Matthew Barney is heralded as the most influential American artist of his generation for his epic, ravishing, eccentric, and all-consuming work. His films and the sculpture and photographic series that derive from them are biological, mythological, and historical. Drawing Restraint 9 follows his Cremaster Cycle—which was screened, in part, at the museum in February 2004—by looking back to a central tenet of his creative vision, an idea that grew out of Barney’s early experience as a athlete: form emerges through struggle with resistance.
Drawing Restraint 9 is a 2.5-hour film set on a Japanese whaling ship and stars Barney and his wife Björk accompanied by a haunting and evocative soundtrack. Exploring the chasm between East and West, the scenes of a Japanese tea ceremony, whaling, sex, and the making of sculpture are edited together in a way that defies standard, cinematic narrative devices. Critic Jerry Saltz called it “. . . a story that takes place nowhere but that touches on everything.”
This exhibition is organized by Associate Curator of Contemporary Art Claire Schneider.