Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Is Jerry Saltz The World's Biggest Matthew Barney Fan?

In a recent article on, art critic (and former judge on Bravo's Work of Art) Jerry Saltz reports, "Before I wrote about Matthew Barney’s Cremaster IV, I watched it 75 times. What can I say? I really like it."

Now, Jerry probably received a reviewer's copy of the film, but what about you Cremaster Fanatics reading this blog? How many times have you watched Barney's films? Can anyone out there beat Jerry Saltz? Let us know in the comments.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Matthew Barney Halloween Costume

Cremaster Fanatic Tyler sent us this photo of his Entered Apprentice Halloween costume. For more great costumes from years past, visit If you have designed your own Matthew Barney-themed costume, please send photos to

Friday, October 8, 2010

More on Matthew Barney's Khu Film Shoot In Detroit has published some more information on Matthew Barney's Khu performance/film shoot in Detroit:

"In Barney and Bepler’s telling, Khu is a crime story featuring the double-amputee athlete Aimee Mullins as an FBI gumshoe named Isis and a 1967 Chrysler Crown Imperial as Osiris. (The protagonist-vehicle was dismembered during Act One’s Ren two years ago at a bulletproof car dealership outside LA.)." In a short prologue screened at the Detroit Institute of Arts before the performance, "Barney drives a golden Pontiac Firebird Trans Am—which emerged from the ashes of the Chrysler in Ren—through the guardrail of Detroit’s Belle Isle Bridge. (For the uninitiated, Harry Houdini, Barney’s mentor-by-proxy, also went over the bridge—in a coffin—in 1906, an act Barney invoked at the end of Cremaster 5.)....

Actors playing stone-faced security guards commanded us to board three chartered buses that drove us in a funereal procession through Detroit to an abandoned glue factory on the Rouge River. Inside, workers assembled fifteen oddly shaped steel viols for as many musicians, who played like droning tone-deaf bees while accompanying Detroit-based soul singer Belita Woods in an aria to the two cars....Tugboats carrying a brass section announced our arrival at the riverbank crime scene where Mullins made her entrance and directed the wreck of the Chrysler to be dredged from the deep while assistants wailed like banshees at the muddy sight of it and a helicopter buzzed the barge from above....

We had reached an abandoned steel mill where five mountain climbers dressed in gold lamé stood atop five skyscraping silos, an evocation of the Detroit-born Byars, best known for his use of gold leaf in a performance of his death. We followed in procession behind the brown 2001 Ford Crown Victoria carrying Mullins, now “under arrest,” to a platform facing the forbidding mill, where masked workers toiling in a spectacular construction pit were smelting iron in five white-clad furnaces spitting embers into the frigid air.

And there we stood in pelting rain for a back-aching eternity, watching the workers’ repetitive actions, listening to the musicians play their dissonant industrial sounds and the singers shriek, awaiting rapture. Darkness fell, the wind came up, and the temperature dropped, but we stood our ground. At last, something new entered the scene: a dump truck that dropped the Chrysler remains for the workers to feed to the furnaces....

All of a sudden, rivers of golden lava sluiced through the site, radiating a blessed heat. I heard cheers. But our excitement was very short-lived. Burly guards rushed us off the platform with an urgency that told us danger was near, bringing the performance to an abrupt close before the final scene, when a vulture was to rise from the fire. Apparently water can ignite powerful explosions if it meets molten steel."

In addition to the post (which has many pictures of the art world celebrities who attended) some photos have begun to pop up on Flickr:

Monday, October 4, 2010

Matthew Barney Performs "Khu" in Detroit

Matthew Barney performed his latest work, Khu, in Detroit last Saturday. The performance was filmed and will be integrated with previously-shot footage to become a new installment in Barney's Ancient Evenings series. Although the six-hour performance and film shoot on the Detroit and Red Rivers was marred by rain and icy temperatures (which caused a problem with some special effects during the final scene), the performance appears to have been quite a spectacle. James Franco, Bjork, Barbara Gladstone, and Sadie Coles were among the attendees.

The Detroit Free Press (misspelling the title as "Kuh") reports on the performance:

"A team of FBI homicide investigators discovered the remains of a murder victim in a body bag, in this case, a 1967 Chrysler Crown Imperial. An industrial crane lifted it from the river and deposited it on deck. Four zippy red towboats circled the barge, each carrying a group of saxophonists and a percussionist who played tolling, foghorn and call-and-response figures.

Female officers, who sang chant-like melodies, unwrapped the car. The lead detective recoiled at the mangled horror. The engine was removed, and someone put live snakes into it. The detective dropped her pants, rubbed mud on her thighs and sat on the engine block....

