Page 5 - 50.La Biennale di Venezia issue of World of Art Magazine
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Matthew Barney
                                          CREMASTER 1,1995 (00:40:30)
        Matthew Barney was born in San Francisco   Written and Directed by Matthew Barney
        in 1967 and was raised in Boise, Idaho. He   Produced by Barbara Gladstone and Matthew Barney
        attended college at Yale University in New   Director of Photography: Peter Strietmann
        Haven, Connecticut, receiving his BA in   Starring Marti Domination
        1989. Thereafter, he moved to New York
        City, where he lives and works today.  CREMASTER  1  is  a  candy-coated musical  revue  performed  on  the  blue
                                          Astroturf playing field of Bronco Stadium in Boise, Idaho-Matthew Barney’s
                                          hometown. Two Goodyear Blimps float above the arena like the airships
        From his earliest work, Barney has   that often record and transmit live sporting events via television broadcast.
        explored the transcendence of physical   Four air hostesses, uniformed in trimly fitted 1930s outfits, tend to each
        limitations in a multi-media art practice   blimp. The only sound is soft ambient music, which suggests the hum of
        that includes feature-length films, video   the engines. In the middle of each cabin interior sits a white-clothed table,
        installations, sculpture, photography,   its  top decorated  with  an  abstract Art Deco  centerpiece  sculpted  from
        and drawing. His thesis exhibition at   Vaseline and surrounded by clusters of grapes. In one blimp the grapes
                                          are green; in the other they are purple. Under both of these otherwise
        Yale, Field Dressing (1989), featured   identical tables resides Goodyear (played by Marti Domination), a platinum
        an installation of video and sculptural   blonde Hollywood starlet. Inhabiting both blimps simultaneously, this
        objects that combined the physicality of   doubled creature sets the narrative in motion. After prying an opening
        sports, the fetishistic nature of athletic   in the tablecloth(s) above her head, she plucks grapes from their stems
        equipment, and the endurance involved in   and pulls them down into her cell. With these grapes, Goodyear produces
        performance art. Between 1988 and 1993,   diagrams that direct the choreographic patterns created by a troupe of
                                          dancing  girls  on  the  field  below.  The  camera  switches  back  and  forth
        Barney developed the Drawing Restraint   between Goodyear’s drawings and aerial views of the chorus girls moving
        series for which he devised situations of   into formation: their designs shift from parallel lines to the figure of a
        self-imposed restriction, such as jumping   barbell, from a large circle to an outline of splitting and multiplying cells,
        on a trampoline, climbing over obstacles,   and from a horizontally divided field emblem (Barney’s signature motif) to
        or restraining himself with surgical latex   a rendering of an undifferentiated reproductive system (which marks the
                                          first six weeks of fetal development). Gliding in time to the musical score,
        hosing, through which he would produce   the chorus girls delineate the contours of a still-androgynous gonadal
        artworks. In this series he explored the   structure, which echoes the shapes of the two blimps overhead, and
        feasibility of creating something under   symbolizes a state of pure potential.
        severe  physical  constraints,  just  as  one                                                   Guggenheim
        tears down muscle tissue in order to build
        it up through weight lifting.     CREMASTER 2, 1999 (1:19:00)
                                          Written and Directed by Matthew Barney
                                          Produced by Barbara Gladstone and Matthew Barney
        In his first solo exhibitions, [facility of   Director of Photography: Peter Strietmann
        INCLINE]  and  [facility  of  DECLINE] (both   Music composed by Jonathan Bepler
        1991), held at Stuart Regen Gallery, Los   AssociateProducer: Chelsea Romersa
        Angeles, and at Barbara Gladstone Gallery,   Production Design: Matthew D. Ryle
        New York, respectively, Barney exhibited   Starring Norman Mailer and Matthew Barney
        elaborate sculptural installations, which   CREMASTER 2 is rendered as a gothic Western that introduces conflict into
        included videos of himself interacting   the system. On the biological level it corresponds to the phase of fetal
        with various constructed objects   development  during  which  sexual division  begins.  In  Matthew Barney’s
        and performing physical feats such   abstraction of this process, the system resists partition and tries to remain
        as climbing across the gallery ceiling   in the state of equilibrium imagined in Cremaster 1. Cremaster 2 embodies
        suspended from titanium ice screws in   this regressive impulse through its looping narrative, moving from 1977,
                                          the year of Gary Gilmore’s execution, to 1893, when Harry Houdini, who
        performances entitled BLIND PERINEUM   may have been Gilmore’s grandfather, performed at the World’s Columbian
        and MILE HIGH Threshold: FLIGHT with   Exposition. The film is structured around three interrelated themes-the
        the ANAL SADISTIC WARRIOR. The related   landscape as witness, the story of Gilmore (played by Barney), and the life
        sculptures, including case BOLUS (1989-  of bees-that metaphorically describe the potential of moving backward in
        91), TRANSEXUALIS (1991), and REPRESSIA   order to escape one’s destiny. Both Gilmore’s kinship to Houdini (played
        (1991), are environments containing   by Norman Mailer) and his correlation with the male bee are established
                                          in the séance/conception scene in the beginning of the film, during which
        such athletic items as wrestling mats,   Houdini’s spirit is summoned and Gilmore’s father expires after fertilizing
        a walk-in cooler, a cast petroleum jelly   his wife. Gilmore’s sense of hisown doomed role as drone is expressed in
        incline bench, and dumbbells of cast   the ensuing sequence in a recording studio where Dave Lombardo, former
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