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Indepth Arts News:

1999-07-18 until 1999-10-10
Walker Art Center
Minneapolis, MN, USA United States of America

New York-based artist Matthew Barney has become well known for the unique combination of obsessive athletic endeavors with his own highly personalized mythology. Crossing from sculpture to film to video, he seamlessly creates dramas of compelling, compulsive force that inhabit a zone between the psychological and the physical. In this exhibition, the Walker Art Center presents the world premiere of Matthew Barneys latest film, Cremaster 2.

n this installment of Barneys ongoing Cremaster cycle, an elliptical narrative unfolds around the films anti-hero, convicted killer Gary Gilmore, who is played by Barney himself. Loosely based on the life of Gilmore as chronicled by Norman Mailer in his book The Executioners Song, the film moves from a glacier field in the Canadian Rockies to the Bonneville Salt Flats, from Utah in 1976 to Chicago in 1893. Bees, bison, magicians, mediums, murders, heavy-metal drummers, two-steppers, mounties, and others inhabit the films hallucinatory landscape. Featured in the cast of Cremaster 2 are Norman Mailer and Dave Lombardo, former lead drummer for the band Slayer. Composer Jonathan Bepler provides the original musical score for the film, with vocals by Steve Tucker of Morbid Angel and Patty Griffin. The film is screened in a sculptural installation in the gallery that includes a nylon cabinet with saline saturated barbells, a model of a mountain range sculpted in salt, a mirrored riding saddle, and a suite of portrait photographs of glaciers. The development of Barneys unique mythological vision can be seen most clearly in his series of Cremaster films, which have been his primary artistic focus since 1994. In his three previous installments of these cinematic operas, Cremaster 4 (1994), Cremaster 1 (1995), and Cremaster 5 (1997), the artist conceived a highly stylized motorcycle race on the Isle of Man, a Busby Berkeley-inspired performance on the football field of the University of Idaho in Boise, and a fantastic voyage through Budapest. Barney graduated from Yale University in 1989, and has had major exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Cartier Foundation for Contemporary Art in Paris, the Museum Boymans-van Beuningen in Rotterdam, the Tate Gallery in London, Kunsthalle Bern, and Portikus in Frankfurt. In 1993 he won the Europa 2000 award at the 45th Venice Biennale and in 1996 received the first annual Hugo Boss Award from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue with an essay by Walker Chief Curator Richard Flood and full-color reproductions. Softcover: $45 ($33.75 Walker members). A limited edition lithograph of Barneys Cremaster 5 is also available. This limited-edition Cremaster 5 print, which depicts a double image of actress Ursula Andress, who stars in Barneys film of the same title, is now available in the Walker Shops. Each 33-by-23-inch lithograph is signed and numbered by the artist. $500. Proceeds from the sale of this work benefit the Walker and New Yorks Film Forum.

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