We’ve already played ‘what’s in that crate’ this month but when we saw the Mother of all crates sitting in the Neue Nationalgalerie our resolution crumbled.
Even in the enormous ground floor space this was a monster, towering above the two guards assigned to its care. Around the edge of the gallery was a small city of smaller (in the loosest sense of the word) crates some of which had the initials McC on them. Please make it Paul McCarthy we said to ourselves. And a week later, it was so.
The crate, or The Box as it is titled, is the size of McCarthy’s studio c.1999 and that is exactly what it contains: all the stuff that was in his studio at the time, just as it was, frozen in place.
But wait, there's more.
The box is set on its side with the studio floor ending up where one of the walls would have been. With no sign of computers or the digital world (it’s all old video cassettes, tape recorders and ring binders) McCarthy’s box is a crazy gravity-defying time capsule.
Images: top the crate (box) ready to be filled and right the crates containing the fillings. Bottom left a guard looks into The Box as exhibited and right what she sees