May 31, 2002 - Ludwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art - Matthew Barney: The Cremaster Cycle
May 31, 2002

Matthew Barney: The Cremaster Cycle

Matthew Barney
The Cremaster Cycle

6 June 2002 to 1 September 2002

Ludwig Museum
Bischofsgartenstraße 1, 50667 Köln
Telefon 0221 – 221 – 23491

Museum Ludwig is presenting the first comprehensive exhibition in Germany on Matthew Barneys cycle of Cremaster films. The last of the Cremaster films will have its European premiere on June 4th, 2002 at the Philharmonic in Cologne. The Museum Ludwig will show the entire cycle in its Cinemathek and also exhibit numerous sculptures, installations, photographs and drawings by Matthew Barney in his role as a visual artist.

In 1994 the American avant-garde artist (*1967) began his 5-part series of Cremaster films. Alone the numbering of the parts – 4 (1994), 1 (1995), 5 (1997), 2 (1999), 3 (2002) – is already a contradiction of the serial principle. Cremaster is the name of the muscle that raises or lowers the testicles in tune with outside temperatures, so as to keep the gonads at a constant temperature. The title stands for the artists intention to introduce certain rules into a self-evolving system.

Each of the 5 films takes place at a certain geographic or architectural site. Barney uses landscape and architecture as facets of the plot and the characters. The central themes in Matthew Barneys works are the human body, sagas and myths, and in his films Barney creates fantastical images of enormous appeal. Mythical beings have a fictive sexuality beyond gender, while the different plots take place simultaneously, as in a dream.

The exhibition Matthew Barney: The Cremaster Cycle shows the close association between Barneys work as a filmmaker and as a sculptor. This is made optically evident by the AstroTurf flooring in both the movie theater and the exhibition rooms, a material often used in sports stadiums. Sculptures and environments from the films are composed of unusual, sensual and symbolically-charged substances like Vaseline, salt and diverse plastics. One of these is a famous bar in the Chrysler Building molded in Vaseline that requires constant cooling. The countless sculptures, installations, story boards and photographs in combination with film extracts all demonstrate the complexity of Barneys work.

Curated by Nancy Spector, this exhibition is organized by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation New York, in cooperation with the Museum Ludwig, Cologne, and the Musée dArt Moderne de la Ville de Paris. It will be presented at the Museum Ludwig, Cologne from June 1 to September 1, 2002. After ist opening in Cologne, the exhibition will travel to the Musée dArt Moderne de la Ville de Paris (October 10, 2002 January 5th, 2003) and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York (February 13, 2003 May 11, 2003). A German and English edition catalogue (523 pages) is being published by the Hatje Cantz Verlag.

Press conference: 4 June 2002, 11 am

Opening: 5 June 2002, 7 pm

European première of

Cremaster 3 4 June 2002, 6 pm
Tickets for the premiere are still available, Hotline +49/221/280 280

For more information go to:

Ludwig Museum - Museum of Contemporary Art
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