Thursday, August 19, 2010

Free Matthew Barney!

Curator and artist Dan Cameron has written an interesting essay for Art-it called "Free Matthew Barney" that argues for the importance of releasing the Cremaster Cycle on DVD.

Cameron writes, "as art histories are published, academic curricula developed and museum programs produced, an ever larger number of professionals and academics will need to see Cremaster at their leisure and on their terms, simply to evaluate it, catalog it or pass it on to the next person. This, apparently, is not to be permitted, with the result that not only have potential profits from the general distribution, licensing, and sales of Cremaster been negated into perpetuity, but those who need to view the cycle in order to evaluate it for others have largely been stymied in their efforts to do so."

Cameron goes on to contrast the limited release of Barney's films with the work of young video artist Ryan Trecartin, who creates videos that are meant to be streamed online. "There might be objects made by Trecartin for collectors to buy, but they are not essential or even terribly germane to the work itself, which is available anytime we want, on our laptops or our iPhones, for absolutely no money. Considering this open access, it seems hard to imagine finding ourselves where we were back in 2004, when Barney had his Guggenheim Museum retrospective featuring, as sculptures, the baroquely decorated display boxes in which the "limited edition" Cremaster DVDs were displayed. Resembling overpriced selections of chocolate or perfume, those display boxes symbolize the elaborate contortions of reality into which the art market twisted itself nearly 20 years ago."

The full article is here:

No comments: