Fashion.Art.Books

An archive of my ever expanding book and print collection

Tag: Matthew Barney

Matthew Barney – Sammlung Goetz Catalogue

This book was produced in collaboration with Matthew Barney to accompany the 2007 exhibition of the Goetz collection of Barney’s work. In this exhibition the Cremaster Cycle was presented as a soundscape installation where all five films were played at the same time in close proximity as an immersive experience. In addition, his latest work (at the time) Drawing Restraint 9 was shown. The catalogue, takes you through the exhibition with numerous installation shots (including the vitrines for all of the Cremaster films) and texts; there are also interviews with Barney himself and composer Jonathan Bepler who creates the scores for Barney’s work. The catalogue itself is very different to the standard format Barney uses. The edges of the book are dyed turquoise and the covers are wrapped in silk with the title stamped on. The book was limited to a few thousand copies but is still available at many online bookshops.

Matthew Barney – Cremaster 2

Cremaster 2, released in 1999, was the fourth installment of Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle. The film has a circular narrative that intertwines the life and death of murderer Gary Gilmore with Harry Houdini who was rumoured to be Gilmore’s grandfather. Throughout the film bees are used as an allegory of Gilmore’s struggle with his destiny. The film opens with a seance where the spirit of Houdini is summoned and the conception of Gilmore is seen. The film then progresses to the murder of the gas station attendant that resulted in Gilmore’s capture. In this sequence, two Mustangs are joined together on a gas station forecourt, depicting the relationship between Gilmore and his partner Nicole Baker, both of who owned similar cars. The shooting of the station attendant moves the narrative to the trial and to Gilmore’s execution which is portrayed as a bull rodeo to the death on the Utah salt flats. In death, Gilmore’s life is linked back to Houdini through the depiction of his grandmother meeting with Houdini at the Columbian Exposition Hall, an act that sets in motion the circular narrative.

The catalogue produced for the film contains numerous production shots, drawings and associated artwork. As with all of his books, it was lavishly produced with numerous 4 panel foldouts and comes in a blue plastic slipcase, embossed with the Cremaster 2 emblem.

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Cover

Matthew Barney – Pace Car for the Hubris Pill

Pace Car for the Hubris Pill is a catalogue that was designed by Matthew Barney to accompany his exhibition of the same name that toured Europe in ’95-96. The exhibition included his well known films Cremaster 1, Cremaster 4 and Drawing Restraint 7 alongside lesser known earlier works OTTOshaft, Facility of Incline and Facility of Decline. As with many of Barney’s books, it included stills from the films alongside associated drawing and sculptures. The book contained a number of gatefold pages and the book was held inside a screenprinted vinyl casing, a common feature of many of Barney’s books. The print run was limited to 2500 copies, making the book highly collectible.

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Matthew Barney – The Cremaster Cycle (Beaux Arts Catalogue)

In 2002, Matthew Barney presented his entire Cremaster Cycle for the first time in France. The exhibition, held at the Musee D’Art Moderne’s ARC site, combined the films with sculptures, drawings and site specific installations related to the films. To accompany the exhibition, Beaux Arts created a catalogue that highlighted the themes of the individual films; whilst it only runs to 32 pages it is oversized, well printed and contains a plan of the exhibition along with an essay.

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Beaux Arts

Beaux Arts

Beaux Arts

Beaux Arts

Beaux Arts

Matthew Barney – Drawing Restraint 7

Matthew Barney produced Drawing Restraint 7 in 1993 as a three channel video installation. In the video, three satyrs travel in a limousine through the tunnels of New York; in the front seat a hairless kid satyr chases its own tail, whilst in the back a ram and a ewe satyr wrestle each other. The concept of a drawing restraint is embodied by the fighting satyrs battling to try and use each others horns to draw an image of themselves in the condensation on the cars sunroof. The video comes to a head when the satyrs and the car upholstery are flayed, a final punishment for an act of hubris (a recurring motif in much of Barney’s work); trying to recreate their own image. The video, along with drawings and photographs associated with the project, was shown at the 1993 Venice Biennale where Barney won the Aperto prize for his work. The catalogue to accompany the project was published by HatjeCantz and has since sold out.

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Cover

Matthew Barney – Cremaster 1

Cremaster 1 was the second film in Matthew Barney’s Cremaster Cycle to be produced, created one year after Cremaster 4 which I have previously covered. The stage for this film is the Bronco Stadium in Boise Idaho, Barney’s hometown. In this film, a troupe of dancers stand on the bright blue AstroTurf of the playing field whilst two blimps fly overhead. In each blimp are four air hostesses that sit and tend to a table covered in grapes with a sculpture at it’s centre. Underneath each table resides the Goodyear character, occupying both blimps at the same time. From beneath the tables Goodyear starts to pry a hole in the tabletop, through which she collects the grapes. As the grapes fall to the ground, the camera switches to the playing field below where the dancers recreate the pattern formed by the grapes in the blimps above. As the pattern of the grapes shifts, so too do the dancers. As the grapes and chorus girls form the field emblem of the Cremaster Cycle, Goodyear appears on the field holding two smaller blimps, the dancers then change formation to depict the undifferentiated gonadal state that is reinforced by the blimps above and the sculptures on the tables.

