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Tools for Destroying Paintings II- 2006

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Published on Jul 18, 2007

The art-destroying stuntman hijinks of Tim Folland spring from the cartoon antics of Wile E. Coyote. At the center of his video installation, "Death-defying Dervish Gangbuster Rebel" is the stupendously resourceful, maniacal idiot Goldhead, who, in his oversized helmet mask with hooked little nose, bears a striking resemblance to Richard Nixon.

Elmer Fudd also comes to mind. Or the infamous Unknown Comic from the Gong Show. In successive attacks on the paintings lining the gallery walls, he wields such tools as The Asskicker, a gargantuan swinging foot, and the grossly industrial, Dr. Seussian Stuntman Fling machine, which throws his little Understudy headlong across the room. The results are perversely inefficient. But Goldhead nonetheless plays the crowd with bravado. And they cheer. They roar. They laugh. This video is a tightly edited well-paced and highly entertaining spectacle, a cross between a standup routine and a sports highlights video. Buster Keaton meets Evel Knievel.

The video was shot on site at the gallery. The aftermath of Goldhead's jubilation remains, but the bangs, tears and bruises the artworks sustained appear to have spilled over from the cartoon world. In one, the contour of Understudy's body rips cleanly through the wall. These together with the tools of destruction, also on display, are a boisterous assembly. Goldhead's theme song, "The King of the Crash Boom Bam" echoes his triumph.

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