Thursday, 26 February 2009

Matthew Barney

I am not certain that I understand the world and depths of Matthew Barney, as it is very enigmatic. But my curiosity is vivid and I am working my way through this environment that feels devilish, provocative, fascinating and very intriguing.

Matthew Barney is an American artist. He was born March 25, 1967, in San Francisco, California. Over the past two decades Matthew Barney has created a distinctive universe using a multitude of media, from sculpture and photography to drawing and film. Informed by a careful study of art history, cultural production, the human body, and biological development, his work reveals a keen interest in process and the evolution of form.

Barney's epic Cremaster cycle (1994–2002) is a self-enclosed aesthetic system consisting of five feature-length films that explore processes of creation. Barney’s long-time collaborator Jonathan Bepler composed and arranged the films’ soundtracks. The cycle unfolds not just cinematically, but also through the photographs, drawings, sculptures, and installations the artist produces in conjunction with each episode. Its conceptual departure point is the male cremaster muscle, which controls testicular contractions in response to external stimuli. The project is rife with anatomical allusions to the position of the reproductive organs during the embryonic process of sexual differentiation: Cremaster 1 represents the most "ascended" or undifferentiated state, Cremaster 5 the most "descended" or differentiated. The cycle repeatedly returns to those moments during early sexual development in which the outcome of the process is still unknown—in Barney's metaphoric universe, these moments represent a condition of pure potentiality. As the cycle evolved over eight years, Barney looked beyond biology as a way to explore the creation of form, employing narrative models from other realms, such as biography, mythology, and geology. The photographs, drawings, and sculptures radiate outward from the narrative core of each film installment. Barney's photographs—framed in plastic and often arranged in diptychs and triptychs that distill moments from the plot—often emulate classical portraiture. His graphite and petroleum jelly drawings represent key aspects of the project's conceptual framework.(Wikipedia)

+Matthew Barney

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