Sunday, June 28, 2009

More Blood of Two Photographs

C-Monster and V Magazine have published some more photographs of the early-morning emergence of the artwork for Matthew Barney and Elizabeth Peyton's Blood of Two exhibition at the Deste Foundation in Greece. Follow the links for more pics:


V Magazine

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

More on Barney & Peyton's Blood of Two has published their account of the performance/opening of Matthew Barney and Elizabeth Peyton's "Blood of Two" exhibition at the Deste Foundation's new Slaughterhouse exhibition space:

"We sat, watching the sun rise over the lapis-blue Aegean and waiting. For a time, the only action came from those jostling for position on a stone wall above a ravine sloping down to the sea. Finally, a boat pulled into the cove, and a couple of divers went into the water. “They’re going to bring it up now,” said Gavin Brown director Corinna Durland, declining to say what “it” might be. “It’s been down there for two months.” After an indeterminate pause, we could see one diver pulling on a rope attached to a winch on the boat.

This went on for quite a while. Eventually, what looked like a table emerged from the water and was placed on the boat, which then put into shore. Ten Greek laborers in T-shirts and jeans roped the table––actually a bronze display case weighing 750 pounds––as if it were a calf and lifted it onto land, hauling it up a zigzagging stone staircase to the road. Watching them struggle to lift this piece of Barneymania up the slope was almost painful, though the sight kept Juergen Teller glued to his camera. Whenever the ropes slipped out of the men’s hands or one lost his footing, it was clear that the process could crush them. Suddenly, a herd of goats and a few lambs appeared on the road, their bells tinkling, and the whole scene began to feel like an outtake from a Bresson movie.

Then the pallbearers––it was difficult to think of the laborers as anything else––reached the road and placed Barney’s bier on a donkey cart. By this time, we could see five framed drawings under the glass top of the vitrine, which had taken on water. Two of the men appeared carrying a smallish dead shark (a dogfish) and placed it on top. Everyone with a camera closed in on the cart, now hitched to a donkey, and accompanied it in a funereal procession along the coastline toward what was once the island’s slaughterhouse, but is now a Deste Foundation project space, dodging animal droppings all the way. “This road is a perfect metaphor for life,” [curator Massimiliano] Gioni commented. “It’s steep and full of shit.”

Inside the slaughterhouse, on a promontory over the sea, a framed still life by Barney and a drawing by Peyton were hanging in former stalls. In the main room, where there was space for only about fifty witnesses, three of the men worked to get the glass top off the bier. At one point, Peyton craned her neck to check out the drawings in their watery case. “They’re still there,” she whispered to Barney. “The cat looks good.” At last, we could hear water rushing out of the vitrine and down the blood drain to the sea, and the men lifted the glass. Barney looked at his watch. “Just about two hours,” he said to Peyton. “Not bad. After all, there’s a limit to how long you can ask people to wait.” Coming from the king of slow, this seemed even more astonishing than the event.

With the glass removed, the drawings became more legible as they dried. By evening, when Joannou’s organization set a single long table for three hundred in the road above the slaughterhouse, they took on a beautiful glow. Dinner went on for a few hours as the shark roasted on a spit till the flesh fell from its bones."

Photos of Il Tempo Postino in Basel

The Accessible Art blog has posted some photographs of Matthew Barney & Jonathan Bepler's performance in Hans Ulrich Obrist's Il Tempo Postino in Basel. We have to say, it doesn't look nearly as impressive as Barney's previous performances in Manchester and New York City.

Matthew Barney Meets The Smurfs?

The Art Fag City blog has posted some photographs of a recent "Smurf gathering" in Wales, and draws some interesting parallels with Matthew Barney's Cremaster 1. Among the comparisons, they fail to note that Cardiff, the setting of the Smurf convention, is a stone's throw (globally speaking) from the Isle of Man, the setting of Barney's Cremaster 4.

Visit for more Matthew Barney look-alikes.

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."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

"No Fist F***ing" For Matthew Barney in Basel's review of Il Tempo Postino in Basel notes, "Some were delighted that Matthew Barney didn’t reproduce the fist-fucking scene that caused such a controversy for the British [during Il Tempo Postino's initial run at the Manchester Opera House], while others thought the work had been better with it. (This time, at the end of Barney’s contribution there was only a concert in the lobby performed with a score by Jonathan Bepler.)"

We're waiting for more reviews and photographs to surface...

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ancient Evenings: Libretto Exhibition Photos

Gladstone Gallery has published some images from Matthew Barney's Ancient Evenings: Libretto exhibition, which recently closed at their Brussels gallery. The exhibition included drawings and photographs related to the first two acts (titled "Ren" and "Sekhem") of Barney's Ancient Evenings - a seven act opera loosely based on Norman Mailer's 1983 Egyptian-set novel of the same name - and seven copies of Mailer's novel, each altered by Barney and sealed inside a vitrine. You can see more images HERE

Matthew Barney + Elizabeth Peyton Blood of Two Opens 6 AM, June 16

A press release from Gavin Brown's Enterprise announces that Matthew Barney's collaborative exhibition with Elizabeth Peyton Blood of Two will be launched with a "delivery of the artwork" at 6 AM on Tuesday, June 16. Judging from the above photographs and the exhibition's location on the Greek Isle of Hydra, we can only imagine that the work is going to be "delivered" from the depths of the sea... It's definitely going to be worth waking up early if you are in this part of Greece!

The exhibition will be held in the DESTE Foundation's new project space, which used to be the island's slaughterhouse but which will now hold annual exhibitions. The Matthew Barney + Elizabeth Peyton exhibition will run through September 30.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Matthew Barney Performance Tonight in Basel, Switzerland

Matthew Barney will be performing at the Basel Theater in Basel, Switzerland tonight, Thursday, and Friday at 8:30 PM as part of Philippe Parreno and Hans Ulrich Obrist's Il Tempo Postino. The Art Newspaper informs us that contrary to prior reports, Barney will not be performing Guardian of the Veil (his contribution to the original Il Tempo Postino in Manchester, England): "Instead he is creating a new work made in collaboration with the composer Jonathan Bepler, who has worked closely with Barney on his Cremaster Cycle films. 'The car that was in Matthew’s Manchester piece got shredded in a performance in Los Angeles and so it cannot be repeated,' reveals Hans Ulrich Obrist. 'His new piece will be much more in the realm of 15 minutes long and although it is still related to the earlier work, he is developing something more to do with the idea of a musical score.'”

We hope any Cremaster Fanatics in Basel will send us their photographs and reviews of the show.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Pornographic Drawing Restraint?

Cremaster Fanatic Jason, who sent us the link to the Matthew Barney / Bjork "First Date" video in our last post, wrote back with a warning for Barney Fans trolling the internet for Matthew Barney videos. Jason says that while searching for a torrent of Drawing Restraint 7, he downloaded a video tagged "Drawing Restraint" that turned out to be a naked Australian woman masturbating while tied to a tree. Is she a Matthew Barney fan? To us, her video sounds more like De Lama Lamina than Drawing Restraint.