windWhat a buzz doing these wind sculptures.

Ref: Art New Zealand 75, Winter 1995:

“Albert McCarthy’s work is the only piece that addresses institutionalized, naturalized commodity production and what Baudrillard calls ‘the advertising led semiologisation’ of culture. The token and purely aestheticising relationship to nature seen in Telecom and Air New Zealand commercials contrasts with McCarthy’s violent image of the shot bird gouged into the side of his pine and plywood kinetic pieces. McCarthy performed a ritualistic and literal ‘bastardisation’ of his material by firing a shotgun into it (arranged under police supervision). The resulting pellet holes, combined with knife slashes and ugly splashes of paint, symbolize the impact of corporate, globalizing technologies on the ecosphere that is precisely the unseen, the repressed, of those television commercials.

When working for the Forestry Service McCarthy witnessed the burning of native bush in the Tapawera Ranges using a fuel concoction similar to napalm. The use of pinewood indexes this ‘slash and burn’ mentality and the upward thrust of the pine limbs, pointed like projectiles, references the imposition of such techno-military codes on the land. The upward movement thus becomes the spirit leaving the land, the life force of Papatuanuku that humanity is not deserving of. There is a sadness at this departure, and the movement of the work in the wind has connotations of both the loss and the presence of that force.”