Malcolm McLaren (1946-2010)
made his film 'Paris: Capital of the XXlst Century' the year before he died.
It is his final work - a vibrant collage made up exclusively of footage from old French TV adverts, with McLaren narrating, set to music from his album 'Paris' and original music from the ads themselves. It has never been shown before in its final form in the UK.
Malcolm McLaren was an influential creative presence in the world for over thirty years. 'Paris: Capital of the XXlst Century' finalises the narrative of his life, much of which he mythologised through lectures, radio programmes and television documentaries.
McLaren's journey and forays into the world of radical visual arts started in the 1960s when he attended art school in London, and culminated with his two films 'Shallow' and 'Paris: Capital of the XX1st Century' which he described as 'musical paintings'. His inspiration came from many sources, vital to which was that of the Situationists. Guy Debord, the most influential figure in the Situationist International, played a key role in catalysing the May 1968 revolt in Paris. A generation on, McLaren was living in Paris and in the film he expresses Baudelaire's idea of the flâneur and Debord's ideas about commodity, banality and spectacle for a post punk society.
McLaren opened up the frontiers between artistic and wider cultural attitudes by taking fashion and music out of their respective contexts and translating them into new formats that captured the wider popular zeitgeist. A closer look at his seemingly disarticulated, exuberant and streetwise oeuvre shows it to be consistent and, in its own way, profound.
The screening of 'Paris: Capital of the XXIst Century' will be introduced by writer and curator Paul Gorman in conversation with David Thorp. Gorman was a friend of McLaren and is his biographer. He has recently completed 'Derek Boshier: Rethink/Re-Entry', a monograph of the British artist Derek Boshier.