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Friday 06.02.06

« First Friday June 2006 | Main | Fund Your Projects »

Barney & Bjork • Drawing Restraint 9 • Opens Tonight

flense.jpg
LET THE FLENSING BEGIN!

Been wondering what Matthew Barney has been doing for the last four years? Wonder no longer. Besides making babies with Bjork he's been making a new film with her.

"Drawing Restraint 9, a film by Matthew Barney with a soundtrack composed by Bjork, represents the first creative collaboration of two of the most protean, dynamic forces in music and fine art."- as described on Bjorks website for the project . Apparently Bjork and Barney flense each other in the film while turning into whales-then rim each others blowholes. It's got to be a treat.

Barney's related show "The Occidental Guest" closed on May 13th at Barbara Gladstone in New York and has been reported to be "a bit of a letdown -- it's basically a collection of props, depending for their meaning on the movie." But wasn't that the case with the Cremaster series as well? However much we may love to hate him for his beauty and brains, Barney knows how to make beautiful cinematic images.

Drawing Restraint 9 was born out of Barney's work at Yale. Yes, there is a Drawing restraint 1-8 as well as 10, 11, 12 and 13(the latter being promotional films for #9). These Drawing Restraints are based on Barney being restrained (duh) while drawing (duh).


Friday June 2-9
6/2--7 & 9:30 • 6/3--2:15, 7:00 & 9:30 • 6/4--2:15, 7:00 • 6/5-6/6--7:00 • 6/7--9:00 • 6/8--7:00
Cinema 21 • 616 NW 21st Avenue
Tickets $4.00-$7.00
Call 503-223-4515 for further information.

Posted by Melia Donovan on June 02, 2006 at 8:00 | Comments (5)


Comments

wow, that "cremaster fanatic" site under the "babies" link is a sad sad place. at least now all of the adolescent dudes he legitimized male sexuality as art for will be drawing whales! You can dislike his art, but you can't argue with results like that! Increased intrest in Cetology in the art world? Wonderful!

At the end of this movie, he and Bjork mutate into Humpback Whales, where really, I think a Sperm Whale would have been more appropriate. He could have done a lot with the Spermacetti. There's like 50 pages of Moby Dick devoted to Ishmael having a transcendent experience as he harvests spermacetti. And its described as a "white waxy substance" exactly like vaseline! I gotta write him a letter.

oh man, if you have any perverse notion to explore male adolescent sycophantia, go to the "fan art" on that site! that would be such an amazing show in itself. You can even order t-shirts! Ha Ha!

Posted by: Isaac [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 7, 2006 12:26 AM

In my happiest fantasy the cremasterfanatic site is run by Barney himself. Did you find the Drawing Restraint 9 glossary, under News, provided to the fanatic by the director of photography himself?

http://www.cremasterfanatic.com/News/news06-05-07.html

I particularly liked this one:

Japanese dancers-- Are Japanese dancers

Beautiful. No metaphors. Just allowing them to be what they are. Ahhhhhh.

But I also liked that Barbara Gladstone is a truck. ("The truck itself an ominous puppeteer of the virgins straining to maintain its position while simultaneously nudged into slow motion navigation through a power plant."... calling Dr. Freud... )

These terms have got to be a joke, right? Barney doesn't like to talk about the meaning of his work much and I think that's good because according to this list he's kinda inarticulate.

I saw the film last night and was dazzled by Barney's ability to both attract and repulse me as a viewer. There is a power to his films, though that may largely be due to the medium itself and the money available to him.

The beginning of the film was visually dull, lacking the impact of the Cremaster series with their lush color and light. At first, I was going to blame this on the theatre but once Bjork and Barney boarded the boat (wow-I've never written anything like that before) the film stock seemed to change. There must be a metaphor there-better check the glossary.

