas to her body, Schneeman challenges the contemporary female role and the prevailing attitude in art to the female body as an object to be depicted and looked at. She has been criticised for being drastic, but her spectacular works always have a purpose. As both the subject and object of her paintings, she reclaims the power over the female body and sexuality. In addition to performances, Schneemann makes assemblages, films, videos and installations.
Eclipse – Art in a dark age
Eclipse, a darkening of the sun, describes both a situation in society where many of the ideals of the Enlightenment appear to be abandoned – and an artistic approach. The artists in this exhibition of international contemporary art share a lack of faith in a didactically enlightening culture; hence the metaphor in the title.
The artists featured use installation, sculpture, performance, video projection and painting as their media to explore and formulate subjects that are dark or irrational. Many of them have a special sense of the absurdity of life, resulting in a refreshing sense of humour. Existential issues concerning the condition of mankind is the starting point. The exhibition pursues two main tracks: one sombre, mystical and terse, the other more anarchic and burlesque.
Eclipse is both a statement and a question about art today. If artists in the 90s were preoccupied with reality, a stance that could be expressed, for instance, in documentary strategies and relational aesthetics, many artists today are more interested in speculation, in reflecting the incomprehensible. It may sound drastic to say that we are living in a dark age. But after 11 September, in an era of political upheaval, we are seeing a rise in intolerance. The exhibition highlights art that is not political in a simplistic way, but asserts its right to say the wrong thing, art that uses the license of fiction to experiment.
The Belgian artist Michaël Borremans (b. 1963, living in Ghent), who is best known for his paintings and drawings, is featured with a number of works in his characteristic neo-surrealist style. The subjects are people who appear to belong in a sepia-toned past, bent in concentration over some enigmatic task. The titles of the works add to the mood of uncertainty about what sort of scenes we are looking at, such as The Advantage, showing a young man in a straitjacket.
The enigmatic quality in Borremans’ paintings has a correspondence in Anri Sala’s (b. 1974, living in Berlin) video works, often shot in semi-darkness. In one of his works, Ghostgames, two people are involved in a game on what could be a beach in the dark, where they use flashlight beams to entice, or pressure, crabs to crawl between the legs of the opponent – thereby scoring a goal. The lack of information in the images suggests questions and sharpens the senses.
Nathalie Djurberg (b. 1978, living in Berlin) creates video works set in a grotesque universe of figures made out of modelling clay. The format of the films is like kids’ TV, but the characters – often distressingly obese women – are involved in brutal assaults. Djurberg is currently featured in a solo exhibition at Fondazione Prada in Milan.
Dana Schutz’ (b. 1976, living in New York) paintings also conjure up a strange, possibly post-apocalyptic, world inhabited by grotesque survivors, such as the ‘auto-canibals’ who perform surgery on each other, the ‘gravity fanatics’ or those who are simply ‘into Jesus’. Formally, she navigates lithely between the various styles in art history. Her paintings are often based on ideas that serve as challenges, apparently impossible subjects for painting.
Ellen Gallagher’s (b. 1965, living in Rotterdam and New York) works De Luxe mix historic and mythological characters made of old advertising pictures aimed at African-American readers. A few of her watercolours from the series Water Ecstatic are also featured. The series is based on a myth about submarine humans – a special species that developed from pregnant slaves who drowned on the Atlantic passage of the slave trade.
Tom McCarthy (b. 1969, living in London) is the secretary general of the INS – International Necronautical Society, a pastiche on early 20th century avant-garde artist groups. The INS is featured with a report – Calling All Agents – from one of the group’s meetings in Austria, perpetrating the idea that art contains subversive messages that are political dyamite. A new, site-specific audio work by McCarthy will be presented in Swedish in the audioguides that are normally used to guide visitors through the collection.
Lucas Ajemian’s (b. 1975, living in New York) works allude to art as a bearer of coded messages. With his brother, the jazz musician Jason Ajemian, he creates a performance in the church on Skeppsholmen which will be video filmed and shown in the exhibition; they play the Black Sabbath classic Into the Void from 1971, backwards, together with a ten-man orchestra, with reference to the myths claiming that this would reveal hidden, satanic messages.
Mike Nelson (b. 1967, living in London) also collaborates with a group – in his case, the fictive biker gang The Amnesiacs, which consists of Gulf War veterans with amnesia. The members “help” Nelson create works that reconstruct their memories, as in Amnesiac Shrine – a large spatial installation that was acquired for the Moderna Museet collection with funding from the Friends of Moderna Museet, as a 50th anniversary gift.
In his performance-based video works, Paul McCarthy (b. 1945, living in Los Angeles) portrays father figures that are both menacing and pathetic; a doll’s head resembling Alfred E. Neuman or a bloody, sneering pirate, in a sort of Disney World that has run amok. Magnus af Petersens’ collaboration with Paul McCarthy in connection with his retrospective at Moderna Museet in 2006 was one event that inspired the concept for Eclipse.