Matthew Barney – De Lama Lamina (From Mud, A Blade) Edition
In 2006, Deutsche Guggenheim presented an exhibition entitled All In The Present Must Be Transformed which sought to show the affinities between the works of artists Matthew Barney and Joseph Beuys. To accompany the exhibition Barney produced an edition based on his 2004 film project De Lama Lamina. This was one of his first films after completing the Cremaster Cycle and was carried out as a live performance piece at Carnival in Salvador de Bahia in collaboration with the musician Arto Lindsay. The performance draws inspiration from deities of the local Candomble region. The two gods are Ogun, the deity of war, who possesses iron tools which he uses for both building/cultivating and also harvesting/killing, and Ossaim, the god of the forests and healing. In this respect these two gods can be seen to represent to opposing sides. Central to the carnival procession is a behemoth forestry truck which holds a giant redwood in its claws, as if just torn from the ground, representing the modern day destruction of the rainforest. From this tree, hang Ogun’s seven iron tools, and climbing in the branches a woman who represents the eco-activist Julia Butterfly Hill. Whilst the truck makes its way along the carnival path, a man (called Greenman, perhaps representing Ossaim) is harnessed to the undercarriage. This figure interacts with the truck and performs sexual acts whilst plants growing from his orifices grow and bloom. Taken together, these motifs represent a hybrid of the two gods and make a political statement on how the forests are treated by man.
A 15 minute section of the film, entitled Hoist, was released in 2006 on the DVD Destricted, which includes works by many other internationally renowned artists such as Richard Prince and Marina Abramovic. This DVD was initially banned in the USA due to it’s explicit nature but has since been released and is now internationally available.
The edition takes the form of a box containing ten postcards and a rosewood veneer with a stamped polyurethane backing which depicts the tree and Oguns tools. The postcards are production stills, studio shots and drawings and came in an edition of 100.