In 2007, Matthew Barney and Jonathan Bepler began a new collaborative project inspired by American author Norman Mailer's 1983 novel Ancient Evenings, set in pharaonic Egypt. The project ... See full summary »
Dave Bald Eagle,
John Buffalo Mailer
Set against the backdrop of Carnaval in Salvador, Brazil, the movie cuts between shots of musicians performing on an elevated stage; images of sweaty, often splendidly costumed onlookers; ... See full summary »
Valter Vicente Pinho Neto,
A video installation in which Satyrs grapple in a limousine as it drives through the tunnels of New York City. While one satyr chases its tail in the front seat, another attempts to make a ... See full summary »
Okay, I have seriously invested my time in the entire cycle, plus "restraint," several interviews and "Destricted."
I now feel qualified to report that I reject the man, though a couple of these films (Restraint and C1 in particular) gave me moments of high pleasure. I am, I discover, a man whose eye- mind prefers Greenaway, Ruiz, Maddin. Barney and Bunuel are mildly interesting voyages to the other side of town. But I find them effete, powerless. They make sloppy essays that don't reach my soul, that may be good for Budapest coffeehouse discussions, but not the sort of thing that matters.
Honestly, you can only judge an artist by the souls he touches, and Barney does have a critical mass of recruits. The best I can do is tell you why I am not among them. I need either narrative, the stuff of narrative unassembled but situated, or metanarrative... or even antinarrative. No matter what stance or how coherent, I want parts or wholes situated in a world. Don't care much about the nature of the world, as long as it exists somewhere, somehow, I can reach it.
Barney's parts are all borrowed. He didn't see them, he didn't know them, he didn't relate them he only collects. I can get a colorful collection anywhere. Real randomness may be rare, but apparent randomness is amazingly common. I could have 12 Barneys before breakfast, and each one as sexually deviant, his only locating trait.
Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
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