anna mccarthy



"You’d love to keep me hustlin’ for ya, huh, wouldn’t ya? I mean, a couple more years with me scufflin’ around in them little towns and those back alleys, you might make yourself enough to get a little pool room back in Oakland, six tables and a handbook on the side…Lay down and die by yourself."

A Hustler’s Diorama is a ramshackle state with a place to sleep, just enough to eat and a place to hide when the drop from the sky has been hard sailing right down now…. Paraaaa….aw…shoot ! Wrap those wounds, never pout, go on scavenge, find new cracks in that pavement; loopholes within this opaque ort. This place is not made for me; it’s made for shiny, squeaky clean people. No trust when i walk in to a house of mirrors. An evil eye on dirty fingernails and scuffed front shoes. All those free thinkers ain’t got it easy on the Western front. Oh boohoo me, no no keep on going young poet. Down and out, laying low waiting for the big show to roll down that runway. Why go to these shiny big blinking places when small square meters, no windows and no free days are what’s waiting for you ? Well for the hope, the hope of something better. But i tell you what: something better is a load of nothing; it’s covered in it. Gather your excrements in glass jars and tupperware; preserve what you can, whilst you can. It’s got a leak! Why is it all cordoned off by plastic narrow walls, blinking lights ? Do you really want to be that, go there and give that satisfaction ? Not me, no sirree. Who needs a lincoln limo, bloody marys with crabs, roofs with lights and hardons on sundays or swims in salty water with paper cutouts ? No, no not me, only in sweet dreams. Luna loony park right like a dagger through my heart, Oh Joey, it’s a real steeplechase, watch out for the empty cans and tent poles when you’re looking up at that stormy cloud. Oh he spun a clam on his fingertip, and I… and I kissed it. Fall from a height in a sky tinged with red, pink and yellow.I think mine has holes in it today. Gonna pause for now. They keep us apart from the other kids. We’re baaaaad bad seeds with a penny for the gal. Remember, remember, what no ? Wrong country. How’d I get here without the 01 ? A cry for help, save me someone from my dream, This is the plate I eat from, this is the food I am forced to eat, this is the things I hang from my ceiling to ward off the mean ones. They blink and shine and rattle. Ramshackle, backle, dackel back home. Good night. Sleep tight, don’t let those bed bugs bite.


"Charlie: It’s quiet.
Eddie: Yeah, like a church. Church of the Good Hustler.
Charlie: It looks more like a morgue to me. Those tables are the slabs they lay the stiffs on.
Eddie: I’ll be alive when I get out, Charlie.”

Text by Anna McCarthy

Quotes from the film ‘The Hustler’ (1961) by Robert Rossen

Commissioned for the exhibition 'First We Take Manhattan', Rathausgalerie Munich


anna mccarthy

Security check to enter hustler's diorama

anna mccarthyChildren parade the grounds

anna mccarthy

Take off your shoes please before going through security anna mccarthy

Steeplechase to get to where you want to go


anna mccarthyYes the rabbit fence is electrified anna mccarthyIt's a pretty panorama

Corn on the cob in milk tupperware, bicycle chains, 1 cent frame and broken magic wand

anna mccarthy

Bottle top leather jacket accessory

Suitcase of collectables