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Matthew Barney in "Consumption"

“A system that has an internal object, Freudian narratives—consumer and producer, violence, sexually driven, NFL films—these are the things I think about,” says Matthew Barney.

His CREMASTER series of films twist narrative flow, challenge genres, and interrogate art as they explore the ways “that violence is sublimated into form.” This segment follows Barney and his crew on the set of CREMASTER 3 at the Saratoga race track and at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. At Saratoga, Barney transforms a group of horses into racing corpses; at the Guggenheim, the artist transforms the Museum into a set for an obstacle course/video game.

More information and credits


Created by: Susan Sollins & Susan Dowling. Executive Producer & Curator: Susan Sollins. Executive Producer: Susan Dowling. Series Producer: Eve-Laure Moros Ortega. Associate Producer: Migs Wright. Production Coordinator: Laura Recht. Researcher: Quinn Latimer & Wesley Miller. Director: Deborah Shaffer. Editor: Amanda Zinoman. Director of Photography: Ken Kobland & Joel Shapiro. Additional Photography: Adam Larsen, Laura Recht, & Deborah Shaffer. Assistant Camera: Jarred Alterman, Steve Carrillo, Brian Hwang, Alan Pierce, Beth Puorro, & Kipjaz Savoie. Sound: Rick Albright, Stuart Deutsch, Andrew Garrison, Steven Robinson, Gary Silver, & Bill Wander. Gaffer/Grip: Ned Hallick, John Roche, & Wilson Waggoner. Production Assistant: Steve Carrillo, Courtney Harrell, & Kevin Tierney. Animation Stand Photographer: Marcos Levy & City Lights. Assistant Avid Editor: Matt Prinzig & Kate Schmitz.

Introductory Segment | Artwork: Barbara Kruger. Cast: John McEnroe.

Mel Chin Houston Segment | Director: James Harithas. Producer: Manuel Pellicer & Kathleen Pellicer. Director of Photography/Sound/Producer: Wes Sandel.

Devil’s Night Commercial | Director: Helen Nagge. Cast: Bubba Crutchfield. Director of Photography: Adam Larsen. Sound Recordist/Producer: Mikael Manoukian. Location Manager: Bob Sargent. Package Design: Erick Robel. Driver/Special Effects: Bob Bass.

Creative Consultant: Ed Sherin. Art Design and Direction: Open, New York. Animation, Visual Effects & Compositing: Spontaneous Combustion. On-Line Editor: Don Wyllie & Frame:Runner NYC. Composer: Peter Foley. Music Supervisor: John Yaffé. Sound Editing: Margaret Crimmins, Greg Smith, & Dog Bark Sound. Sound Mix: Tony Volante & Soundtrack, New York. Post-Production Supervisor: Michael Weingrad & Keir Randall.

Artworks courtesy of: Matthew Barney; Michael Ray Charles; Mel Chin; Andrea Zittel; Andrea Rosen Gallery; Frederieke Taylor Gallery; Barbara Gladstone; & Tony Shafrazi Gallery.

Special Thanks: Fareed Armaly; Art Car Museum; Anne C. Baker; Alison Beall; Jamie Bennett; William Bush; Dr. Rufus L. Chaney; Cincinatti Art Museum; City Lights; Susan Delson; David Ebner; Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum; Thomas G. Grace; Guggenheim Museum; Russell Hassell; John McEnroe Gallery; KNOWMAD Confederacy; Spike Lee; Bruce Mac Corkindale; Steve Malmberg, Queens Museum; Cara Mertes; Tom Miller; Margarita Moreno; Carter Mull; Museum of Modern Art, New York; Chris Pullman; Project Row House; Nick Robinson; Chelsea Romersa; Matt D. Ryle; Tamberelli Video; TenniSport; University of Texas, Austin; & Darin Webb.

Interns: Maytal Ahrony, Joyce Alcantara, Christina Darcy, Leslie Fritz, Johanna Goldfeld, Susannah Gust, Sage Lehman, Kelly McCoy, Genevieve Mercatante, Jeff Seelbach, & Stacy Wu.

Public Relations: Kelly & Salerno Communications. Legal Counsel: Albert Gottesman.

Major underwriting for Season 1 of Art in the Twenty-First Century is provided by Robert Lehman Foundation, PBS, National Endowment for the Arts, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Agnes Gund and Daniel Shapiro, The Allen Foundation for the Arts, The Broad Art Foundation, The Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation, Bagley Wright Fund, The Rockefeller Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, and The Foundation-to-Life.

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Matthew Barney

Matthew Barney entered the art world after graduating from Yale in 1991 to almost instant controversy and success. He is best known as the producer and creator of the Cremaster films, a series of five visually extravagant works created out of sequence. The films generally feature Barney in myriad roles, including characters as diverse as a satyr, a magician, a ram, Harry Houdini, and even the infamous murderer Gary Gilmore. The films themselves are a grand mixture of history, autobiography, and mythology—an intensely private universe in which symbols and images are densely layered and interconnected. The resulting cosmology is both beautiful and complex.

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By Barbara Kruger with John McEnroe

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“CREMASTER 3” (Guggenheim)

Artist Matthew Barney discusses the creation of the final film in his CREMASTER cycle: CREMASTER 3.