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Matthew Barney: The Cremaster Cycle [Paperback]

Nancy Spector , Neville Wakefield
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 27 2002
Filled with hundreds of Matthew Barney's fantastical images, this comprehensive volume, which accompanies a major exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, surveys the popular artist's CREMASTER cycle—an epic five-part film project that uses the biological model of sexual difference as its conceptual departure point.

Three essays by Barney experts articulate the series' diverse themes and explore the artist's innovative aesthetic vocabulary; interviews with key collaborators— composer, costume designer, make-up artist, technicians, and actors—reveal his working process. In addition to stills from the five films—including the final episode, CREMASTER 3, which will premiere at the exhibition—the book features related sculptures, photographs, drawings, and storyboards. For anyone intrigued by this Wagner of contemporary art, this is an atlas to his enticingly hypnotic worlds.

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5.0 out of 5 stars a question, really Feb. 9 2004
By Kenyon
Why would anyone pay hundreds for the H/C version, if a shiny, new paperback is only $40? Please enlighten this fool? Thanks!
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5.0 out of 5 stars An Important Work Aug. 23 2003
I travelled from San Diego to New York to see all five of the films in sequence, and picked up this book while there. The Cremaster cycle is pregnant with ambiguous meaning (the point of art, nowadays) so this book is, in my opinion, the only way to gain a comprehensive perspective on the work. Other useful features of this book is an illustrated essay of Barney's work, a "Cremaster Glossary"(less useful) and an essay on the meaning of Cremaster. I won't discuss the substance of that essay, but it is useful, if only to orient yourself to the imagery.
Perhaps because I got to see all five films in sequence and then had an opportunity to review the book afterwards, I don't think Cremaster is all that difficult to understand. Part of the problem is that he is engaged in fomenting ambiguity. I do believe that is possible to extract signifgant meanings from the Cremaster cycle. Might be a good idea to buy this in paperback if you actually want to paw through it with your dirty mitts.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful vibrant images Aug. 12 2003
This book is full of beautiful vibrant images that seem to come alive in a hypnotic state with each page you turn. I was simply enthralled while viewing this book. I had purchased it as a gift for my significant other and couldn't believe my eyes. This is a must for any person that is interested in photography that will captivate you and make you think. It is endless pages that will hold your attention and make you pick up the book over and over again. I can not wait to see the films and watch this weirdness come alive.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Tome about Artistic Creation Aug. 10 2003
People complain about Matthew Barney - "He is a gratuitous, self indulged artist"...well maybe, but as an individual in the art and design community I can say "Aren't we all.., stop whining and look at yourself in the mirror" Most of us would gladly be in his position with the opportunity to forward our aesthetic agendas. This book is a great document of the process and theory prior to (the evolution) and behind 5 great pieces of art. Is it indulgent?...Perhaps...but so are most artists, plus I wish I could have that energy and production to realize my aesthetic ideals.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The human tragedy - unity and the endless cycle June 2 2003
I suggest you experience Barney's work and then purchase this book. Barney's universe is no Finnegan's Wake - but the biological subtext of pure potential and secret societies are obscure enough to warrant a companion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cremasterbation June 2 2003
Tapioca, vaseline, muscle bound women, dead horses, giants, serial killers, and Harry Houdini. Welcome to the universe of the Cremaster Cycle. Don't try to decode it all. Just take in the visual puzzle. Still, if you wish to take on the cryptic challenge of Matthew Barney, this book will be of use. It's full of lush images, sketches, and photographs. Although this 7lb book is a nice of insight into Barney's oeuvre, you may get mauled carrying it from cafe to cafe. If not, you're sure to get a cramped arm from lugging it around. It's huge and heavy!
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By A Customer
Tatayana can leave me out of being victimized by anything to do with Art in the 21st Century... Matthew Barney is about the violence of creation, change, and (r)evolution. It's that skin crawl you felt the first time you saw stop motion films of mitosis. He's brilliant, fearless, and I'm happy to be alive at a time when he's working and playing for us all. Believe the hype, and if you're in NYC this summer, see the show.
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