Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Matthew Barney's "Blood of Two" Emerges In Greece

The New York Times's The Moment blog reports on the early-morning delivery of the artwork for Matthew Barney and Elizabeth Peyton's joint exhibition Blood of Two at the Deste Foundation's new "Slaughterhouse" exhibition space:

"After a late-night feast of mutton head hosted by Deste's Dakkis Jouannou (the guest list included artists Maurizio Catelan, Rirkrit Tiravanija and David Byrne), a crowd gathered on a cliffside road near the gallery on the Greek island of Hydra shortly before 6 AM. "Little by little the local psaras (fishermen) pulled out of the water an expected glass sarcophagus containing mysterious artifacts and artworks. The long pace of the unloading echoed the calm, focused and attentively observant crowd . . . . A signature Barney moment was the apparition of a herd of goats, accompanied by their voskos (shepherds), which initially appeared to be coincidental but soon revealed itself to be an integral part of the performance that blended with the human herd. The peak of the procession was the appearance of a dead shark (its mysterious absence of odor leaving many to wonder what means of conservation had been used), whose corpse was laid on the glass sarcophagus, a totemic symbol mixing traditions of fishery and religious codes. The cortege then proceeded slowly, like an animist funeral ceremony, accompanying the artwork . . . . Then, in a deeply charged atmosphere interrupted only by camera flashes, the coffin was finally unsealed by the leader of the fishermen, whose flamboyant moustache seemed straight out of Cremaster Central Casting. In a climactic moment, flooding water unveiled beautiful small-format graphite drawings by Elizabeth Peyton, which mixed elements of Symbolist imagery and nautical fantasies. The relieved crowd then walked its way toward the port, the early morning sun soothing their shock and awe."

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