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Matthew Barney: No Restraint

Bjork, jelly, and Japanese
By NINA MACLAUGHLIN  |  January 24, 2007
2.5 2.5 Stars


For an artist/filmmaker best known for impenetrable, high-budget, art-gore-sex-sculpture movies, Matthew Barney comes across as a pretty approachable dude in Alison Chernick’s documentary about his Drawing Restraint 9. Chernick tries to unpack the methods and madness behind the project, which involved a Japanese whaling ship, solidified whale puke, a crew of skeptical Japanese in jump suits, and 45,000 pounds of petroleum jelly. Oh, and Björk, the mother of Barney’s child. Barney, a Yale grad and ex-model (he’s kept his striking good looks), speaks lucidly about what he’s up to, as does Björk, and the scene in which they rip the flesh off each other’s legs is especially illuminating. Chernick shows how the jock in Barney informs his work (he was a high-school football star) but avoids any voice of dissent. She would’ve done better to pose some questions about the legitimacy and value of his work.

  Topics: Reviews , Matthew Barney , Entertainment , Movies ,  More more >
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