We were bused to the River Rouge complex and deposited at a glue factory, where workers built gorgeous silver viols played by some 15 musicians as Belita Woods sang a lovely, spiritual-like aria that set the scene. Then it was on to the 185-foot barge for a journey down the Rouge and Detroit rivers. Essentially, we were in the midst of a murder caper filtered through the myth of Osiris and Isis, with the fallen Chrysler as Osiris, god of the underworld....

The final tableau, a shoreline factory in Trenton with rusty silos as tall as skyscrapers and furnaces spouting fire, was a stunning sight against the ominous sky. Musicians flanked the end zones of the scene, workers stoked the blazes, and figures in top hats perched at the top of the silos, held in place by harnesses. Sundry weirdness ensued, before molten iron finally came pouring out of the furnaces and golden filigree streamed down the silos. The furnaces were supposed to all burst at once, but the weather contributed to some technical snafus and the lava staggered out in shifts."

More information (including a list of the cast: Aimee Mullins, Eugene Perry, Herbert Perry, Jennie Knaggs, Faruq Z. Bey and Belita Woods) and photos of the performance have been posted on the Lipstick Tracez blog.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Have Matthew Barney Review Your Video

Shooting People, a web site for independent filmmakers, is running a contest during the month of October. Members (membership is $40 for the year) can post films/videos to the web site. At the end of October, the three films with the highest ratings will be forwarded to Matthew Barney for a personal review. More information is available here.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Guardian of the Veil Screening in Manchester, UK

Matthew Barney's Guardian of the Veil, (which was filmed during a live performance at the Manchester Opera House in 2007) will be screened as part of the Supersonic Festival in Manchester, England from October 22 - 24. This is the first segment of Barney's seven-part Ancient Evenings series (the second part, Ren, was filmed in Los Angeles in 2008; the third segment, Khu, is currently being produced in Detroit), based on a book by Norman Mailer about ancient Egyptian death rites.

The Supersonic Festival states that this is the first time Guardian of the Veil will be publicly projected. However, New Yorkers can watch the video (on a monitor) in the Greater New York exhibition at PS1 through October 18.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Matthew Barney "Khu" Film Shoot in Detroit October 2

The Detroit Free Press writes that Matthew Barney will be filming a live performance "reportedly" involving a barge on the Detroit and Rouge rivers. The performance will take place in front of, "a couple of hundred people handpicked by Barney ... on an afternoon and evening outing," on the rivers. Although he has been secretive about the performance, Barney "offered some hints when he spoke before a capacity crowd at the Detroit Film Theatre in January. He compared Detroit to an archaeological dig site where, courtesy of years of devastation and neglect, all the layers of the city's history are laid bare. Barney also acknowledged that Ancient Evenings is a sequel of sorts to the Cremaster films. The new film calls for the 1967 Chrysler Imperial in Cremaster 3 to evolve into a 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am and plunge off the Belle Isle Bridge and into the Detroit River. The stunt, reportedly already staged by Barney, is possibly a reference to Houdini's career-defining leaps from that same bridge in the early 1900s." The Free Press also reports that Barney's adaptation of Norman Mailer's Ancient Evenings came at the novelist's request (Mailer starred as Harry Houdini in Cremaster 2) shortly before his death in 2007.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Matthew Barney Live in Detroit September 15

We've received confirmation that Matthew Barney will introduce the screening of Cremaster 4 and Cremaster 1 (they're screening the films in the order they were made) at the Detroit Institute of Arts at 7 PM on September 15. Prior to the screening, there will be a cocktail reception with Matthew Barney at 6 PM - tickets are available for $125 (partly tax-deductible). The DIA screenings will continue with Cremaster 2 and Cremaster 5 on September 22 and Cremaster 3 on September 29. To order tickets for the reception with Barney on September 15, contact Tarya Stanford at 313-833-4020 or

Matthew Barney Takes The Physical Challenge

Those of you who grew up in the 80's (like us at may enjoy this video by Evan Smith featuring a clip from Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint 2 backed by the music from the Nickelodeon game show Double Dare.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Matthew Barney Schaulager Exhibition Walkthrough

Vernissage TV has published a nice video "walkthrough" of Matthew Barney's Prayer Sheet With The Wound And The Nail exhibition at Schaulager in Basel, Switzerland.

