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Matthew Barney: CREMASTER 3 Paperback – May 2, 2002

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Product Details

  • Series: Cremaster (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 204 pages
  • Publisher: Guggenheim Museum; First Edition edition (May 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0892072539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0892072538
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 11.6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Celebrated as a sculptor and performance artist, Barney has caused quite a stir in the contemporary art world with his Cremaster films. The cycle of films is a fevered, sometimes delirious, and often beautiful exploration of the competing forces of artistic creation and destruction. Cremaster 3 is the largest and final film of the five-part series begun in 1994 and shot out of sequence. Largely textless and filled with images of corpselike racehorses, dental torture, and a half-woman, half-cheetah figure, the scenes often take on a nightmarish quality. Shifting from New York sets to outdoor settings in Ireland and Scotland, Barney weaves concepts of mythology, architecture, and freemasonry together with the wool suits and hats of a 1930s gangster movie. The book is published in conjunction with an exhibition of films, stills, and photographs organized by the Guggenheim Museum and traveling to Germany and France in 2002-03. While this book of film stills and photographs cannot capture the same drama and emotion as the moving film, it nevertheless presents the artist's ideas in a whirling tapestry of extreme beauty, violence, horror, and compelling narrative. Recommended for libraries with strong contemporary art collections.
Kraig A. Binkowski, Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

Matthew Barney was born in San Francisco in 1967. When he was 6, he moved with his family to Boise, Idaho, and stayed there with his father after his parents divorced and his mother, an abstract painter, moved to New York City. He contemplated playing college football, but ended up paying his way through an undergraduate degree from Yale University by modeling professionally. Upon entering the contemporary art scene in the early 90s, Barney achieved almost instant success and controversy. Since then, he has exhibited all over the world, with solo exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco; the Fondation Cartier pour l'Art Contemporain, Paris; the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen, Rotterdam; and the Kunsthalle Wien. His work has been included in international group shows, including Documenta11, the Whitney Biennial, and the Carnegie International. Barney was awarded the Europa 2000 Prize at the 1993 Venice Biennale and the 1996 Hugo Boss Prize. He currently lives and works in New York.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By "situationist00" on June 4, 2003
I find the responses to Barney's productions amusing because I am aware they represent personal identifications, in spite of the cries of mysogyny, with a typical white masculine ideology rather than critical responses. And that is one of the important aspects of the Cremaster Cycle: a visceral response: a cremaster-kick, if you will. It erupts in your face. Out of Barney, all over you. It is twisted but blunt.
Many reviews--just browse the Amazon universe--represent the world in dialectical oppositions. Out here we have mostly the following: good Barney/bad Barney; sexist Barney/not-sexist Barney; trash Barney/intellectual Barney. Whatever! We wish it were so simple. No learning possiblein a world where an authoritative voice is deferred to when assigning a positive or negative value to an event or idea or individual. A work of art isn't "bad" because it presents sexist, mysogynistic, repulsive, scrumptious, beautiful, ugly, erotic, pornographic, cannibalistic, testicular, white, racist, nationalistic images/symbols/myths all-together and at once both as aesthetic and poetic--as form and content. We must ask: Who is the art for? What is it supposed to do? Why choose the specific genre? At what is it directed?
Maybe we can begin accepting that we need art that refuses simple consumption because work that refuses simple consumption refuses to fortify the dominant and oppressive ideological structures in society. So, Barney's public masturbation is a positive act. Particularly funny are the reviewers who discuss the art space of the Gugg in NY more than Barney's work documented in that space.
That said: I find the Cremaster Cycle pleasing, troubling, and extremely boring at different times. I think it is beautiful. And I find it technically wonderful. Anyways...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Beveridge HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 1, 2004
Matthew Barney, Cremaster 3 (The Guggenheim Museum, 2003)
Matthew Barney's oft-celebrated and yet little-seen Cremaster series of films was finally completed with the release of Cremaster 3 in 2002. As a celebration, the Guggenheim mounted a showing of stills from the five films in early 2003. This is the book printed as a companion to the showing. As should be expected from both Barney and the Guggenheim, it's a sumptuous release.
The vast majority of the book is nothing but photographs, though a few pieces of text flit in and out. The movies have an almost dadaesque sense of both being rooted in a place and being dislocated; the book, too, bears that same mark. You know, for example, you're looking at a closeup of a Chrysler hood ornament. But why? And what's that in the reflection, so very distorted? What's Barney's fascination with the Chrysler Building, anyway? Why is Aimee Mullins even more gorgeous when made up to look like a leopard?
Of course, none of these questions actually get answered. But the films, and this book, are about visual experience anyway, unless you want to spend hundreds of hours dissecting the intricate layers of symbolism with which every second of the films are invested. In which case, go to it, and let us know what you find; for most folks, I think the simple beauty of the images will be enough. Either way, it's certainly worth a look. ****
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By "neschamah" on August 16, 2002
What a deception.. Mathew Barney is very talented, he's graphically great.. but he misses one point: no contact is beeing established between the character and the viewer or just between the characters, making it a very cold piece of work.. his characters look build out of plastic or simply modals saying: Okay is the photo shoot over now? So to me thats just design pictures..its as interesting as looking at a publicity book..
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By CrowDiddly on July 14, 2003
Verified Purchase
If you are a Barney fan, this is a must-have companion to the huge Cremaster Cycle "Bible" being sold at the showings and on Amazon. This is basically a book of stills from the film, in the order they occur. Relive such exciting moments as Matthew Barney getting his teeth smashed in at the racetrack! Aimee Mullins walking on creepy Perspex prosthetic legs! and Mathew Barney in the dentist's chair having rectal surgery! He might be a genius, he might be a nut, but he's a damn fine artist, sculptor and filmmaker.
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