The Syllabus

Matthew Barney: The Cremaster Cycle

Matthew Barney: The Cremaster Cycle

Contributions by Nancy Spector, Nat Trotman, Neville Wakefield, and Joan Young
Published in 2002
508 pages with 725 color illustrations
Hardcover, 9 x 12.5 inches

The definitive user's guide and then some to Matthew Barney's epic five-part epic film series, The Cremaster Cycle is filled with hundreds of Barney's fantastical images and surveys the project, which 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, a composer, costume designer, make-up artist, technicians and actors reveal his working process. A trailblazing essay by Curator of Contemporary Art Nancy Spector charts Barney's work from the 1990s to the present and provides critical insights into the aesthetic vocabulary of his five Cremaster films, while Neville Wakefield's “Cremaster Glossary” illuminates the films' most far-flung references with citations from sources as diverse as Freud's psychoanalytic studies, Mormon law and lore, and hardcore music fanzines. In addition to stills from the five films--including the final episode, Cremaster 3--the book features related sculptures, photographs, drawings and storyboards. For anyone intrigued by the Wagner of contemporary art, this is an atlas to his enticingly hypnotic worlds. Barney himself collaborated on all aspects of this extraordinary publication, including the selection of over 700 images, most of them never before published.

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Matthew Barney: The Cremaster Cycle 


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