Friday, August 20, 2010

More Cremaster Screenings and Matthew Barney Live Appearance in Detroit

International Film Circuit has updated their list of upcoming US screenings of The Cremaster Cycle, which now includes dates through November. The next stop is Oklahoma City (Aug 26-29), followed by a Labor Day Weekend screening in Chicago (Sept 3-9), then Atlanta, Portland (OR), Cleveland, Washington (D.C.), Houston, Kansas City, and Pittsburgh. Our informant tells us that The Cremaster Cycle will also be screened at The Detroit Institute of Arts on Wednesdays Sept. 15, 22, and 29 and that Matthew Barney (who is currently filming a new project called Khu in Detroit) is tentatively scheduled to make a live appearance in conjunction with the film screening on September 15. We will publish more information on this appearance when we receive it.

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:

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Matthew Barney Filming "Khu" In Detroit

Detroit-based Cremaster Fanatic Amy informed us that Matthew Barney has been working on a new project in Detroit. A bit of digging on the internet reveals that Barney is currently filming a project called Khu, a prologue to his seven-part opera Ancient Evenings [Ren, filmed in Los Angeles in 2007, is another part of the series], which is based on a novel by Norman Mailer about the stages of death according to ancient Egyptian beliefs. In Barney’s interpretation of Mailer's book, the body of a man is replaced with the remains of the Chrysler Imperial featured in Cremaster 3. Beyond the obvious connection between Detroit and Chrysler, Khu apparently includes references to the work of James Lee Byars, a Detroit-based installation/performance artist, and Harry Houdini, who's first jump was off a bridge in Detroit.
The New York Times and this web site hint that there will be a live performance related to Khu held in Detroit this fall.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Cremaster Cycle and De Lama Lamina in San Francisco

The Cremaster Cycle (and De Lama Lamina) continue their cross-country re-release tour, opening this week at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco. Cremaster Fanatics will want to invest in the $24 "marathon ticket" (available August 7 and 8) to see all the films in order on a single day. Alternatively, next weekend you can pair a Cremaster film with The Cockettes or Cheech & Chong's Nice Dreams -- either could make for an interesting double-feature!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Matthew Barney Drawing Restraing Exhibition at Schaulager Basel

Matthew Barney's latest exhibition, entitled Prayer Sheet with the Wound and the Nail opened at the Schaulager in Basel, Switzerland last weekend and runs through October 3. The exhibition consists of videos, sculpture, and drawings related to Barney's ongoing Drawing Restraint series, which currently includes sixteen chapters. For those who can't make it to Basel, Schaulager's web site includes short clips from Drawing Restaint 2 (filmed while Barney was still a college student at Yale), 7 (satyrs wrestling in the back on a limousine in New York City), and 11 (filmed during Barney's 2005 exhibition at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan) and Vernissage TV has posted a collection of photographs on Filckr. There is also a 160-page catalog for the show (in German and English) including a discussion between Matthew Barney and the British psychoanalyst and writer Adam Phillips, a large-format photo-spread depicting the exhibition at Schaulager,an essay by curator Neville Wakefield (who once sailed across the Atlantic Ocean with Barney), and a bibliography for further reading. The catalog is available for 24 Euro plus shipping.

Cremaster Cycle and De Lama Lamina Open in Cambridge, MA Next Week

The Cremaster Cycle
continues on it's re-release tour across the US, opening next week at Landmark's Kendall Square Cinema in Cambridge, Massachusetts. All five films in the series (and Barney's Brazillian epic De Lama Lamina) will be screened daily from June 25 - July 1.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Cremaster Cycle and De Lama Lamina Open in LA This Friday

The re-release of Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle and De Lama Lamina opens for a one-week run in Los Angeles this Friday through June 17. The entire cycle (plus De Lama Lamina) will be screened each day (in numerical order rather than in the order they were filmed) at Landmark's Nuart Theater.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Matthew Barney and Bjork Perform With Marina Abramović at MoMA

Cremaster Fanatic Al sent us a link to these photographs of Matthew Barney, Bjork, and their daughter Isadora sitting with artist Marina Abramović as part of her performance The Artist Is Present at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. In this performance, Abramović sits silently across from museum visitors. Isadora sat with her for three minutes, Bjork for four, and Matthew Barney for eight.

Follow up: New York Magazine reports that Marina Abramovic, "agreed to begin her performance early, specifically to accommodate Björk, Matthew Barney, and their young daughter."