The catalogue accompanying the film was produced by Kunsthalle Wien and is now out of print. The book contains numerous stills from the film along with images of drawings and sculptures associated with the project.

Matthew Barney – Djed (A Libretto for Ancient Evenings)

Matthew Barney’s latest project is a re-imagining and re-interpretation of Norman Mailer’s Ancient Evenings as an opera performed live in seven acts over a number of years. This epic undertaking transposes Mailer’s hypersexual story of Egyptian gods and the seven stages of death and reincarnation on to the rise and fall of American car industry, casting Cremaster 3’s 1967 Chrysler car as the main protagonist in the first act, REN. In this act we witness the dismantling and destruction of the Chrysler as its badges and emblems are removed, signifying the first stage of death, Ren, the loss of your secret name. In the second act, KHU, the Chrysler Imperial is reincarnated as a Pontiac Firebird which makes its way through the streets of Detroit before crashing over the side of a bridge into the river below. The “body” of the car is ceremoniously transported down the Detroit river where it is then fed in to the furnaces of a disused steel mill. The resulting molten iron is then released and poured into a cast of the underside of a car. Throughout all of these performances characters come and go performing the opera, created in collaboration with Jonathan Bepler who also worked on the Cremaster Cycle. Another returning collaborator is Aimee Mullins who takes on the part of Isis. For the remaining acts, the performances will move from Detroit to New York and will be performed over the coming years. Whilst the project was conceived as a live action piece, Barney has been filming each of the performances which will hopefully be exhibited in the future.

In 2011, Barney had a solo exhibition at Gladstone Gallery in New York, at the centre of which was the cast of the car created during the Khu performance. In addition a number of drawings were presented which map the development of the project. As part of the exhibition, Barney produced a libretto, a short form booklet describing the project and the performances to date. In addition to the text, the booklet also contained a number of shots from the performances along with images of the sculptures and drawings. The libretto was produced in an edition of 2500 and was given away free as part of the exhibition.

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

Matthew Barney - Djed

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.

Matthew Barney - De Lama Lamina (From Mud, A Blade)

Matthew Barney - De Lama Lamina (From Mud, A Blade)

Matthew Barney - De Lama Lamina (From Mud, A Blade)

Matthew Barney - De Lama Lamina (From Mud, A Blade)Matthew Barney - De Lama Lamina (From Mud, A Blade)

Matthew Barney - De Lama Lamina (From Mud, A Blade)

Matthew Barney – New Work

This catalogue accompanied Matthew Barney’s first major exhibition at San Francisco MoMA in 1992.  The works in this catalogue really shows the basis from which all his future work has developed. The documented videos show his interest in athleticism and the body; it is also in these works where his lifelong connection to working with petroleum jelly is first seen. The catalogue contains video stills from the rather imaginatively titled MILE HIGH Threshold: FLIGHT with the ANAL SADISTIC WARRIOR,  in which Barney, naked save for climbing apparatus, ascends and descends gallery walls and a refrigerated nether space. Scenes and stills from Delay of Game in which Barney, this time dressed as a woman in a white turban, bathing suit, and high heels, pantomimes football-field strategies, are also included along with photographs of Barney’s vaseline covered sculptures.

Matthew Barney - New Work

Matthew Barney - New Work

Matthew Barney - New Work

Matthew Barney - New Work

Matthew Barney – Cremaster 4

I am a huge admirer and collector of Matthew Barney’s work (as you will see as the blog develops); it appeals to both the art admirer and the medical lecturer in me. I first became aware of him around 2002 when Cremaster 3 was exhibited as the final installment of the Cremaster Cycle. The Cremaster Cycle consists of five films which were created out of order over an eight year time period; The first of the films was Cremaster 4 in 1994, and the last, Cremaster 3. To explain the project would need a blog of its own but Matthew Barney has created a website which gives a great overview of the project. Each of the films has a catalogue associated with it, some more easy to come by than the others. Cremaster 4 is the holy grail of the catalogues and its hard to find a decent copy for less than £400. The catalogue is an oversized paperback and has numerous foldouts.

Matthew Barney is represented by Gladstone Gallery in the USA and Sadie Coles HQ in the UK.

Matthew Barney - Cremaster 4

Matthew Barney - Cremaster 4

Matthew Barney - Cremaster 4

Matthew Barney - Cremaster 4

Matthew Barney - Cremaster 4

Matthew Barney - Cremaster 4

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