Portland art blog + news + exhibition reviews + galleries + contemporary northwest art

recent entries

End of June Links
Summer Artist Opportunities
Early June Links
City survey left out the Arts, add them back!
Late May Institutional Links
Early May links
Ending April Institutional Links
Weekend Picks
Thoughts on Tuski leaving PNCA
Mid April Links
America's Whispered Truths closing at Archer Gallery

recent comments




Book Review
Calls for Artists
Design Review
Openings & Events
About PORT

regular contributors


Tori Abernathy
Amy Bernstein
Katherine Bovee
Emily Cappa
Patrick Collier
Arcy Douglass
Megan Driscoll
Jesse Hayward
Sarah Henderson
Jeff Jahn
Kelly Kutchko
Drew Lenihan
Victor Maldonado
Christopher Moon
Jascha Owens
Alex Rauch
Gary Wiseman



Guest Contributors
Past Contributors
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005

contact us


Contact us






powered by


Movable Type 3.16

This site is licensed under a


Creative Commons License

Friday 06.02.06

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

Barney & Bjork • Drawing Restraint 9 • Opens Tonight


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)


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?


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


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.


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

Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?

s p o n s o r s
Site Design: Jennifer Armbrust   •   Site Development: Philippe Blanc & Katherine Bovee