It’s a credit to Matthew Barney—the “most important artist of his generation” according to The New York Times—that an exhaustive examination of his process does little to demystify his work.
Alison Chernick’s excellent documentary Matthew Barney: No Restraint follows Barney through the conception and production of Drawing Restraint 9, an epic-scale project that, like his Cremaster Cycle, combines gooey organic sculpture, experimental filmmaking and performances of athletic endurance.
DR9 is a collaboration with singer Bjork set aboard a Japanese whaling ship, and pushes Barney’s themes—ritual, the physicality of materials and bodily experience through transformation—to new levels of essentialism and eroticism. But Barney’s work has always been more about the creation than the final product, which is what makes No Restraint so fascinating in its own right. Through Chernick’s camera, we get to see how Barney’s analytically assigned meanings bend, break and reform in exciting new ways under exertive forces. Chernick will attend for a Q&A at both screenings.