Detroit is really cooking lately, art-wise. Even Matthew Barney’s getting in on the action. Barney has been filming the second of a planned seven part film cycle in Detroit, and Mark Stryker of the Free Press has written an eyewitness blow-by-blow of the six hour filmed performance that took place there last Saturday. The opera is a loose adaption of Norman Mailer’s book “Ancient Evenings” (read more about the opera on the Barbara Gladstone Gallery website). Writes Stryker: “In Barney’s retelling, however, the main character becomes the 1967 Chrysler, which is reincarnated as a 1979 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am and a 2001 Crown Victoria. The first film was shot in Los Angeles. Detroit, the birthplace of the Crown Imperial, is the setting for Act 2, titled Kuh. Barney has been shooting a lot of material, including a scene of the Trans Am flying to its death off the Belle Isle bridge.”
The performance began at the Detroit Institute of Arts with a screening of the film’s 30 minute prologue, continued on to a local glue factory where an aria was sung, and ended on a 185 foot barge travelling the Rouge and Detroit rivers. Read Stryker’s account of the performance/film shoot in full here.
Our midweek roundup of clips from the art and culture blogosphere, in descending order of respectability:
*The Art Newspaper interviews Luc Tuymans, whose nationally touring retrospective exhibition is co-organized by MCA Chicago Director Madeleine Grynsztejn.
*Hrag Vartanian visits America’s oldest continuous art colony.
*The Met’s “workshop Velazquez” turns out to be the real thing.
*A new chance to see what Jasper Johns called “the strangest work of art any museum ever had”: Duchamp’s Etant Donnes at Philadelphia Museum of Art.
*What?? Bjork and Matthew Barney split? Over Elizabeth Peyton? Gawker asks its readers if there’s any truth to the gossip, and is met with a resounding ‘who the fuck cares.’
*And finally, (this one’s for you Christopher): actor/starchitect-fucker Brad Pitt is rumored to have spent 50,000 pounds designing and building the perfect Gerbil domicile for his childrens’ pet rodents (via Unbeige).
OK, so I’ve been reading this list of rules for bloggers that Kathryn pointed to recently. (I guess they’re actually supposed to be ethical guidelines, but given my Catholic/Jewish background I tend to think of such things as straight-up RULES Thou Shalt Not Break). One particular ethical guideline/Rule says that bloggers should link to other sites to provide a proper frame of reference for their own work. Another one says that if a blogger covers a story or issue they are supposed to continue pursuing it rather than just letting it go.
So, in the interest of being fair, providing multiple takes on the issue, doggedly pursuing my stupid obsession du jour, etc. etc. Regarding the “Blood of Two” installation by Matthew Barney and Elizabeth Peyton that I posted about last week: I just came across a link I should share with you all, a post on C-monster.net written by Sebastian Puig who was ACTUALLY IN HYDRA not just snarking about it jealously from afar like I was. Here’s his dispatch on the event. The post contains lots of great pictures as well.
Just get a load of that table.
Here’s the scoop on the “top secret” Matthew Barney/Elizabeth Peyton “Blood of Two” project I blogged about on Monday. There are a couple of pics of the event, which featured local Hydra fishermen and other laborers as part of the performance, in the report from the NYT’s “The Moment” blog. A few choice excerpts:
“The evening before Monday’s sunrise arrival and unveiling of “Blood of Two,” the collaboration between Matthew Barney and Elizabeth Peyton, and the inauguration of the Slaughterhouse, the Greek billionaire and art collector Dakis Joannou hosted an exclusive dinner for the Barney and Peyton on the island of Hydra in Greece.
Held in an open air restaurant, where casual glamour and sophisticated simplicity were the order of the evening, the dinner drew the gallerists Jeffrey Deitch, Emmanuel Perrotin and Javier Peres; the artists Maurizio Catelan, Rirkrit Tiravanija and David Byrne; and David Teiger, a MoMa trustee, and long time collector, who entertained the audience with a speech dedicated to Joannou. The notable attendees feasted on mutton head….
At dawn, the crowd waited patiently on a winding cliffside road, where little by little the local psaras (fishermen) pulled out of the water an expected glass sarcophagus containing mysterious artifacts and artworks. The long pace of the unloading echoed the calm, focused and attentively observant crowd who were clearly intended to be part of the artwork, part of an imaginary film Matthew Barney unfolded in front of our eyes.
When was the last time you heard the phrase “feasted on mutton head”? Also love the “calm, focused and attentively observant crowd” line too. At least they weren’t all Tweeting, right? Oh, and the dramatic conclusion to the report is tops:
“In a climatic moment, flooding water unveiled beautiful small-format graphite drawings by Elizabeth Peyton, which mixed elements of Symbolist imagery and nautical fantasies. The relieved crowd then walked its way toward the port, the early morning sun soothing their shock and awe.”
“Soothing their shock and awe”?? Honestly, who writes this stuff?
Hmm, this is an unexpected pairing. Matthew Barney and Elizabeth Peyton are collaborating on “Blood of Two,” an installation to inaugurate the Deste Foundation‘s new location on the Greek island of Hydra. It has its opening tomorrow. From the Deste website:
“Matthew Barney and Elizabeth Peyton will present a site–specific installation for the inaugural exhibition held in the island’s slaughterhouse, a mysterious yet evocative location which will work as the new project space of the DESTE Foundation. The components of the installation will be realized together on-site and will be exhibited afterwards as one work. The exhibition marks the first occasion in which Barney or Peyton have collaborated.
Details of the project are being kept completely under wraps until the unveiling/opening, which of course is the exact right type of button to push with me — now I can’t wait to see pictures of it, which is all I’ll be able to get since my summer plans this year unfortunately don’t include a trip to Greece. Here’s the one picture that’s been released:
Oh wait–now, if I was a Cremaster Fanatic, perhaps I would have known that Peyton and Barney are friends. So maybe this pairing is not so unlikely after all? (Actually, I AM a big fan of Barney’s Cremaster cycle, just not a “fanatic.”)