On Friday, May 5, 7:30 pm, the Walker Art Center presents Matthew Barney’s Drawing Restraint 9, the latest film in the series Premieres: First Look, an ongoing presentation of area film premieres that gives audiences an early look at tomorrow’s critically acclaimed classics. On Thursday, May 25, at 8 pm, the Walker presents a free screening of Matthew Barney: No Restraint, a documentary in which director Alison Chernick investigates Barney’s influences and process as he develops the film Drawing Restraint 9. Drawing Restraint, based on the idea that resistance makes muscles stronger—has been Barney’s ongoing project since 1987. Drawing Restraint 9, with its vibrant parade of sinewy machines, white-robed pearl divers, and the choreographed rites of two devoted lovers, marks a dazzling leap forward for Barney.
Matthew Barney is a visual artist whose ambitious, rigorous multimedia work encodes esoteric meanings while providing lushly immediate aesthetic rewards. Best known for the Cremaster Cycle, the sprawling sequence of five films made over 10 years which was the subject of a recent Guggenheim retrospective, Barney’s work is multimedia in execution but singularly focused in conception: tightly unified fusions of sculpture, performance, architecture, set design, music, computer generated effects, and prosthetics, Barney’s films deploy the full range of cinematic resources in the service of a hermetic vision rich with densely layered networks of meaning drawn from mythology, history, sports, music, and biology.
The basis of Barney’s approach is an operative tension between sculpture and film: the lingering attention to sensuous detail and richly organized aesthetics lends each character, costume, artifact, set, and architectural location within his work the frozen timelessness of sculpture—yet these components are subjected to vigorous processes of radical rupture and change as the films unfold.
Tickets to this screening are $8 ($6 Walker members) and are available at walkerart.org/tickets or by calling 612.375.7600. Both screenings takes place in the Walker Cinema.
Friday, May 5, 7:30 pm
Drawing Restraint 9
Directed by Matthew Barney
$8 ($6 Walker members)
Drawing Restraint 9 marks the first official collaboration between celebrated visual artist Matthew Barney and musical innovator Björk. Her musical accompaniment provides a textural and emotional counterpoint to Barney’s intense and innovative visuals, creating a new mythology for the 21st century. Both play Occidental Guests who make their way aboard a Japanese whaling ship where they are bathed and dressed in traditional Japanese wedding costumes. While they take part in a tea ceremony, an enormous mold on the ship’s deck is being filled with liquified petroleum jelly, creating a massive sculpture. A great storm soon floods the tea chamber, initiating a remarkable transformation of the pair, blurring cultures, histories, and biology. 2005, U.S., color, 35mm, Japanese, 35mm, 175 minutes.
Thursday, May 25, 8 pm
Matthew Barney: No Restraint
Directed by Alison Chernick
Free tickets available from 7 pm at the Bazinet Lobby desk
Chernick investigates Matthew Barney’s influences and process as he develops the film Drawing Restraint 9. In his most complicated film to date, Barney tackles the logistical and artistic challenges. From hoisting 45,000 pounds of petroleum jelly into a mold on a Japanese whaling vessel to directing and collaborating with Björk, this is rare behind-the-scenes footage of Barney at work. Chernick also interviews with those who know him best (including both his father and former Walker Chief Curator Richard Flood), which helps to demystify Barney’s new mythology. 2006, U.S./France, color, video, 70 minutes.
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