Saturday, April 01, 2006

The Wacky World on Art ......#001

Well, he's back. If you missed Matthew Barney's The Cremaster Cycle last year you missed not only big art with big ideas but a whole lot of tastemakers fawning over Barney and his big ideas. He is now back with a new movie/concept. Drawing Restraint 9. The quirky title alone lets us know we are in for big ideas. Big! But, alas, not everybody falls for this shit. The following is Richard Brody of the New Yorker's take on the new Barney fare:

"The Simple Life" for a pair of self-important artworld celebrities. With a combination of lavish pageantry and industrial exertion, the Nisshin Maru, Japan's last whaling ship, sails off from Nagasaki Bay. Along with its crew, it carries two guests, Matthew Barney and Bjork, who submit to elaborate rituals of tonsure, pomade and dress at the hands of solemn bearers whose job it is to keep from laughing at their employers' airs. They partake of a classical tea ceremony in an unabashed display of Oriental kitsch that makes "Memoirs of a Geisha" look like an ethnographic documentary. As their berth fills with what might be water or whale oil, the couple lovingly carve each other up into human sushi. Barney, the director of this unbearably empty spectacle, has in effect filmed at great expense the couple's designer-sightseeing cruise, with little more skill and vastly more pretense than the average tourist.

Thank you, Richard Brody (of the New Yorker), at least we know there is one person who sees through the murky waters (or whale oil) of fine art. -Hoffman


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