Matthew Barney (b. 1967)
The Body as a Matrix: Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle (2002)
The Body as a Matrix: Matthew Barney's Cremaster Cycle Video. With the five-part Cremaster Cycle of films, multi-award-winning artist Matthew Barney invented a densely layered and interconnected sculptural world that surreally combines sports, biology, sexuality, history, and mythology as it organically evolves. In this program, Barney, Guggenheim curator Nancy Spector, and others deconstruct the Cycle's filming and subsequent translation into sculptural installations. The locations, characters, and symbols that organize the Cycle films; the Cycle installations as spatial content carriers and extensions of the performances; and objectification of the body and undifferentiated sexuality are addressed, as are the intricacies of costuming, makeup, and sculpting with Barney's signature materials: plastic, metal, and Vaseline. Contains nudity and mature themes. (53 minutes.) The Arts, Art and Photography 2002

Matthew Barney (born in San Francisco in 1967) has achieved recognition on the international art scene since the early 1990s with a pictorial language all of his own, a language defined by metaphors and symbols.

Barney's Cremaster cycle constitutes a complicated, self-contained system. Venues, characters, costumes, materials and contents embody an organism which is in a constant process of development.

"Cremaster 4", the first part of a planned five-film series, was made in 1994. Avoiding any chronological order, Barney then made "Cremaster 1" (1995), "Cremaster 5" (1997) and "Cremaster 2" (1999). Finally "Cremaster 3", lasting nearly three hours, was premiered this year.

The portrait accompanies Matthew Barney as the exhibition was being set up at the Museum Ludwig, and shows excerpts from his Cremaster films. In extended interviews, the artist explains his working method, and talks about the creation and meaning of his works and how he sees himself as an artist.