Up to the point of boarding, I was sitting smugly, feeling pretty comfortable dismissing the film with my preconceived notions as exhibited in the announcement I wrote above. It's hard to take seriously a work of celebrity. But once I saw Barney's bald spot (the real one) and Bjork's doughy naked backside I felt that there might be a chance at humbled notions of human frailty incorporated into the ambiguous visuals. That modesty faded for me the moment the crew member/passenger snuck in and shaved the center of Barney's balding pate about 5 minutes later.

Certainly, this is his most cognizant narrative to date and it was quite easy to follow. With that it loses much of the mystery and fun of the others. What was giddy ceremony in the Cremaster films has been dulled down to sluggish rules in Drawing Restraint 9- especially with the donning of Japanese cultural traditions. I don't know about you, but when I saw that Japanese screen that divided the dressing room a narrative popped into my head. It went something like this:

Bjork: Oh, that's a nice Japanese screen.

Barney: Yeah, my Mom's, like, had it forever. When I would visit her in the city I'd stare at it for hours.

Bjork: What do you think it means. Ooh! Those whales are pretty. I wish I were a whale.

Barney: Me too! I knew we were meant for each other! Let's make a movie about it! You can do the music! (massive make-out session follows)


Shall we move on to the flensing? I've never had to find comfort in the sidewalls of a movie theatre so some credit must be given for making me divert my gaze. I was laughing so hard out of discomfort-staring just to the right of the screen-eyes darting back to the action that by the time they got around to eating each other I vowed to my companion that I'd never eat sushi again. Was that tuna? Or was it whale meat for authenticity. What does raw whale meat look like? I really liked sushi-maybe it'll wear off. Next week I'll try and force myself.

Be that as it may, I am glad for the experience. It's comforting to witness myths and mythmakers making myths about themselves. I like Barney's more opulent aesthetic. Maybe this is his fumble. Follow-ups are never as good but the next will probably be better. It was definitely worth seeing. There are only 2 more screenings (tonight at 9:00 and tomorrow at 7:00) and then it's gone.

Posted by: melia [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 7, 2006 02:32 PM

Seriously.

Does anyone want to write content for "Carolee Schneemann Fanatic. com"?

A 60's performance artist dealing with... wait... it says here...
Sexuality and Ritual? but I thought MB pioneered that!

At least he is the first person to think of making art primarily as an expression of male sexuality... unless of course....
you count the entire canon of art history from Venus of Willendorf on....

Maybe there should be Artemisia Gentileschi Fanatic. com
or like Lee Krasner Fanatic.com

it could go something like:

Krasner was a mediocre artist whose 40 year career taken in its entriety could not compare to even one of her husband's masterpieces. She is mostly known for her marriage to the Protean Jackson Pollock, whose seminal work defined Modernity. He brought a simian directness to his work and excited and outraged the art public by being too drunk to even hold a brush. He energized the post-wwII art scene with his explosively violent behavior and sexual prowess, which culminated in his murder of two young girls and his own suicide. At Krasner Fanatic. com we celebrate Lee Krasner, not for her tepid abstractions, but rather for making Pollock's masterpieces possible by getting his hung-over ass out of bed every morning and cooking him breakfast. We owe much of the brief 10 years or so of Pollock's productivity to Lee Krasner, and for that reason, we're fanatics!

The point is, what is considered historically significant is incredibly biased, even after all this time, after so much revision, art is still tethered to male sexuality. What a shame. I don't think Matthew Barney's a bad artist, I just think it's easy to mistake arousal for meaning.

I think Lee Krasner was a way better artist than Jackson Pollock ever was.

Posted by: Isaac [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 7, 2006 08:06 PM

i'm not sure i'll ever recover from the kiss bjork gave barney.

Posted by: melia [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 8, 2006 08:18 AM

i'm sure, now that it's gone, no one cares anymore but i found this and thought it was interesting.

http://www.sfmoma.org/exhibitions/exhib_detail.asp?id=230

here's your next chance-only a 10 hour drive away if you missed it.

Posted by: melia [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 14, 2006 12:20 PM

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