Opening this Saturday at Los Angeles’ Regen Projects is an exhibition by Season 1 artist Matthew Barney, featuring drawings from his latest work, Guardian of the Veil, as well as photographs from his earlier work Cremaster 3, establishing a point of departure from his Cremaster Cycle.
In the performance Guardian of the Veil (from “Il Tempo del Postino,” reported here back in July), Barney used remnants from the Cremaster Cycle combined with a new narrative based on elements from Norman Mailer‘s novel, Ancient Evenings. In the Guardian of the Veil, the narrative follows a protagonist who died in a fire and begins his journey through the seven stages of death toward eternal afterlife. This examination of eternal life is in opposition to the trajectory of the Cremaster Cycle. The latter examines and follows a developing life from its inception to its inevitable end and the conflict presented in Guardian of the Veil is thereby set.
Drawn on black paper using graphite and petroleum jelly, the drawings from Guardian of the Veil convey Barney’s inimitable, almost surrealistic hand. As a vehicle for the narrative, the fantastical and exuberant drawings function as a story-telling device. In one drawing, a decorated bull is seen mounting a Chrysler Imperial car buried in an Egyptian pyramid, seemingly its final resting place. Pictorially conflicting imagery of eternal life after death and the creation of life leading to its ultimate demise is apparent and at odds.
An opening reception for Matthew Barney will take place this Saturday, December 15th, from 6 to 8pm. The exhibition is on view until January 20, 2008.