Memory Mistake of the Eldridge Cleaver Pants was created for the show Paul McCarthy’s Low Life Slow Life Part 1, held at California College of the Arts’s Wattis Institute in 2008 and curated by McCarthy himself. In homage to an influence in his early career, McCarthy attempted to reconstruct a pair of pants worn by Black Panther revolutionary Eldridge Cleaver in a picture that appeared in Rolling Stone magazine in the 1970s. But in the process, McCarthy misremembered their original design of the pants, which had black outer panels and white inner panels in white, and left a black shape highlighted in the crotch area. Instead, McCarthy’s reconstruction divides the pants vertically in two black and white sections. McCarthy’s mistake speaks not only of the fallibility of memory but of a certain kind of queerness that resists any categorical—“black or white”—definition. Memory Mistake’s use of aesthetic formalism, error, subjectivity, and social history can be seen to challenge the tropes of modernism and art history.