All photos by Marco Anelli. © 2010 Marina Abramović

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Matthew Barney Toasts Beaver, Err. . . Nancy Spector

Bomb Magazine has posted images and audio from its recent 29th Anniversary Gala & Silent Auction at The National Arts Club in New York City. Follow the link and scroll down to listen to Matthew Barney's toast to honoree Nancy Spector (curator of his Cremaster retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum), including a somewhat lengthy exposition on the habits of beaver.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Matthew Barney Modeling Photographs

As every Cremaster Fanatic knows, Matthew Barney helped pay his way through Yale by modeling for catalogs such as J. Crew. We have recently obtained a small archive of Barney's fashion/catalog work from this period and posted the images on Follow the links below to see Barney's modeling work for J. Crew, Macy's and Le Coq Sportif, and others.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Matthew Barney at IFC FIlm Center New York

The Cremaster Cycle is coming to the IFC Film Center in New York City from May 19 - June 3. One ticket will admit you to a double-feature of Cremaster 1 & 2 or Cremaster 4 & 5, or a single screening of Cremaster 3. There is also a special ticket available for $30 that will allow you to watch the consecutive screenings of all five films. Matthew Barney, himself, will appear for a Q&A following the 7pm screening of Cremaster 4 & 5 on May 20. This show will probably sell out quickly, so buy your tickets now! For more information (or to order tickets), visit the IFC Film Center web site.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wanted: Drawing Restraint Vol. 3 Book

We were recently contacted by Sadie Coles HQ, Matthew Barney's gallery in London. They are trying to find two copies of the book Matthew Barney: Drawing Restraint Volume 3 from Barney's 2005 exhibition at the Leeum Samsung museum in Korea, which is now out of print. Anyone interested in loaning/selling a copy of the book to the gallery should contact,, or

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Cremaster Cycle U.S. Theatrical Release This Spring

It turns out the Cremaster Cycle / De Lama Lamina screenings in Seattle that we previously reported are part of a wider theatrical release of Matthew Barney's films via International Film Circuit. The films are currently slated to be screened in four U.S. cities: Seattle, New York, Los Angeles, and Boston. International Film Circuit's web site has more information on the venues and dates. After opening in these cities, the Cremaster Cycle will tour across the country over the summer and fall. If you are interested in hosting the films, rental rates (35mm prints) are surprisingly reasonable, starting at $500 per film.

Cremaster Fanatics should note that Matthew Barney will appear for a Q&A session at the screening at the IFC Film Center in New York on May 19 [Note: The date has been changed -- Barney will now be speaking after the 7 pm screening of Cremaster 4 and 5 on May 20]. Also, sadly, the press release states that the, "Epic Masterwork is Not Now Nor Will it Ever be Available on DVD".

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Drawing Restraint in Basel this June.

The Schaulager in Basel, Switzerland will host an exhibition related to Matthew Barney's Drawing Restraint series from June 12 - October 3. The exhibition, titled Prayer Sheet With the Wound and the Nail is curated by Barney collaborator Neville Wakefield. It will include 16 sculptures, as well as drawings, videos, and a "Drawing Restraint Archive" which has recently been acquired by the Laurenz Foundation. Wakefield says these artworks will be juxtaposed with 15th and 16th century prints to, "draw parallels, not only with the trials and tribulations of mark-making, but with Christian iconography and Matthew's representation of the body in extremis." The web site for the exhibition includes video excerpts from Drawing Restraint 2, 7, and 11.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Cremaster Cycle and De Lama Lamina Screenings in Seattle

Cremaster Fanatic Julianna informed us that De Lama Lamina and the entire Cremaster Cycle are going to be screened at the SIFF Cinema in Seattle from April 9-15. You can see the screening schedule and buy tickets HERE. For true fanatics, there will be a marathon screening of all five Cremaster films and De Lama Lamina on Sunday, April 11.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Temporary Museum of Vaseline in Perth Amboy @ EFA Project Space

Cremaster Fanatics may be interested in the proposed Temporary Museum of Vaseline in Perth Amboy, a project by Jimbo Blachly & Lytle Shaw currently on view in the Companion exhibition at the EFA Project Space in Manhattan. Perth Amboy, New Jersey was the site of the first Vaseline factory, and Blachly & Shaw have been investigating a possible naturally-occurring "Vaseline spring" in the region. Their proposed museum will teach visitors about the history of Vaseline and promises to include artwork from contemporary artists such as Matthew Barney and Paul McCarthy.

Blachly & Shaw will give a presentation on their museum next Wednesday, February 10 from 6:30 - 8 pm at the EFA Project Space. See EFA's web site for more information.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Cremaster 2 Video Game for PS3

One of our favorite Matthew Barney Fans, Cremaster Fanatic Paul, has created a level for the PlayStation3 game Little Big Planet based on Matthew Barney's Cremaster 2. Paul has already created levels inspired by Cremaster 1, Cremaster 3, and Cremaster 4 and plans to create levels to accompany the entire Cremaster Cycle. Paul says he will have to edit the sexual content out of the C2 level before he uploads it to the Little Big Planet web site (where you can play his other levels if you own the game and a PS3), but this video presents the uncensored version.