Fire-Breathing Robots Bring Anarchy to a Chelsea Art Gallery

Fire-Breathing Robots Bring Anarchy to a Chelsea Art Gallery

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“People have told me that they would be a big art-world phenomenon,” Mr. Pauline said, referring to his creations. “But people have been telling me that since 1979.”

A detail of “Rotary Jaw With Squirrel Eyes.”

Credit
Vincent Tullo for The New York Times

That was the year he began his idiosyncratic career as a maker of heavy equipment for manufacturing mayhem and a choreographer of bizarre, occasionally unauthorized performances. Animal remains were sometimes incorporated. Explosions, intentional and otherwise, were not uncommon.

The authorities were frequently involved. On YouTube, you can watch video of Mr. Pauline being confronted by a fire marshal after a 1992 performance before a groundbreaking at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.